Running from the Law: Mom Versus The Pumpkin Patch

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mom Versus The Pumpkin Patch

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that on Saturday I had the chance to take over the account of my all-time favorite children's clothing brand, KicKee Pants! Talk about a huge honor and privilege! I love that KicKee is always looking for new ways to connect with their customers and show their adorable clothes on regular kids doing regular things. For our KicKee Day, I planned a trip to the pumpkin patch with Mac and Mim in the morning with the hope of getting some cute photos of them playing amid a sea of pumpkins and pretty fall leaves...
Well, of course, since I had big plans to take all these amazing photos, the kids were naturally less than cooperative. I should have known better than to get my hopes up or set my expectations high with two wild and strong-willed toddlers. Needless to say, things didn't exactly go as planned. I briefly talked about this on IG, but I'm going to jump right in and give you all the gory details here. It was definitely not my best parenting day and I want you all to know that despite how "pretty and perfect" photos can look, the real story may be quite different than the one you see on social media. Let's get real here, shall we?  
First off, it took us FOREVER get even get out of the house. I had their adorable KicKee Pants outfits laid out and ready to go, but it still took us almost 2 hours just to get in the car!  How is that even possible? The pumpkin patch is 20 minutes from our house and Mim despises car rides, so it was a solid 20-minute screamfest in the backseat while I silently seethed in the front seat and wondered why it was never easy for us to do anything. I'll admit that right then and there I could feel myself getting overly worked up about this outing and how hard the morning had already been. I probably should have just dropped all expectations right then and there and called it a day, but we trudged on.  
When we got to the pumpkin patch, it was bright, sunny and much warmer than we anticipated. As soon as we got out of the car Mac asked for his sunglasses, which I realized we forgot. He was very distraught about it and I was losing my patience. I feel like such a jerk for getting upset with him about this, especially since I know he always wants his sunglasses, but there I was getting all impatient and frustrated with him. Over the last year he has really developed a sensitivity to bright light, loud noises and scratchy clothes (hence, why we love KicKee so much).  I won't go so far as to say that he has "sensory issues" because he doesn't have them across the board (no issues with taste or smell or textures) and most of the time he gets over things quickly, but he's definitely extra sensitive when it comes to light and noise.  From what I've read this seems to be a normal thing for toddlers/preschoolers that they grow out of, but it has started concerning me.  Does anyone else have a kid that's sensitive to light/noise?  
Anyway, the pumpkin patch was packed! I mean, I knew it would be since it's mid-October, but it seemed like every kindergartner in the bi-state area was there on a field trip and it was loud and intense. Mac immediately had a hard time with all the noise and the chaos, leading to multiple meltdowns from him over nothing and more frustration on my part. He didn't want to play on the hay bales, he didn't want to go down the slide, he didn't want to go in the mazes or on a tractor ride or on the swings.  He just walked around whining about how bright it was. And that's about the time when I reached max impatience mode.  I didn't yell or scream or throw a fit, but I was angry and disappointed and frustrated with him, with the day, with myself.  I just wanted the kids to have fun! Why couldn't they just have fun?!  HAVE FUN, DAMMIT. I could hear the anger in my voice and the lack of patience in my tone and yet I didn't check my attitude.  No wonder they couldn't relax and have fun when mom was being such an uptight crank.  Ugh. 
We made the best of it and it got better.  Some of the school kids left and the intensity of the place died down.  Mac finally calmed down a bit after going through the corn maze a dozen times and into the hay bale tunnels with a flashlight, which he loved.  Maybe because it was dark and quiet in there? I don't know. He finally started running around, climbing, playing, laughing and we all relaxed a little.  The kids rode on the mini tractors, Mim loved the slide, Mac was brave enough to try the zipline!  (even though it ended with tears)  I got some really cute photos of the kids and we left the pumpkin patch on a good note, excited to hit Chick-Fil-A on the way home.  
But I can't quite shake that guilty feeling that I should have done better...been better. I know I'm being a bit hard on myself, but I'm disappointed in the way I handled everything and honestly, I'm embarrassed. This isn't the first time this has happened and I'm sure it won't be the last.  I've bit a bit more high-strung than normal lately and I'm trying to figure out what's going on.  Maybe it's just a "phase," like everything else?  Looking back now, days later, while we're no longer in the heat of the moment and all the photos look like we're having fun, it's hard to remember exactly why I was so frustrated and angry. And maybe that's the beauty of photos and reliving your memories in highlights. Ten years from now I probably won't remember how hard this time in our life was, how infuriating it was and how exhausted I was.  I'll look back on these memories with so much love and affection and nostalgia.  I will miss this. I know it because I'm already missing this and wish we had a do over.  
So for now, I just need to remind myself to chill out a bit.  Calm down.  Check your expectations at the door.  Go with the flow.  Relax.  Hang loose.  Settle down.  Take it easy.  

