Okay, so the title sums up our Old Navy experience the other day. I was so excited to take our dear O shopping for some new clothes. Since he is obsessed with wearing all the same color (red shorts + red shirts, blue shorts + blue shirts, etc…). We have to keep this in mind when shopping. We can’t just shop. We have to shop for ‘outfits’. I learned with Julian that when you involve them in the shopping experience that they tend to wear the items far more than if you just buy them and stick them in their closets. So, off to Old Navy in Alderwood. Yet another place that we are barred from. Yikes, this list is growing! So we walk in the store and he just totally freaks out. The whole kicking, screaming, crying, laying on the floor, full on tantrum. I used every tool in my parenting tool box to try and divert him to shopping for his clothes with me. To no avail. He then came over and I thought that he might be opening up to the idea, but no, he came over to punch me in the stomach. Another fine parenting moment! Of course, there were a multitude of over-knowledged parents around with their very well behaved children in their shopping cart who weren’t making a single peep (FYI…who ARE you?! I have had 3 kids and none of them are like that, at all. What am I doing wrong?!! Maybe I need to do a work study at your house for a day to learn some lessons!) What I didn’t appreciate from the surrounding parent group was ‘the look’. The look that said, ‘Good grief woman, what are you doing to your kid to get him to behave like THAT?! You SUCK as a parent!’ Of course, the amount of frustration that I was enduring during that 10 minute stretch most likely amounted in a look that said, ‘yeah…come on…just make THAT comment, lady! Bring it on!’ What kind of crazy person have I become that I exude such emotions! I wonder about this myself, so don’t worry, I’ve got it covered in the worry category. After about 10 minutes of pure parenting bliss, I managed to coax him to come with me after I noticed a bubble gum like looking machine that sold bouncy balls for 25 cents. Sweet!! That’s a small price to pay for a little peace and a chance at some compliance. Unfortunately it only stuck for a couple of minutes. But, at least I could get him to the back of the store and wasn’t in fear of him running into the parking lot or knocking down the mannequin display (like we did at The University Bookstore last week…oops). I was on a quick search for outfits. Just shove them in the blue oversized Old Navy shopping bag. Yellow is the color of choice right now and I found a long sleeved yellow shirt, but no pants. Darn! I got a green outfit, jeans in two different shades and styles, a blue outfit, and a yellow shirt. Seriously though, what company would make yellow pants. I can’t imagine that they’d be a big seller except perhaps for the OCD/ASD crowd that we are now apparent a distinct part of. And, I’m kinda freaking out about what an outfit that included wearing jeans might be in terms of matching it with a shirt. What color? What texture? Gosh, should I start looking for matching denim shirts? Where would I buy those?
We came home after a little more ado to get ready for the bus to pick O up and take him to his afternoon pre-k program at View Ridge Elementary. After a lot of bribing and dealings, he was outside, waiting for the yellow bus with me. After the 30 minute wait, he was done. Took off his boots, coat, backpack. He was yelling that he didn’t want t0 go to school and that he hated school. I thought about trying to get him into the car and taking him to school. I thought of the physical and emotional toll on both of us, first to get into the car, and second to get from the car to the classroom. I decided that I couldn’t do it. It was too much. Ever since Saturday, the emotions have overrun me. It’s good though because I had been wondering when the flood gate was going to open. If you see me walking down the street crying, just ignore me. It’s where I’m at right now and I can’t help it. I could try and fight it, but can’t seem to want to because it’s me grieving. I need to do this.
I chewed out the SPS transportation guy on the phone. I feel bad. How could he have known that O is O and couldn’t deal with 30 minute wait for the bus that never came. I should call and apologize. Maybe I’ll make him a homemade card with glitter, cutouts and embossed stamps to say that I’m sorry. Is it okay if I just think this thought of an apology and call it good? Please. When I got off the phone I was so mad. I wasn’t mad AT O, I was just mad that I couldn’t make it happen or just plain that it didn’t happen. About 10 minutes later, O said, ‘I’m so sorry, Mom’. I know that he truly is sorry so I know that he has remorse but at that very second I couldn’t receive the apology. I was done, too. I didn’t say anything. I had to go to a volunteer training at Julian’s school. GAWD, that was so not the brain space that I was in at the moment. It was painful. I got there, tried to adjust, but just couldn’t. A lady sitting in front of me was going on and on about how she just can’t get over how now that she is working out so much that she has to get an entire new wardrobe. The look on my face at that moment probably said, ‘Uh…seriously?!’ OMG!! But, then as my mind went down that path, I caught myself and reminded myself of our family virtue of the week…Compassion. Yes, I so don’t appreciate it when people judge me, so how could I judge her? Who am I to judge anyone for that matter? Who knows what her reality is? I do know that the grass is always greener. Her reality could be so horrible that she has focus on superficial matters like the terror of replacing her wardrobe due to her huge jump from a size 0 to a size 2 wardrobe. I’m being sarcastic and rude, but really, who knows what her reality is. I certainly don’t. I’m learning in our week of focus on Compassion that it is also important to be compassionate with yourself. Sometimes the constant self-criticism results in being in a place that lacks a significant amount of compassion. Self-compassion. Just created a new word!
After all of this talk of the difficult Monday that was, Tuesday was okay. O managed to go to school. Granted I had to accompany him on the bus, hand him off screaming to his teacher. But, he came home on the bus and was really proud of how he took the bus home. He was proud that he rode the yellow school bus with the bus driver named Sandy. He carried on a beautiful conversation about it. Told everyone he interacted with. So proud and so darned sweet. Love that little guy!
Then on Wednesday, I had a blissful O moment when I went to take his lunch to school that he had forgotten. I didn’t know how he would receive me because it wasn’t in the exact spelled out schedule of the day. But, when that little guy saw me his entire face lit up and he shouted so happily, ‘Mom! You brought me my lunch! That is so nice of you!’ He gave me a huge hug and I was speechless. My beautiful little O. I need to remember that exact look on his sweet face when I am contending with the O that I don’t yet understand…the one that falls apart in Old Navy for no reason. The O that throws an Elmo toy at the TV and shatters it for no predictable reason. Remind me of that sweet face in those more difficult moment, please.