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Mommy Truths: Motherhood Ain’t Easy….

We took Pookah to the Aquarium on Sunday.


I had been talking it up for weeks, and everyday he would ask: “We go see the fish?”

Finally, I said yes. We were so excited! We waited until he had his nap and the lines died down on Sunday afternoon before we went…it was perfect.

Then, we got in the museum.

And my child LOST HIS MIND.

I mean, it was a total meltdown of the likes I have never seen before.

A meltdown of EPIC proportions.

He screamed, he hollered, he yelled “NO”, he fell down boneless on the floor.

I just couldn’t understand it.

Where was my calm, happy child?

I admit at this point, C-Dub and I were ready to forget about the $70 we just spent to get in ( plus the $10 parking) and just drag his butt home.

I mean really, can you imagine the LOOKS we were getting? Some of pity, some of disgust, some..I don’t know. I stopped noticing.

Finally though, it dawned on me that this was not rational behavior.

My child is high spirited( and yes, sometimes he misbehaves badly. Yeah I said it), but he does not usually act THIS way.


Something was wrong.

Finally I took him to a calm quiet corner and simply asked:

“What’s wrong baby? Are you OK?”

“NOOOOOOO” he cried. “I scared.”

My God, I felt like such a failure as a mommy at that moment. I had made a quick judgement based on how I was feeling and hadn’t stopped to think about my child.

It was all about me, how I was taking him to the aquarium, ME patting myself on the back for doing something educational with my child. ME being upset and embarrased because said child was not acting the way I wanted him too.

I took a deep breath and tried to calmed him down.

I had to carry all 37 solid pounds of my boy around for about 30 minutes until he calmed down. In a gentle voice I told him the fish wouldn’t hurt him. They were behind the glass. Finally he calmed down enough to actually look. Then, he calmed down enough to actually smile. And finally, he calmed down enough to actually laugh and enjoy himself.



We took a break, had dinner ( another $30, but who’s counting at this point) and saw a few more exhibits before I saw he had had enough and we left to go home.


After C-Dub and I put him to bed, we both had drinks. BIG ones filled with unusual amounts of Ciroc.


Who said motherhood was easy?

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  • Reply
    Preshus Me
    May 29, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Aw, poor little dude. It’s never occurred to me that small kids might be afraid at the aquarium. My mom has a giant fish tank in her house so my kids are used to seeing fish behind glass, but I can see how that would be intimidating. Don’t feel bad. I would have reacted the same way you did. Glad it all turned out in the end!
    Preshus Me recently posted..I think I missed the busMy Profile

    • Reply
      May 29, 2012 at 10:37 am

      I think he was overstimulated too!

  • Reply
    Her Perfect Black Dress
    May 29, 2012 at 8:42 am

    You did well. Most toddlers are overstimulated by a new environment. I’m glad that he settled down and you guys enjoyed the rest of the tour. He will ask about going back in a few weeks.
    Her Perfect Black Dress recently posted..The First 48; Our Favorite DetectiveMy Profile

    • Reply
      May 29, 2012 at 10:38 am

      I hope so. But I think I’ll hold out until the end of the summer or even next year!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 9:03 am

    It happens to all of us. We’re only human. We forget that they’re still babies and can’t always behave in rational ways. Don’t beat yourself up. The photos are wonderful. Your husband is looking good hope you enjoyed those drinks 😀
    Veronica recently posted..Solving Your Photography Color WoesMy Profile

    • Reply
      May 29, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Thanks! You should have seen all the white balance correction I had to do. EVERYTHING was blue!! I still couldn’t get it all, but they look much better!

      • Reply
        May 30, 2012 at 1:05 am

        I tried to take photos in there and the same thing happened to me. The lighting in there is horrible. I had to Tungsten a few things to get them to come out correctly when I was shooting. Glad he finally enjoyed himself. It never occured to me that something like that might be scary to children.
        Mimi recently posted..Summertime Natural Hair StruggleMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 9:26 am

    The photos look great I am glad he was able to enjoy himself that happened to my daughter when we went to a zoo in SC she screamed because she was scared but after a while she calmed down and then she screamed because she did not want to leave.
    Kita recently posted..Talk TuesdayMy Profile

    • Reply
      May 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Lol! Kids are so fickle!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

    He did. Poor boy. He was just ready to go!

  • Reply
    Cam - Bibs & Baubles
    May 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    poor baby! It can be a lot. You just never know how things seem to them. I agree, it’s so helpful when we step outside ourselves and see things from their perspective. This world can be a scary place when you’re practically new here. 🙂
    Cam – Bibs & Baubles recently posted..Welcome to SummerMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Girl Jas is the same way about some things. She gets scared and I can’t for the life of me figure out why certain things scare her ( like the swings at the park yesterday smh) but I try to calm her and let her know that things aren’t scary. Hopefully the older she gets she grows out of some of this.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    It happens to the best of us Mommy!!!! Glad, you guys decided to stay and he calmed down… the pics are great had not you mention anything no one could tell by looking at the pics!

