Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Meanest Mom on Main Street

Now, I know Halloween is over, but I couldn't not share this little tidbit that happened on Saturday.

Since the boys and I hadn't been feeling well, and we filled up their candy baskets the night before at the campus trick-or-treating thing, I really didn't want to have to take them on Halloween night out in the cold. Sam is really prone to RSV and had had it 3 times before he was two years old. So when I found out that Main street was hosting a treat-or-treating at the stores in the afternoon, I was all for it!

I should have turned the car around when I saw the traffic on Main street as I looked for a parking place. I'd never seen it quite like it was that day -- bumper to bumper and kids running all over the place in costume, with parents tagging along behind. There were so many people and the doorways to the stores were sucking in children and spiting them out like a tobacco chewing cowboy. I knew as pulled into a parking place, that a stroller wasn't going to work, and the kid harnesses could be safety hazards. So with a puffed up chest and chin held high, I opted to go on foot -- all three of us.

I knew it could be dangerous, or downright scary -- but I had to give it a try... for the boys.

I shouldn't have done it. I should have turned around and gone home right then.

But I didn't.

I got the boys out, handed them their baskets, and off we went. It took a few stores for the boys to get used to the idea that we weren't shopping, that we were getting candy and leaving. I had to chase them around the china store in a state of panic that something was going to break! They were running the opposite directions and laughing and hiding and I just couldn't do it! So I recruited the security guard to help me catch them and get us out. He wasn't very happy with me, and I pray I will never have to go in there again!

As I look back on that very LONG hour of my life, I honestly can't tell you how we survived. I found the following phrases flapping out my mouth every time I opened it:

"Nephi get away from the street! Sam get back here!!"
"Guys! I only have two arms! Get over here!"
"Stop it now, Sam! It's too dangerous!"
"Yes! You will hold my hand while we cross the street!"
"I said knock it off, or we are going home!"

At one point when I had to pick up Nephi who was poking around, and chase after Sam yelling for him to stop, I heard a little girl say to her mom, "Mommy, that lady is so mean to her kids!"

My heart fell. Is that how I seem to people? Mean because I don't let my kids run off or into the streets. Mean because the boys ignore me until I am yelling, blue in the face? Mean to make them hold my hand to cross busy streets? Do people really think I am a mean mom? I hope not. I really love my kids and strive to keep them safe. I don't know what else to do.

When we finally made it back to the car, both boys had pooped their pants, and my makeup was running down my cheeks. That was fun...

Good thing Halloween only comes once a year!


Anonymous said...

That post made me giggle. Not at the fact it was a nightmare for you, but b\c I could place myself in your shoes. Yes, children do consider moms that make their "not so mellow" children behave. Shoot your kids probably think you mean. Mean or not you are their mother and that is your job. You love them with your being or you would not care enough to keep the in the best control possible. You have lots of time to prepare for next trick or treat! Best wishes on that!

Jill said...

I heard about the masses of people on Main street trick-or-treating. I cannot imagine how it would have been trying to control two little kids by yourself.

I have gotten similar looks and comments from people. And I just have to remind myself that they don't know my situation. But it doesn't mean it is easy to just let such comments roll off your back.

Plus, you really do have your kids' interests at heart. It's nobody else's business how you discipline your kids or handle them in public (as long as you're not beating them). Anyway, I think you know what I mean.

Just a few more weeks 'til Ben gets home. :)

DaveandRuth said...

Sometimes I wonder what people think of me when they see me in public with my kids, especially when I am not having my finest hour.

Anonymous said...

If you don't do it, who will? You're the mommy. To help me not have to do that so much, one time when my little guy was acting up in the grocery store, I picked him up and left. He was shocked! He wanted to go back in and I told since he didn't listen and was not minding the rules, we had to leave and he could try again next time. It works, it hasn't happened again. Maybe it's because I'm the meanest mommy of all!!! :-)

Pajama Mama said...

We've all had those days! Sometimes you gotta be a "little mean" to get the job done and be a good parent.

You're a great Mom!!

PS - That little girl who said you were mean is the same girl whose Mom lets her get away with everything.....

Our Family said...

I don't think you're a mean mom. :o) I've taken my kids to the mall for trick-or-treating on two different occasions. It's nice that it's warm and light inside. However, it has always been really loud and crowded. We didn't go this year and didn't miss it. The store owners must go into panic mode around that time every year. :o)

Amy said...

WOw... what an... adventure!! I don't think I could have done it!! Well hey, at least you tried. You are a good mom. Don't worry about what others think! The costumes are DARLING!!!!!!!!!

Lori said...

You are definitely not the meanest mom, if anything the mom with the most sense. I see so many mothers just letting their kids runs wild in places like that. My 2 1/2 year old got away from me this last summer at my oldest daughters ball practice. I just bent down for a split second and I looked up and she was nowhere to be found. She had ran out in the parking lot and when I got her the first thing I did was spanked her and I know people were looking at me crazy but I didn't want this to happen to her again and it hasn't. She knows not to get away from me when we are out somewhere like that. Awww....the things we do for our kids. I enjoyed reading your post.

Anonymous said...

First time to your blog - I just had one of these moments not too long ago. We're not mean, and we're not yelling. We're just repeating what we said a little louder because these little people that we're saying it to obviously haven't heard us yet. Lots of credit for even attempting this feat single-handedly. :o)

Single Mama NYC said...

Awww, Cat! You're sooo not the meanest mommy. A mean mommy doesn't care what their kids do and lets them be OTHER people's problems. I've seen moms like that and trust me, that's a pretty mean thing to do to your kids. You're doing fine! Being a single mama, even temporarily, is pretty hard sometimes.

And I just wanted to say that this line that you wrote, "There were so many people and the doorways to the stores were sucking in children and spiting them out like a tobacco chewing cowboy.", was brilliantly written. As an admirer of fine literature, that line really blew me away.


Pam said...

We've all had days like this. Don't question yourself about how you handled it. You had to do what you had to do - to keep your kids safe. I know just what you mean, though, about listening to that voice in your head that tells you to "just go home". I hardly ever listen and I almost always wish I had.