Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Errand Buddy

B has been fired from her position as my errand buddy.  Because she stinks at that job.

Most trips begin with whining, resistance, and stalling and end with wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Literally.

A trip to Lowe's comes to mind where I had to buy one item.  Only one.  We were in the store for 10 minutes.  B did her best to make it take an hour because, instead of letting me read the labels on the polyurethane, she tried climbing the shelves and pulling down as many cans as she could reach.  When we got to the check out lane, B was having a fit about wanting to carry the can of polyurethane which was entirely too heavy for her.  Then she whined about buying the candy that they so kindly had displayed right at child eye level.  Then she wanted my credit card.  Then she wanted to push all the buttons on the credit swiper pad.  Then she stripped off her jacket, insisting she was too hot.

When we were about to leave, I tried to reason with her about just how cold it was outside.  (Think 30ish degrees.)  I tried to put her jacket back on.  She screamed and cried.  I tried putting her coat on.  She screamed and cried.  I just love it when I get to deal with toddler illogic in front of an audience.  Such fun!

So I scooped her up and put her in a shopping cart, short sleeves and all.  She was protesting and crying and trying to stand up.  I was holding her down so I could drive the cart out of the store.  When we finally got outside, the winter wind hit her and took her breath away.  She looked at me accusingly and began wailing about how cold it was. 

Well, what do you know?  Mom was right.

Another time, I took her grocery shopping.  I should never take her grocery shopping.  Not ever.

She won't sit docilely in the shopping cart.  She wants the race car carts where she can sit up front and drive one or both of the steering wheels.  I always buckle her.  Which usually buys me a whopping 7 minutes to tackle my list of 49 or 57 or 72 grocery items.  Right.  I didn't get very far.

She began wailing that she wanted out.  I ignored her until her wailing reached an unacceptable level.  I can always determine that level by the quantity of reproachful looks I get from the fellow store customers.  The ones that are there shopping by their blessed selves.

So, I succumbed to those reproachful glances and let B free of her restraints.  And I did what any good mom is supposed to do with a bored toddler in a store.  Get her involved.  I had her help me pick the best apples, half of which came home with big bruises because she missed the bag.  And I had her help me find the mini m&ms we needed for a party.  Where she got distracted by the bulk candy in the same aisle.  Which is conveniently placed at just the right height for toddlers to reach their grubby little hands in the bins.  She was making such a ruckus, I let her pick one kind.  We put a few in the bag and I let her hold it.  Every once in a while, when her hands are full, she makes a little less mischief. 

Right.  She began chewing through the bag to get to the candy.  I removed the bag from her possession.  She began wailing and we made a rapid exit from the candy aisle. 

I did my best to distract her by directing her gaze towards all the raw meat.  Mmmm, delish!  She forgot about the candy, fortunately, and wanted to be the leader and have me follow her.  That was a challenge because my cart was getting so full it would barely turn corners and it was piled so high that visibility was extremely poor.  (I really wish somebody would make carts sufficient for families of 5 or more.  It's like a nightmare tetris puzzle trying to fit in all the food without smashing the bread or making the meat leak.)  I may or may not have run into B a few times with my overloaded cart.  And she got frustrated when I had to stop to add items to my cart.  So she started rolling around on the floor and whining that she wanted to GO HOME!  RIGHT NOW!  She completely ignored my requests for her to get up.

I forced calm and got down on my knee to explain a few things.  Like how dirty the floors are and how we just shouldn't roll on the floor in stores.  Like how she should just behave and listen to me so we could leave the store sooner.  She didn't care about any of the explanations I was giving her in my patient-laden Mommy voice.  And she wasn't about to stop misbehaving.  So I had to spend some time rearranging the whole cart, dumping all the bread into the front of the racecar to make room for her to sit in the cart, facing me. 

But she wasn't going to sit there willingly, so I did what any good mom does in this situation.  I grabbed a box of fruit snacks and opened it so she could have a pack and sit there docilely so I could get the heck out of the store.  Previously, I never let my kids eat food in the store.  I always made them wait until we'd paid for it.  Until now.  B is giving me a run for my money and I'm finding that my standards in a lot of areas are getting decimated.

A few packs of fruit snacks later, we were finally out of the store and the food was loaded in the van.  When I tried to buckle B in her carseat, she began wailing and thrashing and arching her back so I couldn't buckle her.  But I was done.  I didn't care why she was crying.  I stuffed her into her seat, clicked those blessed buckles and started driving home. 

After 10 solid minutes of screaming and crying that she wanted to go back (seriously?!) to the grocery store, my heart softened a little and I asked her why she wanted to go back.

"Did we forget to buy something?"  This was my attempt at distracting her to help her calm down.  I'm thinking maybe it backfired.

"YES!!  Forgot Life cereal!"  She wailed amidst the sobbing.

I assured her over and over again that I bought several boxes of Life cereal.  R can't survive without Life cereal.  I never leave the grocery store without buying some.  But all my words fell on deaf ears.  She would not stop crying about going back to the grocery store to buy Life.

By this time, I had regained my sense of humor and was chuckling over just how ridiculous toddlers are.  We pulled into the driveway and I carried my blubbering baby inside.  I helped her settle down with a snack and a drink and then began the process of hauling all the groceries in and putting them away.

Amazingly, I'd managed to buy everything on my list . . . except for Life cereal.

Well, what do you know?  Mom was wrong.  But, whatever.  She's still fired.

It's good that she's cute.  It helps to counteract her not-so-cute behavior. 

This little eccentric of mine is why we were quite late for church on Mother's Day.
Can you tell that she did her own hair and picked her own shoes?  I tried to talk her out of the rain boots for a while, mainly because they weren't very clean.  But then I gave up and took her outside to take some pictures.  I can't say that Shaggy quite supported that decision of mine, but these moments are so fleeting.  And after we took a few pictures, she voluntarily kicked off the boots and ripped the flashdance headband out of her hair.  Win/win.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Don't you just love a nice relaxing trip to the grocery store?