    Lynn recently posted..Memorial Day Celebration… OOTDMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    The mega meltdown. *sigh* you ain’t living till you deal with it in a crowded place! I remember one occasion where a melt down drove me to TEARS! I had strangers consoling me, HAHA!
    ShaBoogie recently posted..Bedtime..My Profile

  • Reply
    Beautifully Complex
    May 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I lurk here often, not sure if I have ever commented.
    What a beautifully written, honest portrayal of motherhood.
    It must be hard to manage your emotions as a child until you learn expression. I am sure he was just as frustrated as you & your husband were.
    That photo at the end was just lovely. What a beautiful family you have !
    Beautifully Complex recently posted..Day 29 My HeroMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 30, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Oh the public melt down! We’ve all been there! Glad he was able to recover and still enjoy your day out.
    Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day. xx
    Jenny recently posted..Provence HighlightsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Melisa - Mommy This and That
    May 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    The aquarium is so dark and loud! I am sure you are not alone with a child that totally flipped because they were scared! At least you took the time to figure it out and let him enjoy it, because the smile he has on in the photo with his Daddy? That’s priceless!
    Melisa – Mommy This and That recently posted..Happy Anniversary!My Profile

  • Reply
    May 31, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I remember a melt down we had some 12 years ago with my oldest daughter at a kids festival at the convention center. It was too much and she couldn’t handle it, so we had to leave. Glad he was able to enjoy the fish!
    Whitney recently posted..Comment on When To Let Go… by WhitneyMy Profile

  • Reply
    May 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I’ve had so many similar experiences. It’s tough sometimes to listen to our children when we think we know what’s best and are stressed and tired and everything else, but it’s imperative. I’m learning this more and more each day. We must listen and hear them in the same way that we want them to listen and hear us.

    Your pictures are awesome. I’m glad it turned out great in the end!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2012 at 8:01 am

    This is why as parents, we have to familiarize our kids to know everything around him and explain if it’s safe or not in coming near to such creatures or animals..
    Thanks for sharing your experience!
    Born27 recently posted..Video Conferencing SystemMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 1, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Poor Pookah.. I suggest let him watch Nemo.. I know he will learn to love and be afraid of fishes and other underwater animals..
    Heidi19 recently posted..Arowana – a prized investment catch or …My Profile

  • Reply
    June 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

    So glad he was able to enjoy it. It can be overstimulating for a child. I remember the first time I took Zee to the aquarium, I carried her around the whole time. The second time was much better because she wasn’t as scared, but when they are scared they do some crazy stuff.

    Glad you and the hubby was able to relax afterwards with that big drink 😉
    KalleyC recently posted..Jello For Legs?My Profile

    • Reply
      June 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Someone told me to let him watch finding nemo. But I still think we’ll wait until next year to try again

  • Reply
    June 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Well, I don’t know who said motherhood was he easy but he shole told a lie! At least little kids will eventually tell you what’s wrong but teenagers – woosah! Teenagers answer to everything is “Nothing” and an eyeroll, LOL!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Aww we all have those moments! Happens all the time – the thing we think will be so much fun actually turns out to be overwhelming at first. You handled it well! Glad you had a nice day in the end!
    Tricia recently posted..Growing Together: Tara at Pohlkotte PressMy Profile

  • Reply
    Laura @ Pruning Princesses
    August 30, 2012 at 7:11 am

    A great mom is not one who never gets lost in her own interests; it is one who never sees she is lost and never returns to the sacrificial, caring way of life that is mothering. Great job. I am so glad you had the patience to calm him down and teach him to look at the fishes. Happy SITS day.
    Laura @ Pruning Princesses recently posted..Time to get the girls a cell phone?My Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 7:26 am

    yeah, who said that??? LOL
    The fact is though that you figured out what he needed and you rock as a mom. You helped him overcome his fear and enjoy the aquarium, way to go.
    karen recently posted..Tiny Bathroom UPDATEMy Profile

  • Reply
    Emily @ TheBusyMomsDiet
    August 30, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Amen! Motherhood is simultaneously the most stressful and amazing thing I’ve ever done. You handled it beautifully.
    Emily @ TheBusyMomsDiet recently posted..6 Tips for using Positive Discipline with a ToddlerMy Profile

  • Reply
    another jennifer
    August 30, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Sounds like you handled the situation like a pro! It’s so hard when a meltdown begins and you have no idea why. It’s even harder to be patient so that you can find out why! I will remember this next time my 3yo melts down on me. 🙂 Happy SITS Day!
    another jennifer recently posted..My Giving Pledge: August DonationMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I think it takes a wonderful mommy to carry your child around until he’s able to calm down. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and think what would be best for our child, we just want him to stop! What a cute little boy! Happy Sits day!!

  • Reply
    Tara @
    August 30, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Your a really good mommy.
    My first reaction is usually the same as your first.
    Next time this happens, I am going to do the same with my daughter, who unfortunately is afraid of her own shadow.

    Last time this happened was at Disney- the happiest place on Earth…for everyone but Chloe! Her meltdown lasted close to an hour!!

