I believe we have officially entered The Toddler Years. And some friends have assured me that the Terrible starts before 2. I would like to go on record as saying, “I agree.” Last night, Isabelle and I dropped my best friend Rachel, her husband Mark, and son, Abraham off at the airport (We’ll talk more about that visit tomorrow).
On the way there, Isabelle had been working on perfecting her scream. You know the one. It’s where she opens her mouth and there are two seconds of nothing before the extremely loud and high pitched sound exits her mouth. I think the first two seconds are at a decibel only dogs can hear.
After she fitfully fell asleep and the airport drop was completed, we went downtown to meet Conrad and get some dinner. We have one of those great entertainment books where you “buy one, get one free” at half of the restaurants in town. We used to go out to eat and share a meal, now we each get our own, spend the same amount of money, and now eat twice as much. Good times.
So, we choose a trendy little Scottish bar type restaurant in the Short North area. Our thought was people drinking beer are loud. So they won’t be so sensitive to a toddler’s babble? I mean, come on, people drinking martini’s are quiet, not beer. Right?
So, with our logic firmly in place, we woke Isabelle up and took her in. But, as soon as we put her in the highchair, she let out one of those (now famous) high pitched screams. The music stopped. The forks went down. The talking stopped. And everyone looked in our direction, rolled their eyes, and thought, “Great, there goes my nice dinner. Why do people take children like that out in public?”
Before I go on, I should admit. I have been one of those people. I have thought those thoughts. I have rolled my eyes and wondered the same thing. What goes around, truly does come around….
Now, I calmly pick up my back-arched-mad-about-God-only-knows-what child and head out side. Now I am standing on the street in the Short North, as people pass by me, thinking the same things. And I, modern American parent, am in a dilemma. I cannot spank my child, someone is likely to call children’s services and take her away from us! I cannot let her throw a fit, NO one wants that. I can’t even go to the car with her, because it’s around the corner in a dark alley, and the keys are back in the restaurant.
So I have a stern chat with her (which goes completely over her head), praying under my breath for some kind of wisdom beyond my years, and she slowly calms down. I take her back in, where we quickly finish our meal, and determine to stick to suburban kid friendly (a.k.a LOUD) restaurants or HOME until WE learn to control our child.
All in a days work for parenting, I suppose…