I have taken my little man to the North Liberty Indoor Playground probably a dozen times. I totally recommend taking your little ones there to wear them out! The enclosed space is super nice and no worries about your toddler trying to escape to find the trains or bears like at another local indoor play area. Plus, it is easier to chat with other parents while supervising the kiddos playing.
We have always had so much fun there…except for the day we didn’t.
It was a busy day at the playground. I dislike busy days. I would normally go earlier to avoid the crowd, but it was a midmorning decision that we needed to get out of the house.
When we got to the playground, there was another toddler sitting on my little man’s favorite climbing structure, the frog. I tried to encourage him to play on the truck, the slide or run around with a friend who happened to be there too.
However, he had his mind set on one thing…the frog. It’s like that frog was a magnet and he was being pulled to it. I kept telling him to wait his turn and share the frog with the other kids.
I began to wonder, “how long this other child would keep sitting there? How long was mine going to have to wait his turn?” The other child was perfectly content taking up all the space on the back of the frog. I was getting frustrated.
At the same time, I felt I had to save this other child from what I could see coming next. The probability was high that mine would push or climb right on top and someone would fall off.
When my kiddo did indeed start to climb right up where the other child sat, I pulled him off. When he started to scream and kick, I quickly decided we had to go and carried him out the door.
I was thinking to myself, “I just can’t do this today. It is too busy and I’ve been struggling with my child the whole time” (which was maybe only 15 minutes…but seemed like forever).
We sat down on the floor to bundle up. While he continued to scream, I struggled to put on his boots. He was kicking his legs, literally making it impossible to get them on.
I was sweating.
A sweet mom, who was bundling her well-behaved child, asked if there was anything she could do to help. She reassured me that all kids do this. Then she kindly pointed out that I’m going to have another one (32 weeks pregnant then).
I say to her, “Some days I just don’t know.” Then my eyes filled with tears.
I picked up my 2 ½ year old, who was finally in all his winter gear and hid my face against the side of his. He screamed and I cried all the way to the car.
He cried, “I want to play,” over and over. I said, “I know you do buddy, we will play here another day. It just didn’t work out today.”
For the rest of the day, I thought about our meltdown. Some days I just don’t know… What was the rest of that statement?
How am I going to do this with two?
I imagined this episode with a baby carrier in my arms and wonder if I will ever leave the house again once baby #2 is here.
On this particular day, I was having one of those mommy moments when I felt like I did not know what to do with my child or if I was doing the right thing. Plus, I am pregnant and totally hormonal!
I felt like I did a bad job in my attempts to redirect his attention so that he could have had a fun playtime. And a meltdown in public is something I like to avoid.
But I am learning. I have never been a parent to a 2 ½ year old before. Just like I had to learn how to take care of him as a newborn and a 1 year old. This mommy is learning each stage as we go along.
With baby #2 on the way soon, I am starting to freak-out a little about handling toddler tantrums along with newborn cries.
As a parent, I should be strong, but I will admit this is probably not the last day I will be crying with my babies.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who has left playtime crying along with her child! Am I??
Mommies, please share your advice on what you would do in this situation so that I can learn to handle it better next time!