Saturday we had a good old fashioned family day at a tiny town festival, complete with overpriced smoothies and funnel cakes. Despite the rising temperatures, we managed to have a great time at the pancake breakfast, racing in the Toddler Trot, hanging out at the library, at the parade, scoring loads of candy; running through the mister, getting our face and hair painted, and eating Walking Tacos.
We managed to have a great time until the pony rides. Aviana sorely wanted a pony ride, even though our neighbors have ponies and ride down a couple times a month and offer rides to the girls. And even though they were slow getting set up, and the toddler sorely needed a nap, we waited. And waited.
In our group we were set to be second, and all the children get to choose the pony they wanted.
Aviana, my high needs, intense child chose her pony right away while we were in line. And wouldn’t you know, when it came time to get in the ring and stand by the pony of your choice, the only little girl in line ahead of us wanted the exact same pony.
Aviana started screaming and crying, literally having a fit and falling in it. We were in the ring completely surrounded by the line of waiting children and their parents, who have nothing else to do but watch the children ride the ponies, or in this case, watch our four year old daughter have a massive tantrum. Kevin and I were ready to make her just forget it and lift her over the fence, but the pony girl took pity on her and got her calmed down faster than I would have been able to, and even got her to smile.
Toward the end of the ride, the pony girl told the children, “One more time around and we’ll be all done.” Then it was time to get off, and Brielle, my stubborn and strong-willed child, had a tantrum. I had to pry her fingers off the saddle horn and carry her loudly kicking and failing self out of the ring, again under the watchful eye of all these parents and their perfectly behaved offspring.
Now I know we are consistent in discipline. I know we seek the Lord’s wisdom in the raising of our children. I know our home is filled with love, and structure, and fun and learning opportunities, and yes, discipline. I know my children are fortunate to live in this home.
It is still hard in situations like that, because you know many of those parents were judging us, and wondering what kind of crazy house we live in. You know many of them were thinking, “Wow! Glad that’s not my kid!” I’m 100% positive we do a more intentional and more effective job parenting than many of the people there, especially the guy walking his toddler around the pony ring wearing this tee shirt.
In situations like that one, I need a tee shirt that says something like “I do a great job mothering. I don’t know whose kids these are or why they are acting like this!”