Thinking Out Loud

Posted on | February 6, 2015 | 1 Comment

Yesterday, I promised my son frozen yogurt after school. I wasn’t feeling well and the thought of soft serve frozen yogurt sounded like perfection on my throat. We drove the short distance to a store, pulled in, and trouble started.


No problem, I told J. There’s another one near my office. So we hit the road back towards my office. J wanted to go a different route. He sort of exploded about not wanting to take the highway. This should have been my first clue. But we plodded on, taking the highway with J in the background mumble-whining:

“This road makes me carsick.”

Yeah right, drama king. Suck it up, we’re going for yogurt. I wasn’t having any of the drama.

We exited the highway, pulled into the next store and started to get out of the car.


I seriously had to read the sign twice. Closed? For real? ANOTHER ONE? Don’t these people know I have a five year old in my car who has been promised frozen yogurt? I start to question whether we should even get yogurt, like maybe this is a sign from God that froyo is not in the cards for us. But then, oh what the hell, right? Frozen yogurt is delicious. And I happened to know for a fact that there was a store that was NOT closed about five miles away.

However, I made a very big and very foolish mistake. I thought out loud.

If you’re a parent of a comprehending child, you know that this is the worst thing you can do. Keep your thoughts to yourself. No matter what they are. Your thoughts do not matter to your child and they will create a mushroom cloud of crazy that will never. go. away.

But I was sick. I wasn’t thinking. And I thought, very out loud, that maybe we should just go get a milkshake or something and go home because this was getting ridiculous. It’s like it was my very first day as a parent. Once the words were out, I searched desperately in my car for a flux capacitor so I could go back five seconds and NOT say them. Because from the back seat there came a mighty howl. No. Howl doesn’t begin to describe it. It was like the keening of a woman who has lost everything she owns in the world. I mean, this sound… was epic. There were no actual words I could make out… more of a jumble of syllables and deep gasps of air that were, perhaps, his own attempt at time travel.

I have to admit, I was a little stunned at first. This doesn’t happen very often. I thought for a moment that maybe he was sick, maybe he had a bad day? Maybe something was wrong, because it’s just frozen yogurt, right? What the hell brought this crazed Tazmanian Devil child into my back seat?

I mean, we were still going for frozen yogurt because I wanted some. It was just a stupid thought process! Why was he kicking my seat and wailing like the world was ending?

And then I realized something that made me very ashamed as a parent.

I don’t see this often because he most always gets his way.  In a daze, I watched my own dreams of frozen yogurt goodness disappear, and I turned back towards the house.  The noises from the back seat were like a snot massacre. I honestly was afraid to look in the rearview mirror. He kept asking why. I kept calmly saying it was because he threw a fit.

And though it broke my heart to see him like that, to watch him rail against my authority and wonder who I was to deprive him of the amazing that was frozen yogurt, I realized that we’ve reached that point now… that point where I either must assert myself as his parent or resign myself to being merely another friend.

And I’m his parent.

Even when it means I don’t get my damn frozen yogurt.



One Response to “Thinking Out Loud”

  1. Kate
    February 6th, 2015 @ 10:14 am

    I remember hitting that point with my son when he was about 4. Up until that point he had mostly gotten what he wanted just because he never asked for anything unreasonable. I mean, if your kid only asks for a cookie once a week there’s no reason to say no. Four was about when he started asking to do things at times when we just couldn’t (like start watching a 90 min movie 15 min before bedtime or go to the zoo when it’s 20 degrees) and it was rough. We had more than a few meltdowns along the way but if you stick to your guns than it will get better.

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