Let me begin this blog by stating that there are far more pivotal and tragic things happening in the world today than me experiencing my first public twin meltdown. Perhaps I can offer this blog as a way to brighten at least one readers’ day and lighten the understandably somber mood.
I should’ve seen the meltdown coming, it was past their lunchtime, definitely encroaching on nap time and they had had enough.
Rewind to the day we went to get our passport photos:
We are members at CAA so it made sense to go there for a discounted rate on our photos. When we arrived, I was told the unfortunate news that they don’t take toddler pictures there and that we would have to go to a portrait studio instead.
Sigh. Best laid plans as they say.
So, while the girls coloured, I quickly got my new passport photo taken and paid for, then I packed them up once again into the car and we made our way over to the Walmart portrait studio.
It took no time to get the girls onto the stool but for those of you who have tried to get your toddler (or in my case toddlers) to sit still, look straight, not tilt their heads, not smile and not pout, let’s just say it was definitely past lunchtime by the time we got the perfect picture.
Thankfully (or so I thought) there was a McDonald’s in the store and I decided to surprise the girls with their very first McHappy Meal; their favourite – chicken nuggets and french fries, what could go wrong?
As it turns out… everything!
From spilling their milk containers to throwing fries to crying over ketchup everything went from bad to worse in a matter of minutes.
I don’t even know what set them off. I was able to calm them down and then the next minute it was something else setting them off.
It got to the point (and it has never gotten to this point before) where their tempers were affecting those around us.
I don’t care what others think of me and my parenting skills but when the behaviour of my children affects those around us negatively that’s where I draw the line. It was time to go.
I quickly dumped the remainder of our lunches in a McDonalds bag and tried to get the h#*l out of there as fast as possible…the girls had other plans.
While Zoey wasn’t protesting or crying anymore she was dawdling. Dawdling at a time where I was trying to make our way to the shopping carts so that I could more easily get them out to the car. Ella at this point was screaming “NO!” so loudly that the veins on her neck looked more like those of the incredible hulk.
By the time I got Zoey and what was left of our lunch into the cart Ella had taken off her boots, socks and jacket. I swiftly picked her up, carried her out of the store while pushing the cart and its contents all the while with her screaming in my ear.
I have no idea what was going on around me other than what was right in front of me; my daughters. I’m sure I received stares of disgust as well as stares of compassion but I can honestly say I didn’t focus enough on them to care.
We got to the car after what felt like a lifetime, and I have no shame in admitting that I put the girls in their carseats while I sat in the front seat and ate my fries. Zoey was back to her normal self by this point so she happily and calmly sat in her seat and ate the rest of her lunch. Ella needed a bit more time.
Once she calmed down enough to be done up in her carseat we finally made our way home for a much needed nap…for all parties involved.
I can honestly say that the outing has made me nervous to go out again, but I haven’t let it stop me; now I just ensure that I don’t push them too far beyond their usual lunch and nap time routines. I’ve learned that at the age of two-and-a-half being safe in this regard is much better than being sorry.