My kid has been having tantrums all the time lately. According to Google, this is normal for toddlers. Last week he was pitching a fit because I wouldn’t let him eat a shriveled waffle he found under the couch (the last time we had waffles was a week ago….). In his defense, he probably got a little confused considering I was okay with him eating the day old raisins and half eaten apple off the floor, but at wrinkled waffles, I draw the line. When I took it away he threw himself on the ground screeching at the top of his lungs. When I left the room to put away laundry, he stopped, got up and followed me into the bedroom then flopped himself on the floor in front of me and continued his tantrum. Maybe we can get him a drama scholarship.
Yesterday my older son had off school. By 9:15 the kids were driving me crazy (read: I drank all the coffee), so we headed to the fun zone at Arena Sports. My kids love those giant inflatables, and there’s a Starbucks drive through on the way.
I had one of my proudest mom moments watching my older son escort his little brother around, insisting he follow him down the giant inflatable slide. When big brother suggested I follow them into the inflatable maze, I thought, “why not?”
About seventeen seconds after entering the massive inflatable maze, we encountered a stout climbing wall leading to a slide. Figuring my younger son was to small to navigate it on his own, I hoisted him up to the top and gently pushed him down. This was clearly not okay. Little man threw himself onto the bouncy floor, screeching in anger, “Me do! Me do!”
“Come on buddy, let’s just keep following brother!” I said, hopping he would agree. Unfortunately this only seemed to anger him more, and he screamed louder. Thanks to the inflatable floor each time he punched it with his tiny fists, it hurled his body upward.
Normally in these situations I bribe him. Probably not the best, but it works. I hastily grab for my diaper bag and remember its sitting outside the entrance to the jumpy maze. I reach in my pockets, but all I find is lint. I offer some to him, trying my best to make it sound enticing. “If you stop crying and come with mommy, I’ll give you some lint,” I say in a singsong voice.
For some reason this does not work. I don’t get it. Bribing, always works.
“NOOOOO!” he screams louder, waking his feet on the bouncy floor, causing him to sail into the air.
Since my bribes are futile, I do the next best thing and grab my kicking, screaming toddler and head out.
Only problem is, we’re in a giant bouncy house-maze. His flopping body propels me against the inflatable walls and I bob around like I’m in a pin ball machine, unable to gain my balance.
Finally we make it around the corner, two feet and we’re out. We’re up against 2 giant inflatable punching bags. You’re supposed to squeeze through, all the while squealing with joy (why is this fun?). I manage to smash my way through, just barely hanging onto my screeching toddler. At the last second, three kids come bareling through and I loose my grip. I grab him by one of his sneakers and try to pull him through the inflatable cylanders masses. I fall backward and he lands on top of me along with a snot nosed kid in a Star Wars tee. I scrabble to get up, but , dam the inflatable floor! (This is what astronauts must feel like). As much as I struggle, I can’t manage to get up while holding my tantruming kid. At that point two more kids come flying through the inflatable cylanders and land on top of me, pinning me to the floor of the inflatable purple mass. The kid in the Star Wars tee, who happens to be siting on my head, starts farting like crazy. The other three kids burst into laughter and, one of them says, “Hey! Let’s all start farting!”
At this point it occurs to me, this is how I’m going to die. Pinned to the floor of an inflatable maze while some kid farts me death.
I think I may be going delirious from the fumes, because I hear someone yelling my name. And by my name I mean, “MOM!”
“Mom! WHAT are you doing! I have been waiting for you for like 7 minutes! My older son is standing above me, exasperated, hands on hips.
Before I have a chance to think he grabs me by an arm and drags me out of the pile of farting kids over the inflatable slide and out the exit. I fall onto the floor breathing in the sweet air of the gym, looking behind me just in time to see big brother scrabbling out of the bouncy maze, gripping his still howling brother by the back his tee shirt.
“Dude, stop crying it’s so annoying,” he says, my younger son stops instantly and follows his beloved big brother across the room.
I sink onto the ground in the far corner of the gym and suck down the remainder of my tall vanilla latte. It’s cold now, but I’m so happy to have survived the bouncy maze I almost don’t care…almost.