Henry broke my heart yesterday, with just a few words, what was a bad morning turned into the worst. Our morning had started off great. We had breakfast, watched Muppet Family Christmas for the one millionth time and made our way outside relatively easy. For those who don’t have a toddler, getting them out the door can be quite the battle. I’ve grown to hate winter just because there are added layers (pun intended) of complication in getting them outside, as in, putting them in boots and jackets so they don’t freeze to death instead of just bringing them outside as is and plopping them in the car. So yesterday, with the promise of shoveling the driveway, Henry happily put his boots, jacket, hat and mitts on. Our routine now with the snow is that he gets to “shovel” while I get the car ready. I put Freddy in the car, start it and clear off the snow or scrape the windows while he happily pushes snow from one side of the driveway to the other. Usually by the time I’m done, he’s bored with his job and is ready to go. Not so yesterday. Our conversation went like this:
Me: Ok, we put the shovel away now Henry?
Him: (very cool and calmly) no
Me: We have to go see Abby (his new daycare girlfriend), she doesn’t like to have breakfast without you.
Me: Why don’t we put the shovel away and you can play with it when you come home with daddy later?
at this point he actually throws the shovel to the ground and tries to make a run for it into the house. I intercept him, grab him and bring him to the car while he kicks and screams. I’m then fighting him to strap him into his car seat as he twists and turns yelling at the top of his lungs and actually whacks me in the face at which point I get angry and yell “ENOUGH OF THIS!” and he stops just enough for me to buckle him in.
The whole way to daycare he’s yelling and screaming and crying saying “NO DAYCARE, GO HOME! SHOVEL!!! SHOVEL!!!!” and I’m telling him “I’m sorry but you have to go today, I have a lot of things to do”.
When we get to daycare, he usually jumps out of the car, this time, he’s just dead silent. I unclip him and he just sits there not even looking at me. So I tell him “ok, Freddy and I are going in” and start to walk away and nothing. I can’t leave him in the car so I put Freddy down, drag Henry out of the car and put him on his feet and lock the car door before he can try and open the door again. Well then all hell breaks loose. He’s yelling that he wants to go back in the car while Freddy and I are walking towards the door. I couldn’t really just leave him in the parking lot since it was fairly busy and I don’t trust him to not run in front of a moving car while in full tantrum mode but I kept giving the impression I was going in so he’d follow. Halfway to the door he stops and yells loudly “BAD MAMA! I NO LIKE YOU!!!” and that, was the sucker punch. It broke my heart. He eventually came in, still crying and his teacher just took him from me and told me it would be best for me to walk out because if I lingered he might think he’s coming home with me. So I said goodbye while he’s crying and screaming and walked out. When I got into the car I just lost it and started crying myself.
We’ve been having really rough nights with Freddy lately, we’ve all been sick at least twice each in the past month, we’re exhausted and the holidays haven’t even started. Not to mention the constant toddler tantrums being thrown our way. Anyways it was all too much and I broke down in the car and texted Chris that Henry called me a bad mama. When I got home, I was just emotionally spent. Good thing I had my fitmom class yesterday morning. I just pounded out all my frustration, exhaustion, anger, put it all in that workout and felt a lot better afterwards.
The thing that really sucks about these tantrums though is that Henry gets over them instantly. Apparently he was cool even before I reached my car. Me on the other hand, it’s taking me longer and longer to calm down from these moments. I also worry his early memories of me will be of me yelling things like “No Hitting! No Kicking! Stop that! I SAID STOP THAT!!!!”
When Chris picked him up yesterday, he asked Henry if he loved me and Henry said “Yeah I love mama”. Well that’s good to hear.