After naptime, Caleb was back to his normal self. We used his behavior as a teaching tool to discuss what is and is not appropriate for public settings (or in this case, any setting!) I also plan to revisit this time every time we are about to go out into public for a while until I trust him again. He will also not be watching any cartoons tomorrow.
Today was a Family Fun Day hosted by the United Way at a local elementary school. It was a beautiful day and Caleb and I didn't have plans, so I decided a couple of weeks ago that we would go. They advertised lots of learning stations, giveaways, inflatables, free food...sounds great, right? Well, it would have been...
Matt had a quiz rally today. No big deal. I'm used to being on my own. The thought of going here didn't scare me in the slightest. Except....
Caleb turned into something hideous. He was some kind of screaming monster that kicked and hit his mother incessantly. I seriously don't know what got into him. I was secretly considering putting him down, walking away, and then coming back asking, "Where is your mother, little boy?" (No, not really...but I was close!)
I can't even tell you where it all started. I guess it was when I made him get out of the inflatable because he tried to climb the wall 3 times instead of going around. Both the person running it and me had told him not to do it. 3 strikes, you're out my friend!
So he was already crying about that when the *gasp* dressed up characters (a fireman, one of the Hoggetts, etc.) walked his way. That sent him over the edge.
I took him into the bathroom to calm him down and give him a little discipline for his unreasonableness. That seemed to work, and I thought we were in the clear. Ha!
We went to a storytime, where he wouldn't participate, but he did listen quietly. After we left, I noticed a set of bathrooms and said that we should go ahead and go because he hadn't been in a while. Plus, my always-gotta-go-self had to go!
Well, that did it. That is all it took for him to lose it again. He kept trying to run out of the stall, flailed his arms and legs at me....so finally, I told him that if he wasn't going to go , then I really needed to! Well, he didn't like that either! He spent that whole time trying to push me off the seat and climb behind me.
Long story short, after much talking, soothing, whispering, spanking, warning...I left the bathroom, washed our hands, and carried him out of the building. No, I never carry him anymore. But this time I did, because there was no getting him to walk out of the door. It certainly wasn't my proudest moment as a parent, and even moreso because I knew half of the people that were working there and was totally embarrassed at my son's behavior and my inability to control him at that moment. So I did the only thing I could do: I left.
Do you know how hard it is to carry a kicking 3 year old? Not as hard as chasing said 3 year old when he tried to run back in the building after I put him down to open the car. And certainly not as hard as trying to buckle a flailing 3 year old who is trying his best to escape. That alone took about five minutes!
So yes, he screamed the whole way home, "TAKE ME BACK TO THE FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!" and it was miserable. I'm hoping a looooong nap is just what he needed.
If you couldn't already tell why I will never travel long distances without Matt, it's because of this fear: that I will be in this sort of situation with no "normalcy" to return to like I could today and no one to use as back up.
Don't get me wrong. Caleb is usually a wonderful, sweet boy who is very kind and loving. Just not today. Today he turned into something evil. This is just proof that man is inherently sinful.