Tonight Jason and I became "those people." Before I explain what I mean, let me say that sometimes it's good to be "those people" because it teaches you to have compassion and mercy when the shoe is on the other foot in the future. But when you are in the middle of being "those people," it's very embarrassing and quite humbling.
So, the boys left to go to my parents' house yesterday where they will reside for almost 2 weeks! It's like a competition of who's going to break first: will my mom lose her mind (if she hasn't already, which I'm beginning to think might be the case since this whole shenanigan was her idea) and bring them home early or will I break down and insist they come back? Odds are good it will be my mom. I would have sent them home a long time ago if they weren't already home here.
That leaves Jason, Missy and me in a state of tranquility and peace the likes of which Jason and I haven't experienced since... Well, it's been so long I don't remember. I'm sure it was a half-decade ago when we just had one child, one in the oven, and were brilliantly ignorant of the calm before the storm. We couldn't enjoy it back then because you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone, right (They paved paradise and put up a parking lot...)? I'm feeling very cliche' tonight.
Since we are relatively kid-free (except for our little angel girl), we thought we would enjoy a nice dinner at a popular eating establishment here in town. Missy had other ideas. Maybe she didn't have a good nap today or maybe she was overly hungry or maybe she was just in a crappy mood tonight, but from the time Jason got his guacamole until he finally decided he was through eating and rescued her from her high chair, she cried. Not a small cry. More like a wailing, heart-wrenching, shut-that-kid-up cry. That's what I mean by "those people." People were staring at us. Lots of them. Glaring at us.
Unfortunately, it's hard to console an angry baby when she can't exactly tell you what's wrong and refuses to be consoled by any measure of placating. It pretty much seemed like a brief glimpse into her teenage years when she might be crying and upset for no good reason or a reason she is unwilling to talk about. Not that this kind of thing happens with teenage girls, right? Just hypothetically speaking.
Just as she would start to wind down a bit, I would inevitably speak to her in an effort to console her which would set off a new round of screaming. Teenage years again.... I found myself apologizing to the patrons around us who's judging eyes I managed to catch before they turned away, embarrassed that they got caught judging. Finally, Jason decided he'd had enough- enough with the crying and enough dinner to make him full- and pulled her out of her highchair. She brightened up immediately, of course. She's daddy's girl through and through.
Even though I have 3 of my own little dear hearts, I still experience those occasional moments in public when I think "I would never let MY kids act like that." Next time I feel that way, before I get a little too smug about my own flawed parenting and the state of my own flawed children, I'll definitely remember what it felt like to be "those people" and will hopefully view the situation with more grace and compassion.