Guest blogger Michelle Kemper Brownlow: I am a fan of Kate Gosselin, but the woman can FREAK OUT! Well, a couple weeks ago, had I been caught on "Candid Camera," I would have become TMZ's latest Worst Mom Award recipient! Kate would have gotten a much-deserved reprieve from the spotlight, and the lights would have shone on me ... on I-176.
That particular day, my three kids and I were enjoying one of the last summer vacation days. We were returning home after shopping all morning when suddenly something went wrong. My youngest, who had just turned 5 and was sporting his favorite birthday present (a "Jesus is my superhero" T-shirt), lost his marbles. Epic tantrum.
I remained calm and tried to talk him down from his tantrum with a soothing voice. I tried waiting until his rant was over. I tried ignoring it. Nothing was working, and as I drove down I-176, his anger escalated almost as quickly as my car accelerated in my attempt to get home before my eardrums burst.
He took off his shoes and walloped my front-seat teenager with them. He ignored my pleading and was not moved by his brother's whining about the bump on the back of his head. He then removed his favorite new shirt and used it to whip my daughter, who was trapped next to him in the back seat. She had nowhere to go; the van is only so wide.
Never have I pulled the car over. But I was at my limit. He was screaming, tensions were rising, I was trying to yell over the noise, my other two kids were whining about welts and bruises AND I WAS TRYING TO DRIVE THE FREAKING CAR!
I made it safely (albeit quickly) over the rumble strips, stopped the car, jumped out and almost ripped the sliding door open. I grabbed the shirt from his hands and, with steam coming out of my eyes, yelled, "Don't you EVER hurt your brother and sister again!" And I threw the shirt into the wilderness that lines that highway. Yep. Threw the shirt. Into the woods. And drove off.
As I drove away, I now had three crying children. One was crying because his shirt was gone, and two were crying because they felt sad for their baby brother. And I felt like the worst mom on the planet.
Needless to say, my son hasn't freaked out in the car since. We replaced the shirt (only after driving slowly down the same stretch of road and failing to find the original), and my older two children have dubbed that trip, "The Highway to Hell."
Kate would be humbled. Sigh.