I just had the most awful, humiliating experience. I need to purge it from my system.
I picked Maddy up from daycare at 5:20pm today. I left the house in a rush, only taking my keys with me. I didn’t think much of it. I pick Maddy up from daycare several times a week. Thousands of other parents pick their children up from daycare everyday too.
Maddy was her typical self when I picked her up – she was not happy, but not crying. She refused her outdoor clothes as she always does. Nothing seemed amiss.
We got to our car and hell broke loose. She started getting upset. It is very normal for her to start to cry when we reach the car. Sometimes it takes two minutes to get her in the car, sometimes it takes a half hour. So, when she started to get worked up, I did the usual. I talked all about what was coming next: we’re going home for juice, pretzels, and TV. I don’t know how long it took, but she was getting more worked up by the minute, and eventually, we were in full meltdown mode. She was fighting so hard, I couldn’t even get her into her car seat, let alone buckle it up.
She was very upset about the lights on the outside of the building, demanding I turn them off. I sat in the back seat of the car with her. It only got her more worked up. She started asking repetitively to go back inside the building her daycare is in. The doors were locked. I was at a complete loss of what to do.
I sat inside the car with her. She refused to let me touch her. We both cried.
Eventually I called out to a man entering the college that is connected to our daycare. This kind stranger let me use his cell phone to send Eric an SOS. He even came out to the car to find me when Eric called his number back. Eric was 25 minutes away.
Asking this man to borrow his phone “because I can’t get my daughter in the car” was the most humiliating experience of my life. I felt completely ashamed. I felt like a terrible mother who had no control over her child. I felt helpless.
This kind man brought us into the college, where he directed us to the office and cafeteria so we could sit in warmth while we waited. Maddy continued with her full-blown meltdown. Strangers walked by and asked, “Oh no, what’s wrong?” I didn’t even offer a response because I didn’t know the answer to their questions. What is wrong? I wish I understood why this was happening. I wish I knew so I could make it better.
At 6:45pm Eric pulled up. He took Maddy in his car (and go figure, it was no trouble) and told me not to come home… but, the last place I wanted to be when I was feeling so low was out in public. So, instead, he sent me upstairs and said he would help Maddy to calm down. He eventually took her out in the car again because she was so worked up. What would I do without Eric?
I hate this. Every second of it. I want to wake up from this nightmare.