Do You Play on My Team?Posted: November 19, 2013
I am very fortunate. I have had very few instances where Funny has had a complete breakdown in public that rendered me speechless and shocked, but at the dentist yesterday he didn’t disappoint. He had a complete and utter meltdown where I determined that the only explanation was that he had a temporary bout of insanity. This was not my child. At one point I saw his head rise off his neck, spin around and his eyes turned red. Okay, that didn’t happen; however, I pretty much had to pin the kid down in order for the dentist to count his teeth.
During all this chaos the hygienist was trying to calm my crazy man down and here’s how that conversation went:
Lovely Hygienist: Caden, do you want a sucker?
Caden: Yes! (screaming uncontrollably)
Lovely Hygienist: What color do you want? Green? Yellow? Red?
Caden: Green! (screaming uncontrollably)
Lovely Hygienist: Great! I will get you a green sucker.
Caden: No! 2 green suckers! (a little more calm)
Quite the negotiator we have.
The checkup is over, we leave the room, walk through the office to the waiting room and that is when I realize that Funny’s not so funny scream penetrated throughout the entire office. How did I realize this? One very unsympathetic mother made sure she made complete eye contact with me and without the spoken word made sure I knew what she thought about my screaming, seemingly out of control child.
Of course, now I have a million things I wish I would have said, but didn’t. I felt ashamed. I felt embarrassed. Should I have done something differently? Could I have changed the situation? Did my actions put her or her children into distress?
Whenever I see a mother upset or frustrated I am always sure to give them a smile, and make sure they know that I have a 2-year old. This smile means that we play on the same team. I get “it”. This lady was not on my team. She was very much against my team. Her team apparently loves the dentist. My team does not.
I was speaking to a friend of mine a few weeks ago and she is a new Mom and like ALL new Moms she was feeling lost and upset. She was feeling overwhelmed, because while pregnant for 9 months you don’t consider how hard it is to be a new parent. You think about the nursery, how you plan on feeding the baby, the cute outfits and furniture. You think about the birthing process and packing an overnight bag and the baby shower you can’t wait for, but you don’t consider the other variables. What if you plan on breastfeeding and your baby needs more than you can offer? What if you read every book and article on how to get your baby to sleep and he just doesn’t cooperate until he’s 8 months old? What if you buy the cutest newborn outfits and give birth to a 9 lb 3 oz baby that doesn’t quite fit into those newborn clothes? Each of these things happened to us.
Having a child is difficult. Raising a child is difficult. Every day is something new. Funny goes to bed and wakes up a different person and Joe and I have to adjust daily. Judgmental stares from strangers are really not necessary. Lets all start playing for the same team and being honest and kind. Lets start talking about the things people don’t talk about. Lets start talking about the things that will matter the most. Can all mothers ban together and be honest with each other once and for all? Wouldn’t it be nice if one parent saw another parent struggling and gave them a hug or at least offered a glance which gives support and lets each other know that it’s okay and we are on the same team.
It’s time to be honest about our struggles, time to celebrate our successes and your overly critical glances are really not necessary. Just a little something to ponder.
What does Funny think about the Dentist?