It's All Fun And Games Until It's Your Kid Riding The Flamingo

"I promise, one day you will laugh about this..." Those are the famous words every parent will hear at least once during their journey through parenting. And nine times out of ten, it's true. Even if at the time it seems impossible. Such is the case with one of my best friends, when yesterday while she and her husband were shopping for patio furniture, her two year old attempted to mount and ride a metal Flamingo landscape ornament in the middle of a major hardware store.  FULL of people.

Toddler to dad when being removed physically from the store: Why Leaving?
Dad to Toddler: Because son, the party ended when you tried to ride the Flamingo.

Mom and Dad: Not happy! 
Everyone else in the world: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

So. Funny! To me and you only of course. She doesn't see the humor... yet...

While my friend recounted the horrific day of shopping with her husband and two boys, I could not help but laugh hysterically. And truth be told, part of me was laughing because I was relieved it was her telling the story and not me. It easily could have been me telling this tale of out of control children. What with having Thing1 (FTD) and Thing2 (Ollie) to contend with on shopping trips. Some of you may remember the time FTD decided while in the bathroom fixture section of the hardware store, it was a perfect time to teach Ollie how to use the potty, and wash his hands...

Yeah, see how fast the tables turn?

Of course, in between fits of laughter, I was full of encouraging comments for my friend. You know things like, Oh it wasn't that bad... Who cares what those douche canoes giving you the stink eye think...  You know how toddlers are... This too shall pass... I was the mother's food bank serving up spoonfuls of of great mother advice. (Read: Spoonfuls of Hypocrite because it's advice I rarely follow.)

Every time my kid acts like that I am equally, if not more, annoyed, embarrassed and crazed. Do I follow my advice?  Hell, no.  But here is the thing, I really meant what I was saying, who cares about those people, toddlers are a special breed, this is just a phase it will pass. You don't see grown men climbing on things... (disregard above photo of FTD for sake of conversation.)

That's what got me thinking; The next time Ollie tries to climb on a yard ornament (because I have no doubt if presented with the opportunity he would try to pole vault onto it using a stick he found in aisle 5) or just business as usual, lose his toddler mind in the public, What if I stepped back and tried to look at the situation as an outsider? Ask myself, Is what's going on really as bad as I think? 

What if I stopped freaking out so much when Ollie refuses to listen or behaves like a child possessed by a-holes, and just kind of accepted it as part of parenting. I just deal with it and move on, without letting it ruin any more of my day than necessary. You know, take on the school of thought I try to push on my friends.  If I can say, This Too Shall Pass to every one, why can't I believe it applies to me too? Why can't I laugh at my own kid too?

Of course when my kid goes batass crazy I will reprimand him, and do all of the appropriate 'parenting' things. But if I could just find a way to relax and and not get so worked up when my toddler is exceptionally embarrassing or naughty, then maybe I will have tapped into the true secret behind good parenting. A.k.a. Surviving parenting a toddler with my sanity and smile.

I have to try something, because from what I hear the toddler twos and threes are much worse than just screaming and mounting metal flamingos in the hardware store. So, from now on when Ollie screams in my face, or runs away I am going to try to not get so crazed and discouraged by his behavior, but think of it as a phase that WILL pass, and maybe even will eventually look back and laugh at.  Even if it is a psycho ward certifiable laugh.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit