Friday, February 21, 2014

For a Good Time-Out Call My 3 Small Humans

We traveled north this weekend for the festivities known as "Gold Rush Days" in Wickenburg, AZ.  My in-laws live there and as both my husband and I come from a small town we love this yearly brief glimpse back into small town life and how they celebrate their history.  
Parade watching
The kick-off parade is magical especially the live long horn cattle riding in a car and the candy throwing Shriner's in mini-cars.  
Cattle Car
Our small humans love every second of this parade that is followed by an afternoon watching the senior pro rodeo.  

Clearly the organizers of the rodeo do not have small children because the 2:00 pm start time after an exciting parade filled morning is always wrought with difficulty for us.  I was feeling ill, it was 83 degrees outside and we were all dressed in our full western attire with western shirts, boots, and jeans.  No seats and no shade were available because we were, as usual, an hour late.  Believe it or not SH1 and SH2 could give one crap about a rodeo--I know I know this is not terribly surprising.  They wanted to jump off the stairs, talk to the horses, and play in the dirt.  I wanted them to stop throwing rocks.  They were hot, bored and tired which is the trifecta for whining induction.  I walked SH2 all the way to the bathroom after she claimed "something was coming out of her" and waited in a smelly line only for her not to go a single drop.  I was done with the rodeo and had less than 8 seconds of it.  I let my frustration get the best of me and started throwing every kid I saw in time-out. 
Cutest cowpokes taking their rodeo time-out

The next day dawned bright with promise and I was ready to give this weekend another go. The kids were ecstatic about the carnival rides and SH3 loves a good back pack ride with Dad so off we went.
Back packing across town
Lunch was upon us, so I sent my sister-in-law off to get us a table at our favorite local spot right around the corner.  She asked the list holder if he could please set up a table for us and give us a call and we would be there in three minutes.  He stated that he could not call us but there was a table that would seat our party and it would be ready in 30 minutes, he would set it up, hold it, and we should come back then.  We came back in 25 minutes for him to tell us he gave our table away.  

With this disappointing news, I chose that moment to take my very own time-out.  I stopped where I stood and leaned against a post two feet in front of where he was controlling the universe and proceeded to stand and take deep cleansing breaths as SH1 and SH2 circled me crying in fatigue and hunger.  SH2 was yelling and spitting and throwing herself on the crowded sidewalk begging to "GOOOO HOOOMMMMEEEE".  She did this non-stop for 15 minutes until another table magically opened up.  He never once looked at me.  
I wrote the following letter to him in my head: 

Dear Sir who lies to customers, 

I was trying to do you a favor.  I tried to save you the pain and annoyance of having a 3 year throw a 15 minute tantrum right under your feet.  I find it revolting that under the guise of moral compulsion to do what you deemed "fair to everyone" you felt it was reasonable to lie to my sister-in-law about holding a table for us.  I was not trying to take advantage of an antiquated table waiting system.  I was simply trying to work within it in such a way that benefited everyone.  Most every restaurant now has a fancy pager system that does just as I suggested for the reasons I suggested.  Sad and screaming kids are bad for business.  Neither of us wants me to cage my kids in a 3' x 3' area for 45 minutes.  I didn't want to have to yell and scold these joyful rosy cheeked kids while we waited.  I think we all now know that I can entertain them a bit better on a carnival ride a three minute walk away from the door of your restaurant.  I just wanted to keep it local and have lunch with my family.  I am not sorry.

3 Small Humans

At one point I broke from my deep breathing and soul boring stare and attempted to put SH2 in time-out next to flower pot after she spit at me and tried to hit me in a blind hunger range.  I quickly gave up as she sobbed crocodile tears and clung to my leg.  Now was not the time to make a point and take a stand...well maybe I had the energy to make only one point and take one stand at a time and I was already in the middle of another one at that moment.

We were packing up to leave the restaurant after a lovely lunch and a nice elderly lady approached me to complement my SH2 on what a smart girl she is based on the time-out tantrum she witnessed outside.  I still am not sure I can connect the dots as to why me not punishing her made this sweet lady think SH2 is a smart little girl, but I willingly took it as a sign from God that I am perhaps not the worst parent, customer, and sister ever.  I do however need to get a little bit better at recognizing and taking my very own time-outs.



  1. Almost every time a SH does something seemingly outrageous in public, and I react with patience, respect, and kindness, I get a compliment from someone. lol

    1. I guess what I don't get is how that made her a genius. I would take a compliment for me, but this was not for me. Lol!!