The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Kicks, Screams and Tantrums; Just Another Day For Mom

Picture this: a screaming, kicking two-year old wearing only diapers in thirty-five degree weather. Her frazzled, seven-month pregnant mother is holding her with one arm and with her other arm struggling to push the stroller filled with a diaper bag, shopping bags, and discarded clothes, and coats.

This was me last week as I left the once peaceful Goodnight Moon children’s store in the Town Center in Corte Madera. The fit happened over trying on clothes and I was unable to get her back in her original attire, so I had to take her out in only a diaper.

Upon exiting, I remember seeing an older man cringe irritatingly and put his hands to his ears as the cacophony of screaming child competed with the classical music. Shortly after, on that interminable walk to the car, a woman with whom I take an exercise class spotted me. She said, “You look great.”

I remember thinking: did she really just say that, under these circumstances? I contemplated handing her my stroller, or better yet my flailing child. At this point, just getting to my car was my main focus. With aching arms, I tried to put Samantha in the stroller, but just as I started to walk, she arched her back, dragging her little toes on the ground. I picked her up again, feeling incredibly guilty about her scraped toe. This was starting to get painful, and at the time I thought that I must be the only mother in the world who had ever experienced such a scene.

It was a tantrum to compete with all others, one that could go down in the Guinness Book of World Records under two-year old fits.

As I sat in the car crying with Samantha and feeling the kicks of the baby against my ribs, my first inclination was to blame myself for being a terrible mother. Maybe I hadn’t been strict enough. Maybe I’ve bought her too many things or have tried too hard to please her. Perhaps I wasn’t sensitive enough to her mood or to the fact that she gets overwhelmed by too many choices. The next train of thought was to wonder why my daughter exploded in such an uncontrollable manner and how I could have prevented it. I wondered if I should look into a parenting class since clearly I was failing miserably.

I’ve told this story to other mothers, all of whom identified with similar experiences of their own. One mother even had a scar on her face from where her daughter scratched her when she was throwing a tantrum. When I find the time to share with other mothers, I am always surprised by how much we have in common and how really similar our children are. It doesn’t help that I spend a great deal of time alone with my daughter, totally absorbed in my own world, and therefore have few means of comparison. Slowly I began to realize that Samantha’s fit was rather commonplace, even if humiliating and exhausting.

I have recovered somewhat from the horrible episode at Good Night Moon, but even so it will be a while before I take my daughter clothes shopping again. And as for those parenting classes, I have one marked on my calendar to attend entitled “Controlling Toddler Tantrums.” I better sign up soon, as this promises to be a popular class.

By Rebecca Elegant

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