And remember the damn sunglasses...

27 comments:

  1. I get mad at myself every single night at bedtime. All Nicklas wants to do is cuddle and love and I just want to go to freakin sleep. The struggle is real. I feel your pain mama!

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  2. Take it easy, Momma. Your pictures (and entire take over) were AMAZING!! I was so proud that I "know" you! Haha!! We're always hardest on ourselves? Why??? Adorable pictures. Adorable kiddos. I cannot wait for Louise to walk so I can throw a tutu over everything!! : )

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  3. I so understand this. This has been me for the last couple weeks. With all the normal busyness of having two kids and working, I also had to worry about finishing Halloween costumes and throwing a third birthday party. Um, hello to a very full plate! Maybe you are just overwhelmed too? Which is totally understandable.
    On another note, I think it is totally normal for toddlers to have sensory issues...I know Carter has issues with noise too. Especially public bathrooms! The flushing drives him crazy and when it is automatic, there isn't a lot I can do about it. It has to be something they will outgrow soon though, right?!? :)
    And Mim's little outfit is just adorable...I can't even handle how cute she is riding that tractor! She is growing up too fast.

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  4. Growing up I had light/sound sensitivity and got migraines at an early age (8 years old) I would keep track of his complaints just to be on the safe side. I swear getting out of the house takes longer than humanely possible, you are not alone!!! Despite the hectic day, you sure did capture some lovely photos; and in a few years, those are what remain, not the frustration. Amen!

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  5. Aww, they look cute even if they weren't happy! I think we all have days like this. Where we just want things to go smoothly and every little whine grates on our nerves.

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  6. I hear you loud and clear. This time is stressful. You have Mim in full on daredevil mode (if she's like KC constant supervision is necessary) and another child who by nature is demanding (as al kids are). I have more moments than I'd like to admit such as you had and wonder why I still want another baby when I can't handle what I have. But one things that's worked recently is just singing or playing music when I get worked up. The kids were driving me nuts last week so one day I sang "I have joy joy joy joy down in my heart" and suddenly the boys were singing it too and we all relaxed. Taylor Swift saved us another day with dancing while cleaning up the kitchen.
    About the sensitivity - is Mac an introvert? I was reading a book about "spirited children" that started by talking about introverts and extroverts. Teague is an introvert and they have sensitivity to tags, noise, etc. It helped me understand him so much more - comfy pants at all times ;). Anyway - just a note.
    Sorry the morning wasn't what you wanted but you have great pictures and adorable babies :)

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  7. I so, so get this. I have been there many times myself over the years. I want so badly for a day to be perfect and when the first thing goes wrong I freak out a bit. I think it's totally a normal mom thing. Mim's outfit is adorable and I love that color on her. Chick-fil-a is the perfect ending to any activity. :) And you got some very adorable pictures.

