I am the day metro editor at the York Daily Record/Sunday News in York, Pa., and am mom to two amazing kids: Samantha, 7, and Noah, 2. Being a mom has been the most rewarding and most challenging thing I have ever done, and there are plenty of days when I'm not sure how I function with so little sleep. Through whatever happens, I strive to keep my sense of humor.

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Take two kids, add 100-degree heat and get chaos

Sam and Noah

Sure these kids are adorable, but they have their moments. When it gets to be about 100 degrees outside, Sam, now 7, and Noah, 2, have their moments of mayhem.

By AMY GULLI

Smart Mama

One night during the recent heat wave, I decided I was tired of heating up the house just to make dinner.

So we went to Friendly’s. We didn’t exactly have ice cream for dinner, but the amount of ice cream we ate certainly exceeded the amount of real dinner-type foods we ate.

In the first two minutes, we had two crayons and a triangle-shaped, stand-up promotional piece hit the floor. That was quickly followed by straw wrappers — the annoying plastic kind you can’t fold into little squares — some more crayons, and four small Thomas the Tank Engine trains we had brought to keep Noah, 2, entertained.

During the short dinner portion of our evening, Sam, 7, tried to shoo a fly away and knocked a dish of corn onto the carpet. Noah, during a brief but raging temper tantrum, whipped a wooden train car just past the ear of a person sitting behind us because I had picked up his spoon and suggested he take a bite of mac and cheese.

Apple slices went tumbling down at some point, though I didn’t see it happen. A paper kids’ menu drifted under a chair, and — the coup de grace — Noah spilled my glass of lemonade, pouring the liquid and the ice across the table and onto his leg — and his shirt and his arm and his booster seat and the chair beneath and the carpet.

People were staring at us. Some glared or looked disgusted. And I can’t say that I blame them: We must have been annoying. It used to bother me, to be looked at as a mother who can’t control her kids.

But I have almost seven years under my belt now. I know what kind of mom I am. I know that this was just a particularly klutzy (and tired) evening for my crew. I know that I’ve been annoyed by other people’s kids in restaurants and that, before I had kids, I might have thought some judgmental things about a mother in a similar position.

I found I cared very little about what other people thought.

It was 105 degrees outside, people. My kids had been playing outside all day and swimming in this heat. It was too hot to cook in our house, and I brought them out for an hour or so because we could hang out in air conditioning and eat ice cream for dinner.

Yes, their table manners sucked. Yes, I am in charge of them. Yes, they are going to have times when they struggle to keep themselves under control — and when I struggle to keep them under control, too. They’re learning.

Deal with it.

Amy Gulli lives in Dauphin County with daughter Sam, 7, and son Noah, 2. She writes about parenting at yorkblog.com/mommy.

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Comments (3)

  1. Bill 07/18/2010 at 7:34 pm

    With regard to your kids' behavior in a restaurant. They are not learning a thing. You are rewarding their disruptive behavior by continuing to eat. Now if you packed them up and left the restaurant without eating, maybe they would start to learn. Have you ever heard of disipline? “Deal with it” yourself and not at others' expense!

  2. ellen 07/18/2010 at 1:31 pm

    Deal with it???? I don't think soooooooo. I don't know when York County has hit 105 degree heat and I can assure you that heat has nothing to do with unrully children. Here is how this works. Your children were playing all day outside, too hot to cook and they are hungry. Lady, bring the children in, order a few pizzas and grab some movies and relax in the comfort of your own home. Those children sound as though they need some discipline and some table manners. It's never too late for a lesson No…..I won't deal with it. Bottom line, get control of your children.

  3. JKMahal 07/16/2010 at 11:14 pm

    Amen.