Monday, July 30, 2012

Airplanes & Expectations.

I'm a lover and a collector of firsts for Georgia.  So when I booked the two of us a flight to Florida to visit my forever and ever friend Dawn who was back in the states this summer I was over the moon.  Georgia's first airplane ride..........and a chance to hang out with my friend and her kiddos and a few days to put our feet in the ocean and collect was all the makings of a good time.

It would be a fabulous little summer trip.  Of that I was sure.

It was fantastic to see Dawn. It always is.  Those expectations were met.

However, Georgia................she was really hard.
And at the risk of sounding like the proverbial mom who says, "I can't believe she's behaving like this--she's always so good," Georgia was not her usual happy, flexible, easy-going self.  She was overly silly (read wild), a bit cantankerous.......and the one that's hard for me to type.......kind of mean.

It was upsetting for me.

I thought about sharing this, not sharing this, or glossing over it, but it wouldn't really be an honest reflection of our trip.  And one thing I believe about putting my life out there for others to read is that I think it should be truthful; something that others can relate to (I hope), learn from, and commiserate with.

Georgia's first airplane ride?
Went off without a hitch.  She was great--the kid I'm used to.  She did everything she was supposed to do and besides telling her that she couldn't put her feet on the seat in front of her a few times and that she couldn't have a bag of peanuts, pretzels, and the cookies there were no issues.

I had this thing in the bag.

And then we landed.
And I'd like to say that Florida cast this voodoo magic over my daughter turning her into Dennis the Menace so it's not anyone's fault, but I can't.
I can say however, that I experienced my first parenting moment where I absolutely did not know what was going on, how to really handle it, couldn't figure out why and how this started, and what I needed to do differently to change course.

Anxiety about how I was shaping this person set in.  Where had I gone wrong?  What was I not doing enough of? Doing too much of?

I want my daughter to be a conscientious, kind, and empathetic individual....the opposite of what I observed while on our trip.  And I know it's easy to pass it off as normal preschool behavior, normal only-child behavior, normal spirited child behavior, and the excuses go on.....but bottom made me sad.

And nothing about watching my child grow up to date has made me sad.

There was just this feeling in my gut that this behavior I was seeing her exhibit towards other kids and expectations wasn't good.  This wasn't what I wanted her to be.  It's made me stop and think.  I believe it's important to listen to our mom voice when it yells at you this loud.  When it's hitting you over the head saying, "Re-evaluate what you're doing so you can stop this," it'd be irresponsible not to listen and futile to try and deny what you're seeing.

And while I know that there will be many moments like this as Georgia continues to grow up and there will be many avenues I could take to make myself feel better about something that is uncomfortable--that's not good parenting.  Good parenting is facing a situation head-on, reshuffling the cards, getting out a new owners manual, or deconstructing some of your methods and molding them into new ones.

Were there good moments with Georgia on this trip?  Absolutely.  Without a doubt. But it was a bit of a wake-up call for me.  One of many that I know I'll have as this girls mama.  And it's always our choice as parents to pay attention to those wake up calls or ignore them and hope "this phase passes."  

I refuse to ignore.  I refuse to pass the buck.  I refuse to think I could have done more after it's too late.  And I refuse not to do the best I can by this incredible little person that I have been given the privilege and tremendous responsibility of raising.  

And sometimes, a lot of times,  I'm's really hard, sobering, humbling, and sad.  Thankfully, in between those moments are many, many refreshing, gratifying, soul filling, laugh till it hurts moments.  

I love this little girl.  I love her so much.  

On a lighter note........

