She looks so sweet and innocent, doesn't she? Most of the time she is. But when she isn't? Well, she can throw a princess tantrum fit for a queen. She threw one of these on our first Wednesday visit to our new church. Before we got there, she assured me with her typical charming smiles that she would be more than happy to walk into her class without a fuss.
But when I got to the door of the classroom, she wrapped her little arms and legs around me so tightly, I couldn't pry them off. When I had finally freed her legs, they started kicking (me) in true tantrum fashion. I managed to pass her off to the nursery worker who, through fake smiles and above the screaming, assured me it would be "just fine" if I left the little monster with her.
What my little princess needed was a trip out to the woodshed, but truth be told, I was just as stressed out as she was. It was a disorganized first night, and I didn't know where I was to go nor where my children should be dropped off. I'm sure my frustration had worn off on her.
So, taking the nursery worker at her word, I turned to try to find my way, all the while hearing her screams echoing down the halls of the church. When I went to pick her up, she was cheery as ever. I thanked the nursery worker profusely and apologized
several hundred times on behalf of my little girl. I was told that, "She sure does have a set of lungs of her!" which is polite for, "Please don't ever bring your cute little bundle of terror back to my classroom!"
All week, I dreaded this return to church, but I knew for the sake of my other 3 kids I would return. Not to mention I had already paid for all of us to participate in Wednesday nights. Not to mention I enjoy some adult interaction myself. But I dreaded doing the tantrum all over again. Clearly the nursery worker dreaded it too because when I walked in with Audrey, I heard her exclaim to her fellow worker, "Oh no!" which at first really ticked me off because this is my sweet, little princess and how dare you! But then I remembered what it is like to be a volunteer in a church's children's program. And I remembered all of the little monsters who, over the years, made me exclaim, "Oh no!" when I would see them walk through the doors.
Lucky for the nursery workers, I was armed with a brilliant plan. I built her anticipation early afternoon by telling her I had a special surprise for her. Then, right before we got to her class, I pulled out a little baggie of M&Ms. "These are Courage M&Ms," I told her. "I want you to put them in your pocket, and everytime you feel like crying, you just pop one in your mouth. OK?" She nodded.
We walked in. I knelt down to hug her and got the tight death grip around my neck. "Do you need one of your M&Ms?" I whispered in her ear. The little hands around my neck loosened and she reached in for a candy. She popped it in her mouth, kissed my cheek, and I walked out.
When I picked her up, the nursery worker was all smiles--and not a fake smile this time. She greeting me enthusiastically. "Not a tear this time!"