“LET’S GO TO THE PARK! I’m going to bring all my bunnies. Can I wear them in my backpack? I want little bunny on the outside. BUNNIES! WE’RE GOING TO THE PARK!”
Nothing but smiles and giggles the whole way to the park, no complaints, no signs of distress, nothing but shiny happy toddler. She even found a big rock and declared it “…big enough and clean enough to be my rock.” Whatever, the kid loves collecting rocks. Just ask our washer and dryer. She collected a dandelion bouquet for me and we jumped over all the “hairy sidewalks.”
PARK! SWINGING! SLIDES! MERRIMENT! JOY! Bark in my shoe. MORE SWINGING! UNDERDOG! SUNSHINE! PLAY PLAY PLAY!
“Time to go.” You see, as the mother I am able to calculate the amount of energy needed for Vivi to make it home without a meltdown in the middle of the street or me having to carry her three blocks. Compound that knowledge with the amount of energy already used at the park and divide it by the previous night’s sleep as well as the fervor in which breakfast was eaten multiplied by how much water she drank compared to her last potty break, it was time to go. Parents? You know this math.
Something in my math was wrong and everything went to crap less than half a block away from the park.
You guys? We forgot the rock. The big rock that was clean enough to be hers.
Forget that I managed to keep Vivi alive, pull of 27+ flawless underdogs, and keep all three bunnies accounted for, the rock was somewhere all alone.
I knew we couldn’t go back for the rock, her little tank was emptying fast and if we went back for the rock there would be even more tears, sobbing and my arms full of 35+ pounds of sweaty terror in my arms for five blocks.
There was foot stomping. There was wailing. There were heartbreaking sobs when I wouldn’t let her pick up a decorative boulder from someone’s yard.
At some point during the first street crossing, we lost a bunny — only we didn’t realize it until half a block later.
“You sit here and watch me go back and get your bunny, okay?”
*sniff sniff hiccup* “Okay.”
The sniffs turned to wild sobbing demands as soon as we started up again “I WANT TO SNUGGLE! I NEED A CUPCAKE! DADDY! MY SISTER! I JUST WANT TO WATCH MICKEY MOUSE!”
I tried to distract her with a dead fish, but she wanted to pick up the dead fish to replace her big clean rock so I had to distract her with a pile of rocks instead.
With a rock in each hand and two bunnies under her arm (by the way she was PISSED when she saw that little bunny had snot and tears on him. LIVID. “THROW HIM AWAY!”) we were only two houses away from home, Mickey Mouse and snuggles. In an attempt to wipe hair from her tear soaked cheeks she ended up clocking herself in the head with one of her replacement rocks.
By then she just gave up. Life just wasn’t worth living anymore. In one short walk back from the park she realized how cruel life can be and crumpled into a heap 20 feet from her own front door.
Basically it’s how every adult wants to act when life gets real crappy but we’re not allowed to because we’re adults.
Next time you see a perfectly sane adult lose their mind, think of the sobbing toddler inside them who just wants a clean rock to call their own and a snuggle with their mama.