Jackson started screaming, "No! I push the button!" I had already pushed the stroller through the narrow entryway when Jackson ran outside. Assuming he went to go press the button a few feet away, I turned to grab him. He took off running and screaming. Another mom pointed and shouted "around the corner!" My heart pounded and I ran as fast as I could. Jackson ran through the bushes and around the entire building! I picked him up and he was screaming "I push the button!"
Adrenaline racing, I ran back to the entrance carrying one very pissed off toddler. As I approached the front I was completely humiliated to see a handful of moms holding their well-behaved toddlers hands. They were congregating in the entryway around my stroller and I overheard them asking "Whose kids are these? Where is the mom? Are they triplets?" Two women actually had their phones out and were taking pictures of my babies!
I was out of breath, nearly in tears, and still holding Jackson, who was now pulling my hair out by the handful. The moms commented on how beautiful the babies were and how busy I must be, as if it was an appropriate time for small talk. One of the moms who was taking a picture said, "I hope you don't mind. I've never seen triplets before." Jackson was now biting me at this point. The other photographer of the group had the nerve to say, "Do you have help?" to which I immediately scowled, "Does it look like I have help?"
I marched back to the van, pushing the stroller and holding Jackson sideways so he couldn't pull my hair. I no longer felt lucky about finding that spot in the far back corner since numerous people continued to approach me and even allow their kids to touch my babies! I buckled Jackson up in his carseat and tried to calmly talk to him about how dangerous and scary it is to run away. I told him he was in timeout and needed to think about his behavior. When he was ready to apologize we would go back inside. (Storytime was clearly out the window, but I really needed to return our books and pick up Jesse's CD's. Afterall, I didn't drag four kids to the library for nothing!)
I talked to the babies (who remained in the stoller) to try and calm my nerves while Jackson sobbed in the van. After a few minutes Jackson said he was sorry for "running and biting and pulling hair". Jackson held my hand while I pushed the stroller and we all walked peacefully across the parking lot towards the door. Just as Jackson was about to push the wheelchair access button, the doors opened and someone in a wheelchair exited.
Upset that he didn't get to press the damn button, WE RELIVED THE ENTIRE SCENARIO AGAIN!!! The running, the abandoned stroller, the hair pulling, the women gawking, the questions... all of it.
|One of the many handfuls of hair that was ripped out.|
Currently, Jackson is upstairs, the babies are sleeping, and I'm eating ice cream. It's days like this I would do anything to be back in the classroom..