I don’t know what I’m doing.

I know I don’t have a “normal child,” but when does that ever stop surprising me? Or hurting? I love my child more than anything, but I get so excited to do things with him, and then they’re just a huge let down. We took him to the fireworks last night. It wasn’t terrible. He fell asleep in the car on the way there, and when we finally found parking, he cried his face off because he didn’t want to wake up. We finally got him out and into the stroller where he laid, eyes half open the whole walk. We walked around for about 30 minutes, got him some light up swords. It was promising. And then we sat down for the show. He watched the flashing lights, and then slowly started putting his face into my sweatshirt before finally saying “Mommy, I want to go home” five minutes into the show. We didn’t push it, we just got up and left, but I couldn’t help my disappointment. I know it’s not much, but a huge fit in the beginning and then leaving five minutes into the show just was not what I expected. It sucked.

Today I went to Walmart. My kid has been phenomenal all day long…until this trip to Walmart. I didn’t get a cart. My husband says this was the problem and blames the whole terrible trip on this small discrepancy of not getting a cart (he was not with us, this was after that he judged me). So, my kid starts off super sweet, but then quickly gets very excited and starts jumping around. Then he starts running…and running. He wouldn’t stop. He wouldn’t stay with me. I called for him, I slowed him down, got on his level, and explained to him why we don’t run in stores. He seemed to finally slow down, I went to get my food items and he followed, still running in different directions, just not as out of control.

We get to the ice cream aisle (my whole purpose for coming here), and he throws down his dinosaurs and the sunglasses I bought him (he seemed to be very bothered by the sun). A stranger we had passed a couple times walks into the aisle and makes a comment to him about his dinosaurs, and he just screams at her that they’re not dinosaurs, they’re “top” and “teddy” (their names). I noticed before she even walked into the aisle that he was shutting down. He was sitting there with his toys on the floor, just staring. I got down on his level and asked if he was scared (I’m really not sure what emotions he’s experiencing, I’m really just guessing).

So, we get out of that aisle, and into the main aisles to get to the cash register, which are heavy with traffic. Of course, he takes this opportunity to sit down and fold himself in half and just cry. He won’t move. Won’t talk to me. Won’t listen. My arms are full, people are staring, I am failing. Finally I lose it and I start tearing up, and the sweetest lady asks if I need a cart. I usually decline nice offers, because I’m embarrassed, but I think all shame was gone at this point, I was just ready to get the heck out of that place. So, as she’s getting the cart, Colin won’t move, people are still staring. One woman walks by and says “you’re doing a great job momma, keep it up.” I saw her later and thanked her. People stopped behind me and I hear them talking about an “asshole parent hashtag” I have no idea what that is, but it made me cry more.

Finally the lady came back with the cart, I thanked her profusely, and I booked it. Currently he is screaming for me from upstairs (it’s 11pm, he’s not sleeping, I want to cry again). I am just completely over this. I feel like a horrible mother, the things I’m thinking, the way I’m feeling. I just want to give up. I don’t even know what I’m doing and walking into traffic is quite appealing.

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