Earlier this week, this sweet-looking munchkin and I took a little jaunt downtown to buy some gifts at Anthropologie. We found a parking spot on the street about 2 blocks from The Gateway, bundled ourselves against the nippy wind, and walked at a toddler pace to our destination. The little guy had just been to his Kindermusik class, which he loves, and was in a good mood until the minute we walked into the store. As we stepped inside, he exclaimed, "I don't like this store!" and tried to turn and run back outside. What is it about Anthropologie that made him uncomfortable? The pleasantly rustic atmosphere? The vivid colors? The steep prices on the unique pieces of clothing I lust after but can't afford? Whatever it was, he was unhappy.
As I was wearing a heavy coat, carrying my large diaper bag, and sporting a giant frontal protrusion with a heavy living creature inside, I let him walk. I kept a close eye on him while he picked up the candles to smell them, and I held him at a safe distance from the more breakable objects in the store. After only about 3 minutes of trying to browse, it became clear that I really didn't have much time to deliberate. He didn't want to be held, or even hold my hand, and there are way too many fragile items all over the store for me to let him run loose. So I quickly decided on the 3 items I wanted to buy. And that's when the meltdown happened.
"I'm hungry!" he shouted.
"Okay buddy, I have some raisins for you."
I sat him down on a nice, plush bench and gave him his raisins, thinking I could leave him to enjoy his tasty treats while I paid for my items. As he stuffed the little morsels into his mouth, he stared whining, "Help me!" I wasn't sure what he needed help with, so I reached for the tupperware of raisins, thinking maybe there was a large cluster that he would like me to separate for him. Because we all know how traumatizing a cluster of raisins is. There's really no reason to live if there is a cluster of raisins in one's tupperware. As I reached for the container, he pulled away, shaking the raisins. I grabbed his hand so as not to allow a sticky shower of wrinkly bits to descend on the beautiful pillows nearby. And then, of course, he lost it. He wanted help with something, but I had no clue what. I don't think he even knew. He just knew that he was incredibly upset with the combination of me, Anthropologie, and the raisins, and that he was going to make sure everyone within earshot knew of his distress.
Snot and tears covered his face and half-masticated raisins threatened to dribble out of his mouth. His body convulsed in a disturbing way. I wiped his face, put the raisins away, and took my purchases up to the register. The nice lady behind the counter tried to comfort him and converse with me about the blessing in my belly while he was screaming and kicking and draining the last ounces of my maternal patience. Seriously lady, just ring me up and let me escape.
We finally made it out of there, my kicking, crying punk and I. I had planned on treating both of us to a lovely lunch, but had to forego that plan in favor of getting us home immediately. So I carried the diaper bag, the two Anthropologie bags, a writhing, puffy coat-wearing punk, and a very large tummy that happens to be attached to me the two excruciating blocks to the car.
And that is why I haven't been able to stand upright for two days. My back is rebelling against the toddler's tantrum. I've applied heat, I've taken a bubble bath, I've tried Tylenol, I've applied ice... I even made my brother massage my lower back when he visited today. And still, my hips are crooked when I try to stand straight. I look like a 90 year-old when trying to get out of a chair. Actually, my 96 year-old great-grandma could run circles around me right now. I am now going to grab the ice packs yet again, and while I'm at it, I'll grab a bowl of Girl Scout thin mint ice cream, and lie on the couch until the punk wakes up from his nap.