If you read this blog frequently, you know that usually Mondays bring a picture filled post of whatever awesome adventure we had over the weekend. Looking back through this blog, you’d see that in the last month alone we’ve taken the kids to a Yankee’s game, a Met’s game, spent a day in Cape May, spent a weekend in Ohio, and made the trip to Sesame Place. We’re constantly entertaining our kids and giving them great opportunities for fun and learning. This Monday you’re not going to see that though. Because we’ve decided to not raise spoiled brats.
If you read my “random” post, you saw that we had gotten tickets to the Nickelodeon Day of Play which was today. Josh and I were so excited to the take the boys to this sold out event where one of their favorite bands was performing. We left the house a little before 11:00 and headed over to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The website for the festival had said that taking public transportation was recommended because parking is tough in that neighborhood but since we were coming from Staten Island, we had to drive over anyway and figured we’d just try our hand at finding a spot. Two hours later, yeah that’s right. Two hours later, we still hadn’t found a place to park and decided that we needed to come up with plan B. We had driven around a pretty large vicinity and weren’t able to find anything and we didn’t know where we’d be able to park and ride the subway back to Prospect Park so we asked the boys what they wanted to do. Theo said that he was starving and would rather just go find somewhere to eat and then go to Central Park. Parker said he wanted to keep looking for a spot. So we continued around, to no avail, and decided that it was time to call it quits. I told Parker that we would look for 10 more minutes and if we still couldn’t find anywhere to park we’d just go into Manhattan, grab lunch somewhere and take the train to Central Park where they could play in the incredible playground and rock climbing area as well as get ice cream. Theo thought that sounded great but Parker was angry and said out of spite, “I’m not going into New York. New York is boring so I’ll just go home.” I ignored him because I understood that he was disappointed and figured he would have a bit of an attitude about the situation for a while (he is his mother’s son, after all). We continued to drive around looking for something.
At this point, Josh and I felt terrible. We knew how excited Parker was about going to this event but we had tried everything we could think of. It sounds like we were ill prepared, and maybe we were since we were warned about parking, but honestly we’ve never had an issue with parking in Brooklyn before. 10 minutes later it was time to move on so we began to leave the Prospect Park neighborhood to head into the city. I apologized to the boys and explained that sometimes plans change and you just have to be able to go with it. Of course it was disappointing but we could still go into the city and have a great day. But Parker was adamant. Once again he said, “I just want to go home.” I knew he was just playing games with me because he was angry but I wasn’t going to deal with a temper tantrum. I turned around to face him, letting him know that I was serious, and said, “Are you sure you just want to go home?” To which he replied, “Yes. I’m going home.” With that, I told Josh just to head home instead and I let Theo know that I’d take him for ice cream back home. And then, all hell broke loose.
I’m not going to rehash the entire 20 minute fit that Parker threw but basically he was acting irrational because he was upset about the Day of Play and then angry when I didn’t feed into his initial reaction to our plan B. Of course he really did want to go into Central Park but being seven years old (and his mother’s son), he chose to be stubborn and pout rather than agree to make the best of our circumstances. When his attitude backfired on him, he lost control and behaved pretty erratically. So right now, he is spending the rest of the night in his bedroom with nothing more than books and legos and his birthday trip to Six Flags has been cancelled. That may sound a little extreme but his behavior was just that. We gave him many opportunities to calm down and warned him that if the behavior continued, he’d be in this exact position. I actually even video taped a portion of his fit so he could see it once he calmed down. We watched it together and he agreed that he was out of control and that his consequences fully fit his behavior.
Honestly, I feel terrible. Terrible right now. I know this all began because he was so disappointed but at the same time it is absolutely ridiculous that a kid who gets to do as much as he does, should flip out like this over his alternative being a trip to Central Park (#spoiledNYCkidproblems). So in an effort to reverse some of the damage we’ve done by jading our children, we’re cutting back a little. No more planned activity every weekend and no more big ticket events until Parker realizes that even our plan B’s are incredible.