Dylan had been a perfect child for two days. I mean, perfect. I hadn't raised my voice or reprimanded him or put him in a time out since Tuesday. It was if he woke up on Wednesday morning and suddenly he had grown out of the terrible threes. And then he threw the mother of all tantrums in the grocery store an hour ago.
His teacher called me this morning while he was at school and said,
"Dylan has been holding both of his ears and saying that his ears hurt but I took his temperature and he is fine, I just wanted to call and let you know that he might have an ear infection."
I smiled. I really like this teacher.
"Hmm. He usually holds his ears if he is nervous or unsure of a new situation," I told her. He also holds his ears when he is tired.
His teacher audibly smiled over the phone and said, "That makes sense! We have the music teacher here today and he doesn't seem to want to sit in the circle like he normally does. I'll put him near me, thanks!"
When I picked him up from school his teacher said that he loved the special music lesson once she put him next to her on the rug. His note said the same with a big smiley face next to as long as he sat by me.
He's been asking for hot chocolate so when I picked him up from school I told him that we would go get some at Dunkin Donuts. He said, "But I was bad at school." and I told him that he wasn't bad, he was just scared and it's OKay to not always feel comfortable around new people. I let him pick out a doughnut and told him that we had to walk next door to the grocery store to buy butter and some fixins for lunch.
And there, in the chip aisle, my sweet little perfect-for-two-days preschooler lost. his. shit.
He wanted potato chips. No. We have popcorn at home and you have a doughnut. He wanted Cheez-Its. No. We have those at home already. He kept throwing things in the basket and then freaking out when I removed them. He started yelling, "YOU STUPID BRAT!" and "I AM GOING TO HAVE THIS!" and "NO! YOU'RE NOT BEING ATTENTION! NO!"
I was extremely embarrassed. My three-year-old was yelling that I was a stupid brat? Holy Jesus. And then he started running through the store as I chased him with Katie in my arms and a grocery basket on wheels. He then threw himself on the floor in the middle of the aisle and began screaming that he wants Cheez-its! When I finally got him to the register he ran off again and I had to leave all of our food on the belt as I retrieved him, apologizing profusely to the cashier. Thankfully, as it is a neighborhood grocery store and there aren't too many people shopping at that hour, no one was waiting in line behind me and my hooligan child.
Great. So now I've got a situation. I suddenly have the freshist child on my hands, plus two bags of groceries, and a small baby in my arms. I carried him across the parking lot by his hand as he wailed and laughed and thought this was the funniest thing he's ever accomplished. I put Kate on the floor of the back seat so that I could pick up Dylan, who was now lying in the parking lot, and put him into his car seat.
I was PISSED. Trembling mad. I drove home with the music blaring because I needed to tune him out. I couldn't believe he had been that bad. I don't think he has ever been that bad. When we pulled into our driveway I scooped him up and carried him straight into his bed. Coat, shoes, hat on. To bed. And he continued to scream and cry and kick the door. I called Sean, who laughed because it was pretty entertaining for him to picture our child screaming that I was a stupid brat in the middle of a grocery store. I was cooling off now and forgetting how pissed I was in that store and so I made Dylan lunch and then went upstairs to get him.
He was beyond upset. His eyes were swollen and his face was covered in tears and snot and he held on tight to me as he cried and cried.
"I want to be a good boy." he told me between sniffles.
He cried through lunch. And cried some more when I told him that he could not have his doughnut until after he took a nap because he was fresh at the store. He sang our phone number as he does when he wants me to praise him for being so smart and I scooped him up and hugged him tight and told him that I love him.
He said, "I'm hungry all day."
And I knew that. I knew that he was tired and hungry and that whale of a tantrum could've been avoided if I had thought to feed him lunch before taking him shopping.
He ate that whole quesadilla I made for him. And then he went upstairs and fell fast asleep.
Yeah. That sucked. But it's over now and I don't feel mad. I feel sorry for a tiny impressionable boy who flew off the handle and felt the wrath of a pissed-off stupid brat mom.