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  8. Oh girl I 100% understand! I felt this way during Cam's field trip. Why was my kid misbehaving for me? For the teachers? Nope! Just for me! I have lots of mom fail days because I just don't have the patience and then I feel guilty all evening and night. Ugh! I just keep telling myself all of the great days we have. :)

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  9. Oh I understand! And we all have off days! That's what I remind myself when noah acts unusual for him. Children are allowed to have off days just like adults can. And I try to think how I'd feel if people were harder on me when I was simply having an off day. Sometimes it helps me be more understanding and patient with noah, and sometimes it doesn't. The fact that you aren't happy with your attitude is proof you are a fantastic mom! Sometimes I have to tell myself a picture isn't worth a fight or me getting in a bad attitude. I've done it countless times and each time get annoyed at myself for letting it happen!

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  10. I completely understand your feelings! We have days like this more than I'd like to admit and I always feel guilty afterwards. And yes, Wyatt also has sensitivity to sounds. Super sensitive. If I even mention that something might be loud he covers his ears and gets nervous. He has an obsession with watching the train but we have to catch the middle/end because he doesn't want to hear the whistle. He also gets overwhelmed when there are lots of people. I always get so nervous when there is a large event (even family events) because he can get super whiny/clingy.

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  11. Been there. Many times. I find myself pushing the family to do too much. No one except me cares about going to pick apples, or crossing things off a fall bucket list. But I still get mad when MY activities don't go as planned. It's the whole expectation versus reality thing.

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  12. It's so tough when things don't go as planned, or are as grand as we want them to be. I always have a real rough time adjusting to things not living up to the ideas in my head. Love your honesty Sara! At least you still managed many adorable pictures!

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  13. happy stuff: I love mims outfit and her little curls! Mac looks like he's having a blast in most of your photos so they probably did have fun!
    real stuff: Callie has been sensitive to noises for awhile but is getting over it. but still clams up in large loud groups. like we were at a party Saturday - about 30 kids and she almost cried when they cheered for her for the piƱata. So I think it's normal preschooler stuff.
    as for the stress - I have one kid and it also takes us FOREVER to leave the house and it's always full of battles! always. like I'm
    at wits end with age 3. anyway I feel you and your high strung bc I'm there too.

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  14. I've been meaning to respond to your text for days now, geez. Grace, girl. Both your kids are at impossible ages. The whining is enough to send someone to the madhouse. And you just cannot get anything done with a whining baby who MUST BE in your arms for hours, which sets you back and keeps the crappy cycle of stress going. And, this is a sad time of year for you, isn't it?

    I get antsy/anxious/off-kilter when the weather gets cold; I always have a seasonal dip. But, mostly, when I have too many balls in the air and not enough time to address them all. You are not, and should not be expected to be, a well of infinite resources. Nor are you alone in losing your cool with your kids. Seriously, every parent has been there.

    Re: the sensory issues. Are you in Parents as Teachers? If not, you totally should be because they are perfect for addressing that. Otherwise, just call your pediatrician. Dr. Google is yet another thing that'll drive you nuts. Let your pedi tell you when you should be worried, and if they say don't worry, don't worry.

    But mostly, I hear you. <3 <3 <3

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  15. Oh girl, we ALL have these moments. It's all about owning them & remembering that we get a do-over the next day! Isn't that the best?! You are doing a great job, don't ever forget that! Xo

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  16. The pictures definitely don't jive with your feelings at the time they were taken, I definitely agree that all I see are happy faces and kids having fun. Would have never known the battle you had, except I totally believe it because I am right there most days. I know my girls are really good kids, but sometimes the smallest things really just get under my skin and make me want a time out. Cheers to having another day for a do-over :)

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  17. GIIIIIIIRL. Once a week I swear I have these days. Just hard days for no reason except that they just don't go right. Plus adding pressure to get perfect pictures pushes me OVER THE EDGE. I swear I see my husband tense up when I say "I want to get a few pictures!". I've gotten a little better and more relaxed with two (which you've probably noticed. No one is every looking at the camera or cooperating EVER). But just know this. You're the most amazing mom EVER. And you're allowed to have random bad days. Also. Your pictures ROCKED from the kickee day! I love all of them!! You'd never ever know things went wrong. Which is the beauty of a photograph vs a video ;) hugs and vodka solve all ;)

