Friday, June 18, 2010

The Public Meltdown - Dontcha Love Motherhood?

I was really quite looking forward to today. The plan was, put Fern down for her usual morning sleep then head out to the shops together to meet a friend and her new baby. A little lunch... a poke around the shops... maybe even a visit to the indoor playground, if Fern played her cards right.

The morning started off beautifully. Fern awoke h-a-p-p-y and we had a lovely morning before I popped her down for a quick nap. Half an hour later I could still hear her chattering away to her dolls and I began to get a little nervous. Our 'sleep window' was fast closing in and I had to meet my friend by a certain time. By the time we got out the door (only half an hour late - orrright!) Fern had not slept a single wink and I prayed for a car-nap. No such luck.

We reached the shops and my friend and enjoyed about 3.5 blissful minutes of catchup, with Fern squirming in my lap (no highchairs!) picking at my banana bread. Then it all went a little pear shaped.

We had been at the shops no longer than 45 minutes when the meltdown descended. Its never happened to me before, at least not since the early baby days when a nipple popped into a mouth solved 95% of all dramas before they really got started. But since then I've gotten complacent.

In retrospect, I was asking for trouble:

- No wrap
- No teddy bear
- No dummies
- No bottle of milk

We were in Target by this stage; my friend's 4-month old baby was gooing contentedly inside his capsule while my dear daughter was screaming her lungs out just loud enough that the WHOLE OF THE SHOPPING CENTRE could hear her anguished wails. I tried picking her up. I tried putting her down. I tried lying her in her pram. Stealing the 4-month old's dummy. Nothing worked.

Of course, every person within a 100 metre radius was staring at me with either pity, accusation, condescension or a mixture of all three in their eyes.

I couldn't do anything but run. As fast as I could, with my pram, a bag, a toddler under my arm and my 30 week belly surely justifying the looks of "she's having another one? But she can't handle the one she's got!" from almost every person we passed on our way back to the car.

There's a lesson to be learnt here, peeps. But I'm just not too sure what it is at this moment -- Fern still hasn't slept beyond a 6 minute kip in the car on the way home, despite two (failed) attempts this afternoon. My eyes are literally rolling back in my head and I'm wondering how I could ever have possibly allowed myself to think I have got this mothering gig under the wing.

Sorry about the rant - have a great weekend!!!



  1. Oh no that well and truely sucks, and I hear ya sista!

    The other day I was in coles doing a big grocery shop and it was midday and Will was getting impatient and the old check-out lady was taking her sweet time with the people in front then Will started SCREAMING then the old check-out lady goes, 'I'm sorry little man, I can't help it if your mother doesn't feed you or put you to bed' GRRRRRR I had to hold myself back from either bursting into tears or ripping her head off.

    I hope Fern has a good sleep tonight and goes down well tomorrow so you can have a bit of peace. Have a great weekend Nicole!!!

  2. OMG Janette did she really say that??? That just about tops my experience today!!

  3. Hmm been there- complete with 30 week sized belly and screaming toddler under my arm heading to the car for a quick-as-possible-get-away... but mine was at a wedding as the bride was walking down the aisle. That screaming toddler was my now nearly 6 year old who just doesn't do that anymore... so take heart, this kind of thing doesn't last forever! Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Ooooh I can't stand people who look at you funny while dear toddler is having a meltdown. Nothing to see here people! And besides, who hasn't seen a toddler meltdown anyway?

    I feel your pain sister. My 2.5 year old has been having then more and more frequently lately. Ahhhh, the joys ;)

  5. Urghhh - I feel your pain. I think the stage when they are having those two naps and won't sleep in the pram is so hard.

    It's easier when they drop the morning sleep - at least you don't have such a small window.

    And I just have to say Janette - what a cow! I think I would have done both, tears AND ripped her head off.

  6. I've had my fare share of those days!
    Byron always skips his sleeps when I need him bright and happy!

    Janette - I cant believe she said that! I would have thrown my shopping at her!!!

  7. Ooooooh yes..I am all too familiar with those little Jacq did his best ever banana wobbly not too long was a doozy...and he has always been pretty good with the best as one can expect..its no fun being strapped up in a pram for hours..especially when they become super independant that they want to walk everywhere on their own. I always make sure I pack the back with everything..just the moment..a box of sultanas is the trick that keeps him happy ..but when they run out..yaiks!

    I got the wobbly with the lot ....the screams that made him sound like he was possessed like the Exorcist...I was waiting for the green projectile vomit to come flying out...the jumping on the spot..falling to the ground...trying to head butt the ground..its enough to make you want to put a bullet to your
    we were basically in and out of there quick it just escalated from bad to little munckin turned from angel to demon in less than 5 min lol
    and yes..had all the stares...some walked past with their heads turned back looking for what seemed like an eternity..some asked if I was alright...but you know...WE were once those people...who thought..gosh...when I have kids there is no way my child is going to behave that way in public..blah blah blah....and look...we are one of those people...its just part of them growing up..finding their way...not being able to fully express what it is that is upsetting them..or what they want.

    Anyway...after the whole fiasco...within 2 minutes of driving home....I turn to look at him and he is trying to make mummy laugh by smiling and pulling funny faces at me in the review mirror..with his nose all scrunched up and giggling...and I've got to be joking little 2#$% ! lol

  8. 1 single day out of how many?

    Your an amazing mother Nicole. A natural. Your patient and kind and caring. 1 day. 1 day out of what, a year and a half?

    Take a deep breath, give Fern lots of drugs (heheh) and wait for tomorrow :-)

  9. I truly sympathise - Grace hasn't been happy when I've been at the shops lately either and has fought having that morning nap in her pram. I've just paid for my shopping and got out of there as quick as possible. I think at Fern and Grace's age they're starting to get annoyed being in the pram for long lengths and just want to be free. How good were those early days when they'd just be so content as you wandered around and window shopped?! And coffees with friends are much harder with bub in tow now too - can only keep them occupied for so long. I feel bad for you that people were staring at Fern having her meltdown - you would have already been mortified enough. Hope Fern has a nice, long, peaceful sleep for you tonight and her naps are back on track tomorrow xx

  10. I have just discovered your blog and really love it! I laughed (sorry!) so hard while I was reading this post. Not out of nastiness, but because I have been there so many times. Most recently was in the shops with a 3 year old throwing a huge tantrum because she couldn't ride the Big Red Car, the one year old screaming out in sympathy under my arm...and a pregnant belly. Call social services....LOL.

  11. Can't believe I didn't comment on this one BUT I too know exactly how it feels. Sebastian did a MASSIVE one at the library a few weeks ago....the library of all places! It took him 20 minutes to calm down. I wanted to both cry and disappear all at the same time. That's let alone the one at music when I did cry after he hit me! I agree with Melissa though, the 2 naps a day are hard cos the window is so short. I must say those disapproving looks from strangers scare me so much and I really wish I could tune them out but alas, I can't. Too much of a people pleaser here! :) A friend and I talked last week about how sometimes we overanalyse how the toddlers will react to a situation and they behave perfectly and other times when we think they'll be fine they totally crack it. Just a reminder we don't have it all totally sorted isn't it? Not that we needed to be reminded! :)

  12. Weve all had days like this, you are not alone :)


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