Guilty pleasures. Those sick and awesomely twisted things we all do as moms that we like to pretend we don’t do but just can’t help ourselves from doing over and over and over again because they just make us feel OH SO good. (And guilty.)
For some of you, it’s binge eating ice cream adorned with dye-filled gummy bears in your closet after the kids go to bed while looking at Pinterest articles on how to remove dye and dairy from your children’s diet.
For others, it’s making mimosas for your friends on a weekday morning but then intentionally forgetting to invite your friends to the party. For three days in a row.
And for others, it’s intentionally putting your hubby’s shirt in the underwear drawer, just so you get an early morning chuckle in as you watch him scramble about the house like a mad man looking for his shirt all the while saying to him, “Yes, I think I saw it, but I just can’t remember where I put it…”
But for ALL moms, no matter who you are, you share one guilty pleasure with every other mom under the sun. And here it is:
You like watching other people’s kids have meltdowns.
At first you want to deny it. I know. But take a moment to think about the last time you were shopping and you heard loud screaming in the aisle? And just as you got ready to yell your customary, “If you don’t quiet down, you’ll have to organize my makeup drawer again” to your own kids, you realized it was someone else’s kid utterly freaking out.
Do you remember in that moment that strong and inappropriate feeling of joy that suddenly swept through your entire body? Do you remember that your feet begin to tap dance while a grin so enormous it was ugly began to overtake your face? Yeah. That’s because you like watching another kid meltdown. And here are five reasons why:
1. You get to sit back and enjoy the show. For once, just for once, you get to be the spectator at the ever-engaging and highly gripping show called “CHILD MELTDOWN” filled with such raw emotion and devoid of any rationality that you can hardly peel your eyes from the performance. And instead of selling tickets for today’s matinee as you usually do, you get to hand over your $5.00 to buy a ticket, relax and shove down a few Skittles for yourself while you watch the near Oscar-worthy performance nominated for Best Drama in a Grocery Store.
2. You instantly feel like a better mother. Even if your kids were previously acting like crazy monsters no less than 5 seconds before the other kid began their screaming and waling, something about their meltdown magically makes you see your kids in a shiny and fake angel glow and feel like you just might be deserving of the “Mother of the Year Award 2015” after all. (Never mind the fact that you’re bribing them with Skittles to sit in the shopping cart.)
3. You can take notes on how another mother handles the situation. After experiencing one meltdown after another for 7 years in a row, sometimes a mom’s creativity is lacking in the skill of backing out of a meltdown. Let’s be real. It can be an art that needs creativity. Like trying to back out of a lion’s cage with raw meat in your hand. So one of the best parts about watching another child experience a meltdown is watching how the other mother gets through it. “Hmmm. She squawks like a bird while singing Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer.’ Unconventional, yet effective. Detailed notes taken. Thank you.”
4. You instantly feel like you have a new best friend. Sometimes life as a mom can be isolating, especially if you have little ones. Like you live on an island with needy little monkeys that growl at you and poop on themselves all day, which makes a mom start to lose her sanity until she meets another mom raising similar monkeys on the island over. Because something about watching another mom go through similar misery makes you feel connected. Like best friends. Like long lost soul mates. Like you want to get her one of those old fashioned necklaces that says BFFs, where she wears one side and you the other. Or at least throw her a wine cooler if nothing else.
5. It gives you strength to endure your child’s next meltdown. And last but not least, watching another kid have a meltdown gives you the strength to make it through your child’s next meltdown by something magical called I’m-caught-up-in-watching-this-bomb-get-disengaged amnesia which thereby allows you to forget that you also are holding a ticking time bomb in your cart. And for the brief moment you are watching the other meltdown, you have the ever-so-slightest sensation that you are on a mini vacation in the middle of the grocery store (that lasts approximately 20.3 seconds.) And that vacation helps build your strength to disengage your little bomb, which is set to go off in 3, 2, 1…
“MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMYY. He hittttttt meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”
Related post: 9 Assholes Your Kid Will End Up Friends With