Today was the absolute worst day I have experienced in a while. I nearly didn't mentally make it through. I went to Ikea as they were having a sale on and I wanted to get a little desk set up that I can claim as my own and divert my blogging to my own special area instead of sitting on the couch and dodging climbing children. Usually I would have done this on one of the days one of my children is in daycare so I'm at least a little bit more handsfree but the sale was only on today so off I went.
Like magic, as soon as I arrived both of my kids started hollering. Even the Ikea trolley guy in the car park said "Oh you have a synchronised crying team!". I shoved toys, milk, food, all that I could think of etc their way but nothing worked for very long. As soon as one kid became quiet, the other would start up again. The worst was when they were both screaming - one trying to climb out of his pram, the other laying on the floor like a crazed starfish, kicking and thrashing around. It went on for what seemed like two hours. In reality I know it wasn't that long but it sure did feel like it and to know they were both carrying on for the silliest of reasons made it even more exhausting.
One wanted to be carried the whole time but at the current weight of 16kg that was not going to happen. The pram wasn't good enough. The trolley wasn't good enough.
The other decided she would get pissed off at everything. Her hot chips were too hot, she cried. She dropped a chip, she cried. I wouldn't let her eat a chip off the floor, she cried. I wouldn't let her climb the desks at Ikea, she cried. I wouldn't let her steal another child's balloon, she cried. I wouldn't buy her a second rocking horse, she cried. I wouldn't let her push the trolley, she cried. I finally let her push a kid's trolley while helping her navigate it, she cried at my helping hand. She nearly rammed it into a lady walking in front of us so I took it off her, she cried. I told her to take out the twelve photo frames she dumped into the trolley because I didn't need them, she cried. It did not stop. She has a speech delay and unlike most kids her age she simply just can't come out and say "I'm not happy with this, Mum. I needed those twelve photo frames for an important pre-school project!". Instead she makes up for her lack of verbal communication by crying.
As their mother I freely admit that they were both acting horribly. I tried my best to get out of there quickly while doing everything I could think of to calm them both down but nothing worked. I struggled so damn much today. It would have been obvious to anyone walking past me that I was stressed out of my mind, trying to control two screaming (at times wildly thrashing) children. A few people made sympathetic comments to me along the lines of "Oh poor you! I don't miss those days!" or smiled understandingly but there were the odd few people who acted like complete arseholes.
Shocking I know, but I don't need to be told my kids are uncontrollable at the moment. I'm the bloody one dealing with them as best as I can so I know better than you do! One woman gave me the bitchiest look as she took her older child by the hand and walked around us like we were an annoyance in her precious day. I felt like telling her off but I kept quiet. Surely as a mother she had days like mine where every now and then your toddler misbehaves and try as you might you can't stop it. Yes, it happened to be my turn at playing the game of struggling mother/screaming children today. Wasn't that you once, or were your children robotic specimens who had an off button when they got too noisy?
Another gave me a look of disgust. Same question again - didn't your kids have off days? One thing I noticed was that not a single man seemed to judge me. It was just women. Women, who in their minds have perfect children. Those type of women piss me off. Have a little understanding, compassion, sympathy... anything but negativity for the strangers you pass. You just may (and in this case did) make matters worse. Trust me when I say no one wants my kids to behave more than I do!
Even in the rare second where my daughter decided to be calm and collected I still got shot a shit look from a stranger. I've been teaching her dancing at home lately in order to get her ready for ballet when she hits five years of age, so when she heard some soft music playing she decided twirl on the spot. She twirled once. Seriously... once. All of 0.5 seconds. One tiny toddler pirouette in the walkway made one woman nearly lose her shit. She sighed, she huffed and she rolled her eyes. Really, lady? Really? My child turning as she walked made you come up with that dramatic response? I needed to get out of there - too many cranky people in one place.
Ikea being Ikea and therefore set up like a maze didn't help the situation. You have to travel around and around and around just to get out and even then you have to manouvre through the massive crowd of people politely as you can while your two children vocally invoke the apocalypse.
By the time I reached the carpet section I had had enough. I stopped to pick up a rug and instead decided to stand there facing the wall for a few seconds whilst having a discreet little cry to myself. It just got too much. I'm going through some family health stuff and to have a shit day on top of that got too much for me. The sheer embarrassment, frustration and stress of it all was more than I could handle.
Seeing people I know there wasn't comforting either. Instead of them walking over and saying "Hey! Salam! How are you?" to me and bending over to say hi to my kids and distract them for a second or two would have been great. If it was me, I would have. Instead they just stared for the longest time as if my kids and I were performing some dramatic show for their viewing pleasure. Reasons like this are why I don't feel part of an ummah anymore. People just don't care about others.
Finally leaving and arriving back at home was heaven. They both slept in the car (why couldn't they sleep in the damn shop?!) and as I drove home I had visions of sitting on a couch, piecing together my new Ikea furniture with a relaxing cup of tea by my side. Instead they both started up again as soon as I carried them into their beds.
I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to bed time tonight...
Have you had one of these days lately?