There are just some days that seem almost unreal in the level of patience they require of you. Last Thursday was like that for me.
The morning began with an appointment for Easter and 18 month pictures to be taken at Portrait Innovations. I took Carter there for Christmas pictures and they turned out pretty cute, despite the fact that he was a little freaked out the whole time. They have wonderful sets there and I LOVE that their photos are digital and are instantly ready to take home, but the photographers at this particular locations are very high-strung. I’m not sure who taught them that it is effective to make psycho noises at children and to thrust stuffed animals into their faces and tummies. It might work for some, but Carter has found it just plain creepy on two occasions now. At Christmas he whined a little, but this time he really let me know how he felt about it. Not once would he sit down in their little arranged scenery and not once did he smile. In fact, he went so far as to throw himself on the floor repeatedly and run from the room whenever he got the opportunity. There was much kicking and screaming involved.
I’m still struggling on how to deal with these things in public since they’ve only been happening for about a month now. Do you just deal with and ignore the people around you? Do you apologize? Do you LEAVE? Here’s how I handled it: I tried to make light of it and keep smiling. I apologized about a thousand times and thanked the guy for being a good sport. And, I finally just told him to go ahead and take pictures of him throwing a fit since it didn’t appear that anything else was going to happen. Then, as the ultimate apology in my state of flusterdness (yes, I just made up that word), I bought WAY too many pictures and spent WAY too much money. Now I’ve got a huge envelope full of pictures and no idea what I’ll do with them all. Perhaps I could wallpaper his playroom with them.
Here’s a few of the results.
By the time we left, I was so exhausted from holding a screaming, kicking toddler to feeling such emotional rushes as a mom. And, it was only 10:00. Carter was pretty much pissed for the rest of the day about being forced to have his picture made. Went went by Costco to pick up a few things for the church and he fussed the whole time. We met my parents for lunch and he threw his food and my cup in the floor. He took a little nap, then woke up screaming. He screamed for an hour straight. No matter what I tried, he screamed. All day long I was consciously aware of the blood pumping through my body. I don’t think that’s ever a good sign. As selfish as it sounds, I wanted to escape. Whenever I feel like I’m doing a bad job at something, I start dreaming about doing something that I am good at. That day, I wanted to be in front of a group of children teaching, because I certainly wasn’t do a bit of good with my child.
That night, I had to keep the children at church while everyone went to small groups. Before small groups, we always eat dinner together in the lower level of the house. There are stairs that lead up to the main level, but there is a gate at the bottom. I fasten the gate when I arrive each week and I never worry about Carter and the stairs. Lesson of the night: never, ever let your guard down with a toddler. Carter sat in my lap as we ate, then I let him down to walk around as I finished. Not even a minute after I put him down I hear a sound that resembled thunder. I immediately knew that somehow that sound was Carter tumbling down the stairs. It was. He hit the bottom and busts through the STILL FASTENED gate at the bottom. I scream something like “Oh. God. Carter.” and run. I’m shaking as a pick him up. I’m so fearful that I’ll find something broken or disjointed. Thankfully, I didn’t. Jeff was right behind me and he took Carter. We inspected every limb and the only injuries were a nasty carpet burn down the side of his face and a mark on his nose. I went through the rest of the night in a daze, so thankful for my precious son and his perfect, uninjured little body.