Kids birthday parties should be fun. Unless you're the parent of the birthday child, because lets face it, planning/organizing/orchestrating and hostessing is never fun when you're doing it and too busy to enjoy the actual event.
We went to a friend's son's first birthday party today. There were several infants (under 12 months) and a couple older kids (over 4 years old) and Nixon (the lone toddler). Mac went with me but he escaped to a neighbors house, who happens to be his co-worker. Lucky!
Which left me with Nixon, who either wanted to be left alone and watch Cars (because it was on since it was the theme of the party) or, when outside, wanted to play ball with the older kids who really were not into playing with him. SO, there were some rough patches.
But before I get there, lets start with the meltdown at the BX (Base Exchange...it's best described as a mall). Nixon loves cars..big, small and in-between he loves them! There's a book case in the shape of a jeep with a seat and 2 steering wheels. Nixon got angry because the steering wheels are looks only, meaning they don't spin. So I took him back downstairs where he saw a truck he likes to ride, but I had no change on me today so no ride. Which lead to him slapping me and screaming! I tried to get him to calm down and relax but he just got louder. I have bad moments where my judgment is not so good and this was one of them. I almost slapped his mouth, instead I tapped his cheek. Then because he was still screaming, I pinch his thigh a little, which made him wail but he focused on that and let me cuddle away his tears. We sat, in the BX on a display model, gliding outdoor swing while he calmed down. The important thing here, is that I realized I was close to losing it but didn't.
After we left the BX we went to the birthday party, but I was still emotionally raw from dealing with a public meltdown.
Nixon decided, that while everyone else was outside eating and socializing he wanted to watch the movie. After the chasing him because he wanted to play ball with the older boys and listening to him screeching and throw a fit when he couldn't, I was perfectly content to let him. Mac and I were in there with him, not to be anti-social but because we can't leave him alone in the house while we put in an appearance to everyone else. The hostess knew we were in there, so I saw no problem.
Mac and I were eating, Nixon was watching tv...it was peaceful, and those moments are the ones that save me from the edge.
Well, another party goer came in and innocently enough joked about us being anti-social. I laughed it off and said "NO, but he's (Nixon) happy watching the movie and it saves a temper tantrum being in here". She shrugged and went back outside with everyone else. After a couple minutes, I found myself swallowing tears because the comment really bothered me. It shouldn't have, but it did.
The thing is, with a stubborn 2 year old, I can't just sit him down and talk while he is oblivious to everyone around him, like a mother with an infant can do. I also can't just sit down and talk while my older children play out of my sight knowing they're perfectly capable of entertaining themselves. like a mother with the older boys could. NO, with a toddler I have to be present and accounted for which meant no small talk, especially since Mac had deemed the neighbors house a better option and left me with Nixon. Staying inside and letting Nixon do what made him happy was my best option! I tried to brush it off, because the comment had come from someone with no children of her own after all, but it stung because I didn't want the hostess to think we were being anti-social on purpose.
We left after the cake. Everyone ended up back inside because of rain, so we weren't very successful at being anti-social!
Its a struggle to not let small things get to you, when you're brain isn't working right. I cry randomly throughout the day. I have flashes of anger when frustrated. I get overwhelmed when Nixon has a meltdown in public and I'm working on NOT reacting to him when he gets like that. I did see someone about all this, but there's no official word on what's causing all this. Mac tries to be understanding but its hard to tell him what's wrong when I don't even know.
Sometimes I'm just blah.
Sometimes an insensitive comment meant as a joke can send me into tears and ruin an already shitty day.