Can I just say that sometimes other people's intolerance is just INTOLERABLE! I mean, I know that me being irritated by other people being intolerant is an oxy-moron of sorts, but this particular one really gets me going.
Today I had to take Connor for his four year old appointment with Dr. Heil (have I mentioned how much we love that man?) Anyway... digress digress, get to the point, Ondrea! So, Connor had his heart set on going to Barnes and Noble this morning to have an "Ice Krispy Treat" (as he says) and play with the trains. I didn't tell him we were going to the doctors office because I wanted to spare myself the crying as long as possible. So when we pull into the parking lot, he realizes where we are and he is NOT happy. But he complies with getting into the building without any drama. Then, some little girl happens to push the button to the elevator and all hell breaks loose. From that point on, there was no recovering for Connor. He couldn't pull it together. The trauma of not getting to push the button combined with the angst of the shots ahead was more than he could take. He dissolved into tears and proceeded to cry VERY loudly for the next 20 minutes. Here's where I start to get chapped. We go into the lobby and I am trying to comfort him AND stand in a five person deep line as we are already 10 minutes late for our appointment. I finally give up on trying to shut him up and I sit him down in a chair for a "time out." There is a dad in the office, probably ticked off because he had to take off work to bring his sick daughter to the doctor, and he keeps rolling his eyes at Connor (I hope he's a blog reader and his face is turning really red right about now... you know who you are!) Then he starts putting his magazine up in front of his face, whispering to his daughter and shaking his head very disapprovingly at me. Now granted, it was VERY loud. So loud, in fact, that the receptionist put us directly into a room to alleviate the other patients of the stress Connor was inducing in all the other kiddos. I get it, he was loud and it was obnoxious. But I also know enough as a mom to know that there are certain times when you just can't get your kid to cooperate. Anyone who's ever parented for more than 24 hours will tell you that there are situations when kids just don't obey, no amount of bribery, threatening, or comfort and coercion will deter them from their demonic possession. What parent, at one point or another, hasn't had one of those moments in public where they just want the ground to open up and swallow them whole?
What did this guy really think he was accomplishing with his "holier than thou" looks and "tsk, tsk"-ing? I mean, seriously, did he think humiliating me was going to make Connor more compliant and relaxed? Did he think passing judgment on me would make his wait in the waiting room more pleasant? Did he feel better about himself as a parent because his 12 year old'ish daughter was sitting nicely while my four year old son was melting down? I SO was about to go over there and say something to the affect of, "You look like you disapprove of his behavior. If you have some suggestions for how I could parent him better, I'm open to hearing them." Or maybe, "I'm sorry that my four-year-old's anxiety over his coming shots are disturbing you. Would you prefer that I take him into the hall to wait for the nurse so that you don't have to be inconvenienced?" Or how about this one, "You obviously haven't EVER had a moment as a parent where your child did something you didn't want her to, please excuse those of us who are obviously not as good at parenting as you are." Or how about just walking up and giving him the finger?
I know you might be thinking I am overreacting to this, but you just had to be there. All the other mothers in the waiting room were giving me the sympathetic, "I've been there" look. The lady on the appointment desk asked Tina, the receptionist, if she could get us to a room. I mean, this was LOUD shrieking, cry, drooling and sobbing. I didn't really feel sorry for Connor because he was being totally unreasonable. He didn't even cry when got his actual shot... it was the dread of the shots and the offense of the whole button thing. Which in itself, I realize, is ridiculous. In life, sometimes other people are going to push the button, but you can't imagine the knock-down, drag-outs we've had between the three boys over who will push that @&*# button. It reminds me of the old "shot gun" running battle I had with my siblings over who sat in the front seat. And I can tell you there were more than a few punches over that between my sister and myself. She always won, even at 8 years younger than me, she could whip me on a dime!
Anyway, that's the story today from the trenches of motherhood. I got into the exam room, and it took everything I had not to cry myself. By the way, I didn't get a chance to say any of those rude things to this guy because he got called back while I was gathering up my stuff and dragging Connor out of the waiting area. No matter, his daughter probably did something really embarrassing today anyway! It's just that as parents, I think we're all in this together most of the time and when I see a mom with a melting kid, I make it a point to pat her on the back and say "Hang in there, we've all been there and this too shall pass."
Whew, I feel much better now... I'm moving on!
"Do not say, 'I'll pay you back for this wrong!' Wait for the Lord and He will deliver you."