Ten Random Observations From a Mom With a Stroller in an Airport:  

1.  I have a stroller.  You really just need to move out of my way......not the other way around. 
2.  It's AuBonPain in the Delta terminal of the Atlanta airport, not a French bistro people.....just order something off the menu.  You can customize it all you want and change your mind over and's still just going to be AuBonPain in the Delta terminal of the Atlanta airport. 
3.  If you ever needed more reason to think sagging pants were asinine.....observe a man try and push a stroller with one hand, carry a car seat, and walk with his legs spread far apart enough to hold up his sagging pants.  
4.  If you're walking through the terminal on your cell phone--that's cool.  Just try and stay in a straight line instead of weaving back and forth in front of those of us with strollers.  
5.  The smoking room?  That's just so sad people.  Give it up already. 
6.  Why are there no moving sidewalks in the Delta terminal of the Atlanta airport?  Really?  Why? 
7.  Groups of soldiers walking through airports instantly make me teary.  I want to stop and hug them and yell for everyone to clap for them.  I truly love it.  
8.  The luggage that people are trying to pass as carry-on these days is an abomination and a lie.  I fully support airlines tightening the belt on that ridiculousness.  If it can hold enough clothes for a two week stay in Europe and almost decapitate people as you catapult it out of the overhead's too big.  
9.  McDonald's just needs to be in every terminal.  It does.  It's easy, I know exactly what to get my kid, and it's very, very fast.  Can we stop being health conscious within the confines of an airport?  It'd be so  much easier for us moms.  
10.  I think Gymboree could have a booming business in airports.  Fifteen minute mini-play classes?  I'm sure it'd be a hit.  


  1. i remember those unpredictable moments with liv that i was not prepared for. i would be so floored that i was nearly immobilized by it-in the moment of it. you have such a great perspective...and, you are so right. for me, it was always time to go back to the drawing board and start over too. :)

  2. I've been reading awhile but never commented before. I just wanted to say thank you for writing this post. Oddly enough, I had my very own, "What am I doing wrong?" weekend with my normally sweet, fun, energetic three year old girl. It is nice to know I am not alone, both in the fact that this IS a phase and the notion that I am not going to ignore it nonetheless.

    1. Thank you Bri for commiserating with me! It's good to be in the mom club everyday--but especially on those days where we can feel like we're all in it together.

  3. I too really needed this today...after a rough weekend with my beautiful, feisty little two year old - I sat on the couch last night in a pile of tears. When it seems like you're all alone - its refreshing to hear other mamas tell it like it is. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  4. I really like your reference to behaviors being a "wake-up call" for us parents to re-evaulate how were parenting. My little girl just turned 3 and I feel your pain and sad, momma! There have been moments that I have left my cart at the store and left in tears over being so shocked and mortified over my daughters behavior. Thanks for your honesty...I can totally relate. xo

  5. I have taught preschoolers for about 10 years mainly ages 2-3. Sometimes they do have the tendacy of flipping the script to the point where you think your little one is possess. But often times, I found it helpful to talk them on their level once the dust settles, not when you're upset and your little one is out of sort. Tell them how mommy was sad when they didnt use their listening ears and inform them that they are a big boy/big girl....and little girls do this but girls do this....They love the idea of being independent and thinking it was their choice to be a big kid. All in all be encourage. It's nothing wrong with your parenting. Its just have to be updated as your little one gets older. :)

  6. Yes! I've felt like this so much lately. Sometimes I'm paralyzed with this feeling like I'm doing something wrong in raising him. I definitely don't want to be a parent that thinks it's a phase and gets over it so I'm trying to figure out how to handle it.

    Thanks for posting and not glossing over this. It makes me feel better to know other's go through this.

  7. Hi! I just found you off of Top Mommy Bloggers! I can so relate to what you are saying! My daughter is amazing, but there have definitely been times when I'm really disappointed her behavior and almost panic thinking omg, where have I gone wrong???
    I look forward to catching up on and following your blog!


  8. oh friend. How did I miss this post? I'm in this same boat (an incident happened last night while out with a friend). Embarrassing to say the least. :check: Try to make excuses for their behavior. :check: trying to talk to ridiculous child about their ridiculous behavior :check: Right there with you! So excited to go to a class called "connecting while correcting" put on by Kelly Raudenbush's non-profit in september. I can hardly wait for some intervention!

  9. Thank you for posting this! Even though my daughter is only (almost) 16 months old I've had a few of those moments where I've wondered "what am I doing wrong?". It's good to know I'm not alone. I appreciate your honesty!

  10. The beauty of kids, some day's you can't get enough of them and other days not so much:)


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