Setting the Bar to Wonder Woman – By Vicky Dal Molin

Last Friday after what was one of the craziest weeks I have had I arranged to meet some of the August Mum’s (whom I had mentioned in a previous post). Mind you this was after I rescheduled the entire group from Thursday to Friday after a last minute work meeting came up. I was sooooo excited. I hadn’t met most of the mums or their little ones although we have known each other for around 2 years if not longer and I was getting to meet up with some I had met before who lived locally.

So here I was thinking I had it all together. I had work scheduled down to the minute, my son’s nanny lined up to have him ready on time, I even had time to swing by the local Target and pick up a birthday present for the weekend. Or so I thought. The slippery slope downhill started when my son (who was with me in Target) wanted to start ripping all the cards in the birthday card aisle. Then it quickly progressed to a full-blown arms flailing, feet stamping tantrum in the toy aisle where he wanted to throw every one of the 50 balls that were there. Finally managed to wrestle him into the trolley again and buckled into the car (I’ll admit it was with bribes of goldfish – his fav snack of choice and one I can’t stand giving him…. So you know I was desperate).

We were early (that rarely ever happens) so I decided to walk through the mall to the restaurant we were meeting at. Well you would think my experience at the Target would have taught me a lesson. Nope! If it wasn’t screaming for the bright red kiddy cart the mall provides for children (he got it – germs and all because of course I’d forgotten the sanitizing wipes) it was the bright red Elmo toy nicely displayed in the toyshop we passed (and not can be found in our car). I finally just decided to get to the restaurant early in an attempt to divert my son’s attention from all the distractions of the mall. His sense of excitement with his bright red car cart and Elmo was quickly overtaken with his lack of excitement for being in the restaurant.

* Note to self “kid friendly” just means “so loud most people won’t hear your kid screaming over the noise”.

He was running towards the door whenever I put him down, kicking and flailing and crying to get out of there. In an attempt to calm him I even took him outside where the promptly took my hand and started walking me to our car (how he knew where it was I have no idea… the kid’s 19 months but apparently mapped out the escape route back to the car). I was so upset as here I was – trying to meet with some dear friends who so graciously agreed to change the day to accommodate me and we couldn’t even have a simple conversation. My friends reassured me it was normal toddler behavior and they had all been through it – but I was too busy worrying about how I’d failed it seemed everyone for the day. Failed my friends by having to reschedule then being too distracted to really have a proper conversation, failed my son who obviously wanted to be somewhere else (until his favourite food appeared on the table… at which point he became my angel child again – quiet and happy to hang out) and failed me as by the end of the evening I felt completely wrecked.

Then it hit me as I was driving home (including a 1.5 hour detour to help out my partner… am I capable of saying no ever?)… who was I trying to be? Wonder Woman? I couldn’t recall when I had set the bar so high for myself… and then I end up wondering why I’m not jumping over it each and every day.

Well if you set yourself up like that – then you’re setting yourself up to fail big time. Having a bad day, running late, having to reschedule, your child having a temper tantrum… they aren’t failures…. That’s just life! Failing is forgetting that in all of this I had a group of amazing woman reassuring me, sharing stories of their experiences and supporting me along the way.

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