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  18. Oh girl, I've totally been there. I have these grand ideas of how I want the day to go or how I want the pictures to look and then Mason is in a mood and refuses to do anything I want or envision. Honestly without you saying so, you guys all look like you're having an amazing time at the pumpkin patch and you'd never know anything was wrong. Thank you for being so real and so relatable. Grab a drink and some ice cream and remember tomorrow is a new day :) Oh and also, you're KicKee take over ROCKED.

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  19. Oh my gosh, Sara, it looks like a good time was had but oh goodness. Eeek! You totally deserve a drinky poo or two after that.

    By the way, I love the lil ants on the back of Mac's shirt. So cute. :)

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  20. First, your pictures are so amazing.
    Second, it was so fun to follow your adventure that day.
    Third, I feel as if you've stolen the words from my mouth - on more than one occasion. I've noticed I often place far too high of an expectation on my three year old. I want picture perfect, he just wants fun. He could give two shits about a picture perfect picture. And I'm slowly coming to terms with that.
    Good thing we have tomorrows - those give us a chance for parenting re-dos.

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  21. Go easy on yourself! Number one: YOU'RE A GREAT MOM. Now say it again. YOU'RE A GREAT MOM.

    Everyone has hard days. Everyone loses patience and gets frustrated. I don't know a single mom who doesn't lose it sometimes. We're all doing our best. I'm glad it got better toward the end, but what happened is totally okay. It happens to everyone.

    But maybe buy a few extra pairs of sunglasses. ;)

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  22. I've felt like I have a short fuse lately too. I get upset over the stupidest things and afterward I realize it wasn't even worth it or I find myself asking why I was even upset in the first place?!

    The pictures to look great, so you hid it well ;) Know you aren't alone!

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  23. I'm glad the outing got a little better as time went on. Sometimes going out doesn't turn out exactly how you wanted and while it's frustrating, the pictures you got are beautiful and I'm sure the kids will remember it fondly regardless!

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  24. Thank you for your honesty about the real behind the scenes story. I totally relate to you getting frustrated by your kids and yourself. Parenting is definitely not all sunshine and butterflies. Or leaves and pumpkins, at this time of year. Some days I'm patting myself on the back for keeping my cool when Ez has a public, super dramatic meltdown, other days my patience is depleted before lunch and I have no idea how to replenish it. Am I supposed to do yoga or meditate or something? I really have no idea. I think years from now, both kids and parents will remember the good stuff more than the bad. Probably even weeks from now. And if not, at least you've got lots of cute pictures for your walls ;)

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  25. Despite the complete madness you had - you did get some pretty cute pictures!!! So there is always that :) Even if they are not perfect!! Glad to know that someone else with the same age kiddos struggles with the simplest things (i.e. getting out of the house!). I swear ---- THREE is going to kill me!

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  26. I love you for writing this. Seriously. I've always struggled with real life not meeting my perfect expectations--especially when it comes to activities with the kids. I literally have to give myself a pep talk wherever we're going and just tell myself to relax and enjoy it. The days that I have the lowest expectations are always the best ones. I'm just glad to know I'm not alone in this :) On another note...Mim's outift!!!!!!! L-O-V-E!!!!

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  27. Oh, these are tough days. I'm glad you have adorable pictures to look back on. Like all the mommas have said, you aren't alone. I definitely always have HIGH expectations when I have something planned or want a particular shot/experience, etc. It's probably a personality thing clashing with the unexpected-ness of kids/toddlers. Thankfully the mom brain has a way of pushing those not so great memories out and making the most room for the sweet, wonderful ones. Thanks for sharing. :) xo

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