Well, now that I'm caught up from from holiday break and have a moment to write a blog, I want to take the time to thank a very sweet family who had my back this Christmas.

I have a two-year-old daughter. The holidays are hard on toddlers. Their schedules are all messed up and that transpires into meltdowns. Category 5 MELTDOWNS. In turn, mamas have meltdowns too.

One late afternoon, after a particularly busy, bustling day, we had tickets to see Evansville Ballet's The Nutcracker. My daughter's sweet cousin, Jacqueline, was performing and we try to never miss her beautiful ballets. We also try to buy her a bouquet of flowers for after the show to honor her performance. I decided to stop at Schnucks in Newburgh. It was convenient.

My daughter said, "No, Mama. I stay in car." I replied with, "They'd take you away from me. Gotta go in."

This didn't go over well. At... all... I should have just coaxed or even baited her with candy. I knew better but I only had so much time. So, I forced her from her carseat and pulled her out of the car. I figured she'd chill once we got in the store and picked out pretty flowers.

WRONG. She escalated.

"I got this," I thought. "Just run through the self-checkout line." Well, even that line was eight and half miles long.

By this time, she was trying to run out of the store, hollering and causing an awful scene. I would have let her throw the fit if she hadn't tried to make a couple mad dashes for the doors and then kicked me when I picked her up. So, I set the flowers down in the closest place available and did what I had to do to get her out to the car - with tears streaming down my face. This was not the first meltdown that week or even day. I was spent.

I got her out to my car and didn't attempt to buckle her in. I just put her in the front seat and got in the driver's side. We didn't go anywhere. She howled like a banshee, kicked my car door and snot poured from her face.

I called her father for backup - still crying.

Then, I heard a small tap on my car window. A teen girl with her family saw the scene go down and they purchased the flowers for me. She ran out behind me and gave me the bouquet. Her mother closed in behind her. She made sure I wasn't driving off with my crazed kid in the front seat, hugged me and told me she'd pray for me. She also told me that all parents have been there.

It was... relief. Relief that I wasn't alone. Relief that someone who didn't know me, didn't judge me or my child for being tired and upset. Relief that I had backup prayers coming my way.

I sat quietly in my car until the screams stopped and soft hiccups took over. By the time my husband arrived, she was cuddled in my arms and was able to communicate again. We asked if she wanted to go to the ballet or go home with daddy. She quietly said, "the ballet."

I love spending time with her and wanted her to enjoy the dancing so much but I didn't want another meltdown. I asked her three more times before putting her back in her carseat. My husband told me I was crazy. I am crazy.

We went to the ballet. We parked three blocks away and I had to carry her both ways in heels. She behaved like a young lady through the first act and right after the Russian dance told me she wanted to go home. I didn't ask questions - we got up and left right then and delivered the flowers a couple of days later.

To the family who supported me and my daughter during the Christmas Category 5 at the Newburgh Schnucks, thank you. Thank you so much. Your kindness meant the world to this frazzled, worn out mama in her time of need.

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