I owe several moms an apology.I'm sorry to all those moms who I've watched drag their toddlers out of the store kicking and screaming. And I must apologize to the parent who has let their child cry it out in a busy restaurant.
I'm so So SO sorry.
I'm sorry for judging you and thinking I could handle the situation a whole lot better.
I'm sorry for being annoyed by you for not taking your kid home so that I could enjoy my meal.
I'm sorry for not allowing you to get in line first although I was kid-free with a few items and you had your cart and hands full with a crying toddler and whiny tween.
Because now I understand that it's not that your child was a brat, or being raised improperly ('cause really who is anyone to judge others parenting ways), or was spoiled.
Now I get that kids are driven by crazy-wild emotions that surge through their tiny bodies and explode in rages over the smallest things, or pour out through cries, tears or talking back.
It wasn't your fault they were upset. Most likely it was because it was too hot, they didn't want to wear pants, someone looked at them wrong, the sky was blue!
With two under the age of two, I see that as much as I try to reign in my toddler's emotions sometimes I just can't. They are little people with big feelings that they are still learning how to control. Sometimes they can and sometimes they can't.
Now I understand that sometimes the only way to eat in a restaurant after failing to settle them down or divert their attention is to ignore some rude behaviors because if you give in to every cry it feels as if you are taking 10 steps back. So you stay and eat all the while praying and hoping that this too shall pass and your wonderful, sweet baby girl will reappear.
Now I say let others stare and throw shade your way because, really, who cares. They don't know that this is your first meal of the day or just how trying your morning has been. They don't remember what is was like to have a toddler -- they repressed those not-so-fun moments.
I'm sorry for thinking "poor kid" after hearing a mom raise her voice in the toy aisle at Target.
Um, no. Now it's more like "poor mom."
I understand how difficult practicing patience can be as you constantly talk to yourself to handle the situation calmly and really listen before setting down ground rules, offering an ultimatum or losing your shit.
But I can tell you what I'm not sorry for: constantly apologizing for a toddler's behavior. So to that mom who gave me the side eye in the food line at Legoland this past weekend when I scolded my daughter -- in public -- with threats that not only would she not have a juice box, but would not be watching Smurfs because she refused to stop running through my legs as I juggled holding the infant, paying for food and keeping her close by, please remember we all have those days when we are at our wits end.
And, no, I won't apologize for making your wait in line that much more miserable because my little girl has yet to master patience.
So to all those mamas out there in the midst of all this crazy toddler Jekyll and Hyde behavior -- I'm on your side! And for those who have been there and made it through -- kudos for getting out of it with grace and plenty of stories to hold over their heads for the rest of their lives!