This post is dedicated to every single one of you Theta Moms reading this right now because I get it. I get you. And YOU are NEVER alone.
My son joined a soccer league that’s run by the town and it’s his very first experience playing the sport so you can imagine my excitement as we were gearing up to see my first born actually play for the first time. I had the camera ready to go with extra batteries and the camcorder all charged up. We had the uniform perfectly set along with some brand new cleats and a full water bottle in place for the big day. We all hopped in the car and drove to the field excited.
We got there and immediately began to get settled. Before I knew it my son was out on the field smiling, kicking, laughing and having an awesome time. It was such a joy to see him having fun with the other kids, playing a sport he so clearly seems to enjoy. But, I never realized how hard it would be to actually attempt to sit down with my 19 month-old AND watch my son in his glory. Upon arrival, what began as a calm situation (which lasted a total of ten minutes) took a turn for the worst when Miss Fuss Pants decided that she no longer wanted to be there.
She was done.
She’s at that difficult age where she doesn’t want to sit in the stroller for more than five minutes but the moment I let her out she runs away from me. Since she was screaming bloody murder to get out of that stroller I had no choice but to take her out. However, as soon as those little feet touched the ground she was gone. She ran straight onto the field and almost got demolished by a bunch of four year-olds and a flying soccer ball.
This was going to be a problem.
I couldn’t put her back in the stroller yet I couldn’t let her roam free either since she would simply run away – right back into harms way. She would not walk hand-in-hand with me and so she continued to scream like someone was killing her and this was around the same time the tantrums started. She was utterly relentless.
Yes, I was THAT mom on the soccer field. The mom that EVERYONE was staring at.
I got those looks from others with puzzled faces like, “What’s wrong with your daughter – can’t you keep your kid quiet?” I was frazzled, worn out and frustrated. Every ounce of patience in my body was gone and I was about to give up and just wait in the car with her until the game was over but then, it happened…
A few feet away I began to hear the sharp cries of another toddler. I turned my head and I saw another mother in my exact situation. There she was, holding her son in her arms and rocking him side to side. She was moving up and down the field in a desperate attempt to keep him calm and quiet. She looked tired, restless and out of patience herself.
And then our eyes met. We glanced at each other, quickly processed what was happening and gave each other a smile across the field.
I understood her. I knew EXACTLY what she was going through. I got it.
I wanted to run over to her with my screaming child and say, “It’s ok. I get it. I get you. YOU are NOT alone.”
But I didn’t have to. No words needed to be exchanged because with a smile and a nod I knew that this woman understood me, too. So with this new found energy I gathered the strength to pick up my daughter from the ground and confidently placed her back in the stroller. After realizing that as long as the stroller was in constant motion, she was surprisingly quiet. I continued to wheel my daughter up and down the field for the rest of the game to keep her pleasantly content. I was relieved.
And who can I thank for that?
A fellow Theta Mom on the soccer field who I haven’t had the pleasure of formally meeting yet, but someone I already know is no longer a stranger.