Normally, on Saturday mornings, Jerry takes the kids to the grocery store and I run. But, last week, things didn't go all that well and Jerry declared that he was done taking both of them (or, at least, he needs a break from bringing both) and he said he was gonna alternate one and the other. This is fine.
So, this morning, we'd decided that Norah was going to go with Jerry to the store, and Caleb was going to join me for a short run. Everyone was fine with this arrangement until we were all heading out the door and it fully dawned on Norah that Caleb was coming with me.
She threw a fit. Screaming and crying that she didn't want to go to the store; she wanted to go with me. After initially trying to reason with her, I said that we could trade (Caleb didn't care one way or another) and she could come ride with me on the run and Caleb would go with Daddy. She was cool with this until, again, it fully dawned on her that she'd be going with me, but Caleb would get to be going with Daddy.
The grass is always greener, right?
At this point, they were already driving away and she was strapped into the BOB, and holy lord, it was Hurricane Norah 2012. She was screaming and flailing and bucking in the stroller like a mad person.
And, I totally lost my cool with her. Let's just say there was some screaming on my part as well. I'm not proud of myself for dissolving into the same level of hysterics as a 3 year old. But, I did.
For about mile then, I ran and she cried. I passed some strangers who most assuredly wondered what kind of cruel mother I was for forcing my child into a stroller and keeping her prisoner there, but too bad, I didn't care. I was fuming -- at her -- but mostly with myself.
Nothing makes you feel like a bigger failure at life than a major parenting fail, and I was frustrated and angry with how I had reacted to her tantrum. I could see, in retrospect, exactly where the entire chain of events should've been rewound and done differently, but alas, in parenting, as in life, there is no rewind.
After a mile, she stopped crying and after a few pleading requests for me to take her to the store "to see Daddy," she piped down altogether and I ran and she rode in silence. I think it was good we were running: It gave us both a chance to cool off and recollect ourselves.
And, at the end of the 3 miler, as a peace offering, I let her out of the stroller so she could run the last .2 of the run. We went at a 15 min/mile pace, but I didn't care. In those few minutes of the run, we'd made up.
This evening, after Caleb had gone to bed and Norah was settling in with Jerry for her evening TV time, I got to get back out for a solo run. It was a quiet, uneventful 3 miles, and I was thankful for such peace and solitude.