Why I Sometimes Act Like a Toddler and It’s OK

I have a confession to make. I am horrible person to be around when I don’t get what I want. It is such a childish part of my personality. Acting like a toddler as an adult is rarely socially acceptable. Obviously, I am not like this every day and I can generally get over most things that don’t go the way I wanted but everyone once in a while I hit wall of disappointment that I cannot seem to get past.

Last week we were supposed to go camping. Hubby took some time off work (which is rare), and we planned to get completely away. Like where we wouldn’t see another human being the entire time we were camping away. Hubby and I wouldn’t have cell phone service, we were going to have this amazing view of a lake in the High Sierras, take our little guy real camping for the first time, and just refresh for 4 days.

The trip was anything but those things. We were gone 24 hours (almost exactly), we never made it to the lake (or the second lake for that matter), we didn’t get to relax, we didn’t get to camp, and we didn’t get to refresh.

At about 1 am Wednesday morning we loaded up the last few things we would need, loaded up the dogs, and as carefully as possible loaded a semi sleeping baby into his car seat. We pulled out at 1:30 am.

Hubby was kind enough to drive most of the night and let me sleep. At about 5:30 he finally switched and let me drive a little so he could rest. At about 7:30 we switched back and he finished driving us up to the road for the lake. There was a quick pit stop to feed the dogs and little guy and get a wilderness permit.

We found the tiny dirt road that will lead to the lake and both of us have huge smiles on our faces until about 50 ft. off the main road there is a gate that is locked tight. The road is closed. We just drove 7 hours to find a closed road. After a few deep breaths we moved on to plan B.

Drive another 2.5ish hours to another lake that we knew we would enjoy just as much. I was doing ok. I was disappointed but we had our plan B and it was still going to be an amazing trip.

2.5 hours and a pit stop for gas later we were facing our second dirt road. We passed a family that had obviously been camping off the road we were starting up. All that stood between us and some spectacular views was a very bumpy 4-wheel drive required road. We slowly, and I mean slowly, made our way up the mountain. Everything looked great. The car was handling beautifully (it was our first time taking it on that serious of an off roading adventure), the mountains were gorgeous and it was so perfect looking.

About 3/4-1/2 a mile from the lake we found our way blocked by large piles of snow that had not melted from the road. We could even see tire tracks where someone else had already tried to make it through with no success.

Plan B was out of the question. There was no way to safely pass the first mound of snow let alone the two that followed it. We had no choice but to carefully turn around and make our way back down the road we had just painstakingly come up.

I was still holding on at this point hoping that we would come up with something. There were so many other places we could go. I was sure we would figure out something. We headed back down the road again and turned into what we thought was a little town to have some lunch and recoup a little. It was well past noon at this point.

What we found was another little lake but this one was not the isolation we craved. When we got to the campground we thought we wanted there were people everywhere. This is where I lost it. I was tired and hungry (the little town we thought we were pulling into was just a little gift shop with nowhere for us to have lunch, let the dogs out, or let C crawl around for a little while), Hubby was getting frustrated as well and we were both completely disappointed so far. And oh ya, at some point the container full of dog food had fallen off the roof rack of the car so we had no food for the dogs. I just cuddled C close to my chest and cried. There was nothing I could do at that point to prevent the tears from falling.

I will be honest. I stood there and cried and bawled and if stamping my feet had been an option on the slippery river bank, I would have. Basically, I threw a little toddler fit because I wasn’t getting my way. You want to know something really crazy?!

It was an acceptable thing to do in the moment. Yes, that’s right. It was not only acceptable but throwing a little fit right there in the middle of the campground was exactly what I needed to do to move on. Of course, because I am an adult, it wasn’t exactly the tantrum you see toddlers throwing in the grocery store but it sure was an only slightly more grown up version.

We decided to make due with one of the little campgrounds near the lake and set up camp finally at about 2 pm. Our poor little guy was just happy to be out of the car and get to crawl around. Hubby went to fish and I finished setting up a few little things.

As we all snuggled in for a desperately needed nap our dogs decided that they didn’t want to be tired up to the car a few feet away from our tent. They spent most of our nap whining at us. I didn’t sleep but Hubby and C both slept soundly.

By the time they woke up I was having second thoughts about staying the night there. Especially after a large RV pulled in next to us. The two sites had no physical barrier separating them. I feared our territorial German Shepard was going to have a problem. (He did great, actually, and was so sweet when the lady came to meet us!) We only agreed that we would bring them because we were going to be isolated and away from everyone.

We decided that this was not the camping experience we wanted, and agreed that we would head home.

I know that it might seem backwards, and as moms we are supposed to be the adults and no throw fits and just accept that we do not always (OK let’s be honest we almost never) get our way. I think though that society has put a lot of pressure on us as moms to give up so much for our families that we forget that we are allowed to be disappointed and even throw a grown up little fit when something is really important to us and it doesn’t go our way.

So, the next time you get hit over and over with mishap after mishap for something that is important to you, go find a nice quiet spot where no one else is looking and throw a little toddler fit to your hearts content. Sometimes it is exactly what we need to accept what we cannot change move on.

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