    So HELL NO!! Preanting is anything but easy! But thank you for this story…because next time, I will keep my cool, take her to a corner and talk to her gently.
    Tara @ recently posted..Peanut Butter and Jelly MuffinsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sheila Skilllingstead
    August 30, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Listening is so important but sometimes we forget. It’s amazing what our children think and we don’t expect. Great pictures. Enjoy your SITS day.
    Sheila Skilllingstead recently posted..Words: FineMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Love this post. I think motherhood teaches so much humility. Good for you for getting to that point.
    Heather recently posted..Book Review: How Not to F*** Them UpMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Oh the challenge to see life through their little eyes! Little eyes with no context or perspective … poor little fellow! But good for you to get to the heart of the issue (and his little heart) and turn the situation around. The pictures show he had a great time! 🙂

    Enjoy your SITS day! 🙂
    Morgan recently posted..small things {lucky}My Profile

  • Reply
    Sara Ivy
    August 30, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Your son is so adorable! I’ve been wanting to take my room mate’s baby to the aquarium for a while because she loves water so much but we need to wait until she is older I think. But now I’m nervous she’ll get scared when the fish come around.
    Sara Ivy recently posted..Wednesday Want List: SuitcasesMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I got kind of freaked out the first time I walked through the glass tube at the aquarium, too. And I was an adult. I can totally understand why it was tough for him.

    You handled it beautifully. Good job, mom!
    misssrobin recently posted..I Can StrengthenMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Poor little dude! I never thought about it freaking them out either. My kids have loved going. But the oldest was older for her first trip, and they talk it up to each other when we do fun stuff. I’m sure that makes a difference. Good Heavens don’t take him to the zoo!!
    Amy recently posted..Just a reminder!My Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Visiting from SITS! I had a friend recently say in joking, “You just want control don’t you?” While we laughed, knowing it was secretly true, I thought about how this need for control of a situation with my little man who is 18 months could be a disservice. Thank you for writing this post and giving some perspective to a situation like this.

    PS I live in GA too. I’m wondering for the $$, was/is it worth it at their age or should I wait to take him? 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Lisa recently posted..DIY: Stain Remover for Tough Carpet Stains Using Ammonia & IronMy Profile

    • Reply
      August 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      WAIT!!! I think he will enjoy it more NEXT year. I’m going to introduce him to Nemo and talk to him a little more about fish. THEN take him when he’s 3 almost 4. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Mothering From Scratch
    August 30, 2012 at 11:01 am

    {Kathy} I totally get it. The unpredictability of children. When you think they won’t like something — BAM! They love it. And vice versa. You mean to tell me that they have a mind of their own? I hate it when they do that.
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..a mother’s prayer closetMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Aw man, whomever said motherhood was easy was a hairy liar with flaming pants. I admit that I’m one who will look when a child is having a public meltdown, but honestly it’s to see what’s wrong, and if there’s something I can do to help the mom out. I think we ALL forget to check in and register that something is -wrong-, not just our child trying our patience. Good for you for recognizing it at all, and not punishing him for not meeting your expectations! You’re a good mom <3
    Kristin recently posted..Organizing: My ClosetMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Sometimes we think we know them and judge them based on what we think. It isn’t fair, but we do make those mistakes, God help us!
    I am your SITStah here to congratulate you on being featured.
    Have a super SITS day!
    Ugochi recently posted..HOW I LEFT PROSTITUTIONMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Isn’t it funny how hard it is sometimes for us to be aware of *why* our child is having “a moment”? I know I’ve caught myself in similar situations for sure! Good for you for realizing it and helping Pookah out. Good Mommying!
    Venus recently posted..That bat makes you look fat.My Profile

  • Reply
    Classic NYer
    August 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Well I’m glad you were able to calm him down and enjoy the fish eventually. (And nobody’s hating on the Ciroc, haha!)

    Happy SITS day!
    Classic NYer recently posted..On poisonMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Ah, we just took our 15 month old to the Georgia Aquarium a couple of weeks ago (that is my second to last post!) Thankfully she loved it, but she was wiped out an hour in!

    Glad he came around and enjoyed it! Happy SITS day!
    Mary recently posted..The Start of My New JourneyMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Indeed, Motherhood is tough.
    We’ve had those meltdowns, and when I see them I want to look around for the child’s mother, then I remember, right, it’s me. And I want to hide 🙂
    But we work them out …. eventually.
    Carolyn recently posted..Quinoa PattiesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel
    August 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Good for you for recognizing that he needed to be asked what was wrong. It is amazing as parents how often we forget in the heat of a tantrum what is the matter. Well done mama!
    Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel recently posted..Skipping in the right directionMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Aw. This is heart-breaking because I can imagine myself in this situation–and I’ve probably been there and just didn’t know, instead opting to get frustrated over bad behavior–because like you–my Georgia is high-spirited (a.k.a–dramatic, determined, over-confident, and opinionated). Such a good reminder though to actually work at getting to the heart of the matter!

  • Reply
    Jamie H
    August 31, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Don’t beat yourself up. It happens to the best of us (including me!).
    Jamie H recently posted..One week of summer vacation for us!My Profile

  • Reply
    September 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    What a story! Love that you are so dedicated to being a mother and willing to admit your imperfections! That is so important as a parent! Great job!

    Simone recently posted..High Five 8.31.12My Profile

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