Take Your Kids to Work Day – Toddler Tantrums and Reflections.

We participated in “Take your Sons and Daughters to Work Day” this year on April 27th. My kids look forward to this day all year long since they get the opportunity to tag along with their dad to his office in NYC. They get to commute by bus and train… and walk the streets of NY like little bosses.

Kids riding on the bus to go to their dad's NYC office for Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day
On the 119 to NYC.

Addi went for the first time 2 years ago, and last year, Zali tagged along with them.

This year,  I decided to join them. Two years before, I was pregnant… and then last year, I stayed home with our infant, Kari. Kari’s now a toddler and not attached to my body 24/7 like before so I felt a little empowered (by my bit of freedom) to venture out and explore the city with my tiniest human while my older homeschoolers went to work with their dad.

My plan was to travel with my husband and the kids to NYC and then walk them all to Ash’s work office. I would give them hugs & kisses, and then Kari & I would be off to explore the city! It was going to be amazing…

Until Kari decided to have a full-blown tantrum in Port Authority.

She wanted to walk everywhere, in different directions, without holding anyone’s hand because… let’s be realistic, which toddler ever wants to hold hands? Our only option was to put her in the stroller. And she suddenly hates her stroller! And boy did she make it known…

She screamed, kicked, and wiggled her little body and contorted it in all sorts of ways while we were trying to get her seated. Then, in her rage, she even pulled my hair!

It was not a great day to leave my hair down, I’ll tell you that…

No one could miss us. We were those parents… I’m sure all the other parents felt sorry for us. Those that didn’t have kids probably swore that when and if they ever did, there would be no way in hell their kid would be allowed to act like that! Haha. But there we were… not making eye contact with anyone because they were all staring at our toddler girl, Kari.

You would think I would be embarrassed, but I was mostly surprised! All of this hit me totally off guard. It was right then and there that it hit me that we’ve just entered a new stage with Kari… and it’s clear that she’s an almost-2- year-old. A terrible-two’s, tantrum-throwing-piece-of-human who is about to make us her little b****… I don’t even say that word out loud, but is there a better way to describe how raising a spirited toddler feels? NO.

Sometimes I feel like I have no tricks left to pull out of my pockets with Kari. Like none. She’s way too smart for me at times! And too advanced in her understanding of life. She’s a toddler unlike any other toddler I’ve ever encountered before… and she’s mine. She’s this tiny little person with an extremely loud roar. She wants what she wants and she will knock down any walls (we’re usually the walls) in her way. That is Kari. And the tantrum she threw? Oh it was epic and it wore me out…

And to think, we had JUST stepped foot in NY not even a solid 15 minutes.

As she sat in her stroller screaming her little lungs out, I wanted to join her and do some screaming of my own. Mostly at myself though… because I was now a whole bus ride away from home – where I probably should have stayed to begin with!

What was I expecting? Did I think this trip was going to actually be easy? WITH A BUSY TODDLER? Was I living in a bubble? People don’t call this stage “terrible twos” for nothing, you know! I should have searched deep within my memory bank and remembered when I was a mom to a toddler before. Did I forget? Do I remember now?

My other two toddlers NEVER screamed like her though. They didn’t throw tantrums like hers either and if they did, I probably won’t remember. But speaking of memory, Kari has a memory like no other. If you hurt her feelings in a any way, she lets you know that she remembers. And on this day, she felt it was her right to walk around like every other upright human being in Port Authority. And we totally bursted her little toddler bubble. Sorta how she burst mine with her tantrum!

While Kari was still screaming away and showing me how upset she was, I looked at her, Addi, & Zali and all the people hurrying around us and time stood still for a second.

My life has those sobering moments when it hits me “Wow. I’m THEIR mom!” “These are MY kids…”

And in that moment, while looking at them, I noticed Zali’s little birthday hat that she decided to wear with her sparkly-ears headband to pretend she was a unicorn. I also noticed Addi’s smile when he was trying his best to cheer up his baby sis and how much older he looks now. He’s definitely growing into a young man – and looking more and more like his dad with each passing day. And I saw Kari’s little feet in her tiny gold shoes and my heart just wanted to explode because she’s so cute, you know?

I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for the opportunity to be their mom. Here they were, Addi & Zali, still so excited to head to work with their dad… and in spite of their little sister screaming and them trying to distract her and make her laugh, they both seemed so happy.

