This is a guest post from my friend Susie.
Today was one of those days. You know, the one where you're like "Please remind me why I signed on for this?" Not that you need to remind me, I already know the reason. It is the highest calling. I know this.
So today, I picked Ethan up from school and he told me how good he was, his teacher even gave him a special gift for showing such great behavior. I was very pleased. I have seen him make tremendous improvements in the last few months. Anyone who knows Ethan is aware of how busy and precocious he can be. And his energy level is through the roof. He is also very obstinate. Which makes for a challenging child, and my patience is tested every day. When Ethan was two he ran away from me constantly. It didn't matter if we were in a mall, airport, restaurant, Walmart,or our house. I resorted to putting latches on the tops of my doors, just to keep him safe. In public places he would find the nearest exit and make his fearless getaway. Recently he's gotten a lot better, although I've found him outside our house on the sidewalks a few times. We live on a busy road, and I've practically beat the dangers of running in the road into him.
Anyway, he asked if I would take him to McDonald's playland for lunch because he was so good. I agreed and we went. I noticed he started misbehaving after about a half hour, so I told him it was time to go home. I through my tray away, and when I turned around I couldn't find him. I figured he climbed back up into the playset. I called for him, no answer. I quickly walked through McDonald's, no Ethan. I went back to the playset, and the crappy part was that it's so difficult to find your kids when their up in that thing. There were tons of kids up there, so I just called his name hoping he would come down. After about 5 minutes or so I started panicking. Another mother caught on to my anxiety and offered to help. We looked around McDonalds again, we went outside etc. I seriously was about to call the police. This McDonald's was right against State St. in Lindon, which is a monster of a road. Horrible scenarios were going through my mind, and I was loosing it. After what seemed an eternity (probably about 10 minutes...maybe less) a lady came in the playland and asked if anyone was missing a child. She said there was a little boy in the Smith's parking lot behind McDonald's playing with rocks in the middle of crazy lunch hour traffic. I was hysterical, and went running outside with Lilly in my arms(perfect little soul). There Ethan was, happy as a clam, with no clue of what danger he was in. I grabbed him and we went in to get our bags from McDonald's. I'm sorry, but I couldn't help myself. My emotions were through the roof. I was literally pulling him and yelling "You scared Mommy to death, you could have been killed!!". You could have heard a pin drop in that McDonald's. All eyes and ears were on US. I could have cared less. I was so hysterical, I WANTED to beat the crap out of him (of course I didn't). But I did publicly chastise him. And I spanked him hard on his bum before we got in the car. I wanted him to be embarrassed, and shamed. I was so angry I was shaking. Ethan is a smart kid, and a boy ahead of his age in many ways. They've put him in a class with 5 year olds at school because he talks like he's 20. So, it's hard for me to remember that he's still 3 3/4.
So, here's where the advice is needed.
What would you have done?
I took his lovies away when we got home, and he went straight to his room, all privileges gone for the rest of the day. I also feel bad because the talk given in Sacrament meeting last week was about controlling your temper as a parent, and I feel I lost mine today. But honestly people, I was enraged because he could have been killed. I would appreciate some good mommy advice right about now.