Staying at home each day with the girls is not the world's most EXCITING job on a day-to-day basis, so I try to go out and do things. I have the girls in school half a day on Tuesday/Thursday. We belong to a Moms Club and try to have playdate with other SAHMs. However, every time I try to do something nice with other people and have some semblance of social life, I often wind up wishing I could just crawl into a cave and hibernate with my crew.
When I go somewhere with just me and the girls, their behavior is usually stellar. I mean, seriously... I'm usually so proud of how well-behaved they are and how they listen. But SOMETHING about going in public with other people--be it friends, family, school--makes Amber act like a she-beast. I suppose I should chalk it up to shyness--but it seriously ruins my day. I already have my hands full watching 3 girls, but when she starts up, I just DON"T know what to do. Sometimes it's refusing to walk and sitting down in the middle of the ground/road/store. Sometimes it's being ugly and mean to anyone who tries to approach her. It drives me CRAZY because she really and truly is a sweet girl. She is just do damn inflexible! Any break to the "norm" makes her start acting out.
For example, if I go to her school for a party or special day, she melts down. It's so WEIRD! She is GREAT when I'm not there--the teacher is forever telling me what a sweet girl she is, how well she listens to directions, what a big help she is, etc. And she's such a good girl for me at home, doing most anything I ask of her and being so kind to her sisters. But when "school world" mixes with "mom world," she flips out. She wants to be carried. She rolls on the floor. She won't participate in the class activities. She cries and screams. It's so damn embarrassing!!!
I know, I shouldn't let a tantrum ruin my day, but it just makes me feel terrible, as I know I come off looking like one of the following:
1. Push-over mom: If I cater to her tantrum, then I look like a wishy-washy mom who lets her kids walk all over her. Which in turn would likely cause MORE tantrums. She looks like a spoiled brat that does this all the time to get her way. WHICH SHE DOESN'T DO AT HOME. But who would believe me?
2. Crazy mama: I have to get mean. This could be picking her up and fussing at her, threatening to leave, walk off while she's rolling on the floor in hopes she'll get up and follow me, etc. I don't want to come off as a crazy, screaming mom, but I find myself growling at her or fussing at her for acting like such a fool.
So after the tantrum is over, she goes about on her merry way, not letting it bother her in the least. And I am left stewing about what a bunch of crazy fools we look like. I know it shouldn't matter to me what anyone thinks we look like, but I feel like a jackass. I just don't know what to do with this girl!
Well, tomorrow is her class Halloween party. She swears she will be "extra super happy" if I come, and I have told her she better doggone well not act like a hooligan when I get there. I could opt not to go, but I don't want her to be the only child whose mother doesn't make all these little preschool events. So here's hoping for the best... but I know the whole time I'll be geared up worrying she'll erupt at any given moment.
Tomorrow I'll have to update with the "results" of the class party. If not, then you'll know I went into hibernation with my crew.