I am still a tad flabbergasted as to just how fast our family fun weekend in Calgary turned into a family fiasco!!
Friday afternoon, the McG Clan headed out in the minivan to Calgary. The drive was lovely! The kids watch movies on the DVD, Stella had a short nap and we all happily arrived at our destination (The Sheraton Hotel) at around 4 pm. We skipped on up to our room, unpacked, put on our bathing suits and skipped on down to the pool. The big McG girls went up and down the fun twisty slides with Mickey while I played with Stella in the nice warm baby pool. She LOVED it! She also insisted I take her into the big cold pool. Personally I would have been happy to just stay in the warm pool the whole time, but I '"sucked it up" and went into the cold pool. Stella LOVED it!
|Our happy car ride to Calgary!|
|Aren't we so happy??|
After swimming, we ordered room service and had a lovely dinner in our room. The girls went to bed fairly easily for being in a room all together and being in unfamiliar surroundings.
In the morning (which came VERY early), we went down to the hotel restaurant and had a lovely breakfast. I think that here, is where the seeds of total meltdown began. As with all my kids, when they travel they tend to eat less and usually eat nowhere near as healthy as they do when they are at home. Sophie is a nibbler, and when we travel she eats even less. That being said, she had about three bites of her breakfast and then claimed to be full. With our darling Sophie, Mickey and I know there is no point in pushing the issue, so we let it slide. After all, I ALWAYS have lots of snacks in my purse, so if she got hungry later there would be something for her to eat.
Sadly, this day, I forgot to stock my purse full of food. I only brought a few items and halfway through our zoo trip, Stella had already eaten the few snacks I had.
But let me rewind a bit as drama and sadness and crying had already begun way before the zoo. You see, Olivia was soooo excited and you know how it is as a kid, waiting is so very hard. After breakfast we drove off to the train station. (We were going to take the train to the zoo). We got to the station and WHOOPS! We left the stroller in the hotel room. So BACK into the car we went to go back to the hotel and get the stroller. Here is where Olivia lost it! She started fussing and crying and expressing very loudly her disappointment.
Then as I was putting Stella in her car seat I heard Mickey make a sound, like he had hurt himself. As he was lifting Sophie up into her car seat he somehow pulled out his back. He was hurting...bad. I know this cause I said "are you ok?" and he said "No". Now he has to be hurting pretty bad to admit to not being ok.
Somehow he sucked it up and we went back and got the stroller (Olivia is crying and fussing this WHOLE time).
We made it to the train station, we got on the train and made it to the zoo.
|Yay! We made it!|
So now we are pretty much back to where Sophie is now demanding food and is getting extremely agitated that I don't have any food left in my purse.
Olivia had also been complaining on and off since we got to the park because she wanted to go to the zoo playground and didn't want to go and see any more animals.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that Stella was getting pretty crabby because she was still hungry even though she had eaten all of the snacks.
"This SUCKS!" This SUCKS this SUCKS!!!! (I am screaming this in my head)
We went in search of food and the playground in order to quiet down the madness.
Mickey went and ordered food and I watched the kidlets.
Ahhhhhh, things seemed to settle down.
Mickey came back with food and I went and attempted to feed Stella some of it while Mickey went to get the girls.
He was gone awhile.....and I could hear screaming....which sounded very much like Sophie.....
Sure enough he comes on over with Olivia "you gotta go and get Sophie, she won't come down for me and keeps screaming for you"
Now I am sure that Mickey would have crawled his adult ass up the kids play area if his back hadn't been causing him so much pain. But since he couldn't, I went over there and attempted calm rationale talking to Sophie.
"Sophie, Sophie, it's time to eat. Come down now please."
"NOOOOO!! (picture, a child way up high in one of those netted outdoor play units, looking down with a "fuck you" look on her face screaming at the top of her lungs)
"Sophie (insert stern voice here), this behaviour is UNACCEPTABLE, it is time to eat, come down now please!"
"GO AWAY, I DON'T WANT TO COME DOWN, NOOOOOOO! LEAVE ME ALONE!!!"
People are staring.
Little kids were offering to go up and get her.
I thanked them but insisted that they did not engage in conversation with her for fear of them being hit or scratched by my agitated, hungry, tired, strong willed child.
What else could I do?
I squeezed my adult ass up the twisty stairs, trying not to step on a child's hand or head along the way. Once I made it to where Sophie was I again attempted to reason with her and give her choices ( I somehow have forgotten that reasoning with a 4 year old is NOT possible). I had given her the choice of going down the twisty stairs or down the slide. She refused both. I told her that she needed to choose or mommy would choose. She responded by trying to crawl away from me all while screaming.
So I picked her up and dragged her 40lb body over to the slide and pushed her down it......she screamed the whole way down.
I then twisted my body down the twisty stairs again, picked Sophie up and carried her out of the playground.
I was pissed off. I was so angry. I was so frustrated. Mickey and I then told the girls that the fun was over and that we were going home.
As we all ate our lunch Sophie was back to her cute, funny, sweet self (Dr.Jekl and Mr. Hyde, is this child). I had calmed down, Mickey had calmed down, so we gave the girls another chance.
The nightmare continued.
Olivia had changed her behaviour and was cooperating and being a very big girl.
Stella was tired and had eaten a lot of chips (she would not eat anything else) and was happily chillin in her stroller with her suckie and blankie.
Sophie...well Sophie was slowly falling apart again. For a few minutes she would be happy and giggly and cooperative and then something would happen (i.e.. Mickey and Olivia would be walking too far ahead) and she would start screaming at the top of her lungs demanding that they "STOP!!! COME BACK!!" Then she would refuse to walk and wanted to sit in the stroller ( note to self: in the future bring the double stroller!). So I would let her sit in the back of the stroller where my purse was, but it wasn't very comfortable so then Sophie would start screaming about that.
|Looking at the peacocks...in between melt downs|
|Sophie was screaming as I took this picture.....good times, good times|
Finally she just fell to the ground face down, arms and legs splayed out and screamed while throwing her hat.
I looked at Mickey and said "Let's go home"
Olivia cried the whole way back to the hotel, while we packed up our stuff and part of the way home in the car. I felt bad for her as she had changed her behaviour and was cooperating, but yet she was still loosing her privilege and had to go home. Sophie didn't seem to give a crap. As long as we were ALL having to go home and ALL not going to Chuck E Cheese's then it made no difference to her.
I kept hoping that at some point on the way home it would "click" that we were GOING HOME as a consequence of her bad behaviour, like we had said we would do..... but I honestly think, she just didn't care.
I think what would have worked better for her would have been if we had stayed and had her stay in the hotel room and rest while Livi went with me to the pool without her....THAT would have been a consequence that would have worked for her.
But we didn't do that...
But Mickey's back was really, really bad so on that note it's a good thing that we came home.
Being a parent is just plain hard sometimes....
But the weekend ended on a good note!
I took the girls bowling yesterday and there were NO meltdowns! (Cyber HI-FIVE!)
And today I took the girls to the water park (which is literally right across the street from our house) while Stella napped and Mickey iced his back for the 50 millionth time.
Oh and Mickey's back is a tad better...
So....there is always a silver lining..right??? Right!
|Bowling and getting along! HI-FIVES!|
PS. I really must remember to not only take pictures of my kiddos looking happy. A meltdown picture would have really added to this post I think......