In these moments, I find myself remembeing that my energy affects their mood. If I’m stressed out by tantrums and screams and life not going my way, they’ll think its okay to handle life that way too. And I rather them see resilience and strength instead of a flustered mom. My thoughts and actions determine their’s after all… and so I better make the most of each moment – even in the midst of tantrums and having my bubbles of expectations burst right before my eyes.

Put a smile on my face. Give my screaming toddler a kiss. Reassure her that we hear her. That we understand she’s upset. Acknowledge how her siblings are trying to help. Tell them how much I appreciate it. These moments can either make us or break us as a family… and I rather make a memory filled with stories of how Kari threw a tantrum and how we survived it.

I snapped out of my frustrations and told my Zali girl how beautiful she looked and told my son that I think he’s the most handsome boy, ever.

And just as I was doing those very things, I had an idea that it might help if I sang a song for toddler girl.

… YES! A SONG! Why didn’t I think of that before? “Row Row Row your BOAT!…”

And just like that, little screaming toddler girl smiled and appeared to be enjoying the song…

Only to break out in screams once her eyes met mine again!

So I stopped pushing the stroller to get her a cookie – thinking, “Well, maybe she’s hungry?” So I handed her the cookie and not even a second later, that poor cookie went flying!

She was clearly trying to remind me that she was still upset…and it seemed to be AT ME  for putting her in the stroller!

Kari finally calmed down about 5-10 minutes afterwards… but I didn’t dare make eye contact with her again until it was safe to take her out of the stroller. But because we were in NYC, with crowds of people hurrying along beside us, the safest place for her was in the stroller.

So I ended up heading to the office with Kari along with Ash and the kids. I didn’t want to leave her sitting in the stroller the entire time while strolling around NY so I figured the office was the safest place for her to be so she could stretch her legs and run around and explore like she wanted to.

It became TAKE YOUR FAMILY TO WORK DAY for us. And it actually turned out pretty nice after that eventful start.

The kids enjoyed hanging with Ash while he worked. They drew on the dry erase glass, made artwork, and tested out every chair.

Addi and Zali drawing on the dry erase glass while at work with dad.
Addi & Zali’s working on a masterpiece!

I, however, was extremely BORED. I doodled all over a piece of paper like I was back in school. Hearts everywhere, floral wreaths, and faux calligraphy practice helped distract me for a good 10 minutes. I eventually put my head down for a bit and dozed off. That nap was amazing. I’m sure it was for only a few minutes, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve napped during the day. It was short-lived though because Kari interrupted it with her tugging and requests for “Num Nums.” And so I opened my eyes, scooped her up in my lap, and nursed her.

Meanwhile, Ash worked and worked some more…

Ash trying to explain executive search to Addi…
And then to Zali…

And as soon as he was done with the tasks at the office, we went to Bryant park with all 3 kids.

Addi and Zali making music at Bryant Park in NYC
My boy! <3
Kari joined in and made some music too!

It wasn’t long before she got bored and attempted to run off…

Ash scooped her up and she wasn’t thrilled by it, to say the least.
Soon they all found the fountain and toddler girl was absolutely amused!
This kept her attention for a while… she couldn’t believe her little eyes!

She even practiced some ballet moves in front of the fountain…
And then she turned around and tried to climb in !
In typical toddler fashion, she laid on the floor when we told her she couldn’t take a splash… go figure!

As much fun as we had being together in NYC for Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day, I won’t be tagging along next year. Just No.

Nope.

Never.

Ever.

Again!

Well, at least not until toddler girl grows out of this stage!

The kids going with their dad was supposed to be sort of a break-day for me as “teacher-mom,” but motherhood is never as we plan, is it? Sometimes it’s even better than we could’ve imagined, and some days, your toddler throws a bunch of tantrums when you wish she wouldn’t.

But it sure is a blessing being a mom no matter what each day brings. I’ll take a tantrum throwing toddler any day because it means we’re alive and well. THAT in itself is a blessing that I’m so thankful for. Life is the most precious gift and every moment in it is a chance to really live and take in all the beautiful moments and memories it offers to us.

Hopefully next year Kari will understand the concept of holding hands and we can try this thing out again…  but if not, we’ll sleep in and watch Tro-Tro or whatever show she’s into then…

23 COMMENTS

  1. Robin rue | 11th May 17

    I have a child who had LOTS of public meltdowns. It was embarrassing, but we figured out how to deal with it.

