Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I don't care how colorful your kid's temper tantrum was. I win.

One of my kids, and I won't say which one, was in first grade, and I had made an appointment to see my doctor on a Friday morning when they'd be in school. The week of the appointment comes, too late to realize this particular Friday is Good Friday, and school will be out that day.  At the time I had a lovely teenage girl living next door, A, who was always willing to watch the kids, and since she was in parochial school too, she was available that Good Friday morning.

I explained to the boys that when the babysitter got there, I wanted them to play outside for the hour or so that I'd be gone. They would have some tv later, but I wanted them to get some fresh air and exercise with the sitter. Probably the house was a mess.

Now, this particular Agent had the hots for this particular "older woman" and while she wasn't supposed to come over until 10, he started watching for her from the yard at about 8:30.  Since only our driveway separated the houses, he had to wait quite a while until zing zing zing went his heartstrings, her front door opened, and like a sunrise sparkling over a white sand beach, suddenly the world looked all the more beautiful for A walking out her front door. Cue the slo-mo wind-in-their-hair run.

By this time Agent had decided he'd had enough of the great outdoors, and wanted to watch tv with his future bride. "No," I reminded him,  "fresh air and exercise until I get back."  Bent out of shape, he refused to cooperate. I explained that if he wasn't going to play by the rules we'd agreed to I'd have to take him to my appointment, and he wouldn't be able to hang with A at all.  No, this stubborn mule had spent enough time outside, and he was going in.

Yeah, no.

Get in the car, kid, you're coming with me.

And that's how it began. I pulled out of the driveway, and hit the road with Agent in the back seat. "Noooo! I don't waaant to go with you.   Let me ouuuuuut!  I wanna go hooooooome!  Take me home noooooow!" I was so mortified I actually rolled up the car windows because I didn't want passersby to hear him scream and call the police, thinking an abduction was taking place.

This continued down the side street, onto the main street, up the ramp onto the highway, down the exit ramp and  into the doctor's parking lot in Kendall Square. Probably 15 minutes.

The purpose of the doctor's visit was to check in with the mental health provider who had set me up with an antidepressant.  I thought the last thing her waiting room needed was a child screaming bloody murder, so I called up to her office from the parking lot, and over the din of the continuing   I wanna go hooooooome!    tantrum, explained to the secretary what was going on, and asked for advice on what to do. The doctor got on the phone with me, and we agreed that we couldn't let his Take me home noooooow!  temper tantrum dictate my actions, so hand in hand we locked the car, crossed the Let go of meeee! street, entered the No I won't be quiet! building, took the elevator up (he wouldn't even  press the button for her floor so that I'd know he was serious) and proceeded down the Leave me aloooooone!  hall to her office.  In what was a first, the doctor immediately took us back to her office, son still screaming. She had never seen me on time before, so that was a big win.

Son quieted down long enough for the doctor to hand him paper and crayons with the dreaded request, "So, Agent, can you draw me a picture of your family?"  Hell, I hate that stupid question.  It'll probably be a picture of his parents fighting in front of piles of unfolded laundry and dirty dishes with the tv on in the background. I hate that question.

Thankfully, Agent refused and resumed the Get me out of heeeeere!  barrage. So the doctor and I had our chat over the din. After we finished our business, the doctor explained to son that she had told me that I can't drive home until he calms down. After we returned to the car, I reminded him that I couldn't go home until he was calm, and that the doctor had told me I had to just drive around aimlessly until he cooperated, and that this was his decision to make. I then started the car and headed home, grateful that my son didn't know the way.  The ruckus continued out the parking lot, back up the ramp onto the highway and back down the exit ramp, until we were about a mile from the house.  Then he stopped, took a breath, and said. "Okay mom, we can go home now. I'm hungry.  Can I have a grilled cheese for lunch?""


  1. Wow, that IS colorful. Thankfully, so many of us parents have had our share of psychotic-seeming tantrums that other people look at us with more of an "I know how you feel" stare than anything.

  2. Amy, I nevereverever scowl at a parent with a kid who's in meltdown mode. I always try to give them your "I know how you feel" stare! Good heavens, that day cost at least a couple of grey hairs!