I'm Scared to Take My Toddler in Public

The title might be a slight exaggeration, but somehow we have gotten to a place of legitimate fear when faced with the idea of taking Jack somewhere where he will be forced to sit still (i.e. out to eat, running errands, etc.)

This is so not us. Since the day Jack was born we have always just brought him with us. We had that little boy traveling to the lake when he was 2 weeks old and TAILGATING at 4 weeks... as long as he was safe and healthy and it wasn't an inappropriate setting for a baby, he came along! 

John and I hate to miss out on things, we have what we like to call FOMO (fear of missing out). I think a lot of people assume that when you have a baby you have to stop doing things. Sometimes, yes, we have to "miss out" on stuff. But those times are rare. 

So how did we get here? To this place of being anxious to bring Jack out into public? Well, I think it all started with that ONE bad restaurant experience. He threw food, refused to sit in his highchair, screamed.. it was a nightmare. Jack is usually easy/happy/fun to take places - but this time it was all different. 
So we just stopped. We stopped going out to eat with him. Stopped wanting to take him to the grocery store. Stopped wanting to take him over to people's houses. And it sucked. 

And it sucks even worse to think about taking him on an AIRPLANE in May. What are we going to do?! How is he going to sit still for 6 hours worth of flights?! Are we doomed?! 

So last week, we took him out to breakfast. He did great. It was the perfect storm of hunger, quick food, a first taste of chocolate milk, the right toys, and crayons. But it was more just an "ah-ha" moment for John and I. 

We have to EXPECT him to behave. We have to set him up to succeed (yes, Mom, I know you have been telling us this.) It may sound crazy, but we are already starting to talk to him about airplanes. I know I really need to start taking him to church, and other places that require him to be quiet and sit still. 

I don't want to have that bratty kid who doesn't listen and has no manners. But DANG, teaching your child discipline is hard. 
The Memoirs of Megan
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Amanda said...

I'm so scared of when Pierce is tantrum age!! He goes everywhere with us now, like you guys, but he sits in our laps we can control everything for the most part. I'm sssoooo nervous about that first experience in a restaurant high chair!! And he's just too young to understand "sssshhhhh"

Megan B.B. said...

OMG I'm totally turning into this! Like, Eli and I drove separate to dinner with friends one night so I could leave pre-meltdown.
She doesn't really have meltdowns, she just gets annoying and wants to run around, and I HATE being "that mom".