    • lovemadehandmade@gmail.com | 11th May 17

      That’s awesome! We’re definitely still in the process of figuring out how to handle those meltdowns with our youngest. Every child is so different, but the real fun is figuring out what works for each and what doesn’t.

  2. jessi | 11th May 17

    My husband missed take your child to work day and he was so upset! We had both forgotten about it until it was about mid-day that day. I work from home so they are always with me, but he was really excited to take her and completely forgot!

    • lovemadehandmade@gmail.com | 11th May 17

      Oh no! It has happened to us before too. We set all sorts of alarms to remember now though! Most parents forget because its one of those things that only happens once a year, but hopefully next year she can tag along. My kids looooove it! Helps them to understand what happens when daddy goes to work…

  3. Angela Tolsma | 11th May 17

    What a great opportunity that your husband could take you all to work with him. Hopefully you do go next year and it works out so much better.

  4. Marcie in Mommyland | 11th May 17

    First off, your older daughter’s outfit is colorfully amazing! And I’ve worn my hair down a handful of times. It’s never been a good idea for me and my little boys! Kudos to an eventful Take You Kids to Work Day, though!

  5. Kristina | 11th May 17

    Your family is beautiful. I love take your kids to work days so they can see what we do all day when we aren’t home.

  6. Terri | 11th May 17

    Oh no! But, it will be a memory and a story you will remember forever! I love the picture of the two in front of the white board!

  7. daniella | 11th May 17

    Toddlers can definitely be a handful. Looks like you handled it like a champ, though! What a wonderful family you have.

  8. Tereza | 11th May 17

    Ah bless this sounds like so much fun (and horror haha!). The pictures you’ve taken are wonderful though and I’m sure they’ll make for some wonderful memories xx

  9. Orana | 11th May 17

    I don’t live in the states so have never experienced this. I actually used to take my little baby son to work all the time when he was still nursing. My kids visit dad in the office all the time as well and its HELL! jajaja they want to to touch everything and break everything. Maybe next year your original plan will work.

  10. Journa Ramirez | 11th May 17

    I agree.. Motherhood brings lots of surprises and sometimes we’re not ready. Your kids are so adorable! You’re a great mom.

  11. Brittany | 11th May 17

    I’ve always wanted to do a take your kid to work day, but I have three boys… They wouldn’t just come along, they would completely take over!

  12. Robin | 11th May 17

    You gotta love it! Kids are funny little creatures, just when you think you’ve figured them out, darn if they don’t enter a new stage.

  13. Cindy Ingalls | 12th May 17

    Ah, yes the toddler meltdown. It happens to everyone. They have their own minds and don’t understand why you won’t let them play in the street or in the fountain.

  14. Kim | 12th May 17

    I can totally relate to this. I am in the trenches of toddlerhood and it seems never ending. The tantrums are awful!

  15. Heather | 13th May 17

    The most perfectly planned days never go as planned. I have two daughters, aged two and eight. Most days it’s the two year old causing chaos in our perfect plans. But the rare days where she is perfectly compliant, the eight year old go the extreme opposite. Parenting is just hard but having the expectation that each day will not go as planned has helped me laugh through these moments.

  16. Donna | 13th May 17

    OMG She is so cute in her outfit! Way to go mom! I’ve had meltdowns with my littles on the train too. No where to escape! Its so unnerving and we’ve all been there.

  17. Lara | 14th May 17

    What an adventure!! I can imagine it gets so challenging with little ones at various stages due to being various ages. Sounds like it was an eventful day but in the end, you made it all work! Love the photos throughout.

  18. Elizabeth O. | 15th May 17

    I think we’ve all been there and I would totally take a tantrum throwing toddler than deal with them not being well. I remember staying in as well, since I have twins who could possible throw tantrums at the same time. It wasn’t easy to experience the first couple of times we were out.

  19. Vera | 15th May 17

    This was too cute. I was laughing while reading this entire post. I do sympathize for you still. I know exactly how this feels. Your little ones are adorable by the way! absolutely

  20. CourtneyLynne | 15th May 17

    O no! At least the kiddos made it through the day and I’m sure they will remember this day when they are older. Tantrums and all and laugh about it lol

  21. Krystal | 16th May 17

    My work doesn’t have take your kid to work day, and oh how I remember the toddler days.

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