Our turn

Over the weekend we decided to get a head start on our Christmas shopping and ventured out to the wide, wonderful world of Target. We found a few deals and a few items for Addie to open on Christmas Eve. We also learned that our darling girl has reached the age where we can no longer take her into the toy department without some sort of fight.

Anything Elmo, she grabbed as if her life depended on it. Slippers, blocks, you name it--if it was red and fuzzy with big googly eyes, it was Elmo and it was Addie's. At least, that's what she thought. We quickly developed a distracting strategy that seemed to work. Curt took  Ms. That's Mine out of the cart and showed her something new in a different aisle while I put all the crap she pulled into the cart back where it came from. 

Our distraction plan worked out great when both of us were available for execution. However, when our other shopping routine took shape (Curt entertains Addie while I run through the store like a mad woman to try and get everything we need before a meltdown takes place) this plan went straight to the crapper.

I was looking at Christmas cards when Addie spotted a tricycle. She already had a small stuffed Elmo in one hand and a baby football in the other, but that did not stop her. She immediately insisted that Daddy pull the bike off of the bottom shelf so she could pretend to go for a ride. Of course he complied. After all, it would keep her entertained for a few minutes and really, what harm could it do?

For a while, no harm at all. She was thrilled to have her trinkets stored safely in the compartment at the back of the trike and sit on the seat, pretending to ride like a big girl. Everything seemed under control, so Mommy went to go and look at tree skirts in a different aisle. Curt allowed Addie's game to continue for about five more minutes and then decided it was time to move on.

While I was searching through the racks for a tree skirt that wasn't hideous, I heard a kid screaming and growling rather loudly several aisles over. I bit my lip, squeezed my eyes shut and said under my breath, "Oh, that is my child." A few other shoppers within listening range chuckled as I grabbed some maroon felt and got the heck out of there.

Curt was walking with Addie over his shoulder, I drove the cart, and we did our best to make it to the checkout line as quickly as possible. When we were finally driving out of the parking lot, Curt and I laughed together at the events that transpired. He said, "I think all of those people were looking at me like I was this awful parent." I did my best to reassure him and told him that any decent parent would just see our situation and think, "Thank God it isn't my turn."

My theory is that no matter how well-behaved your kids are, they are bound to lose it in public at some point. So many other times I have been out shopping with my girl and it has been someone else's turn to have a kid screaming in the store. Yesterday, it was ours. I feel like we were blessed to have make it this long without an incident, and who knows when our number will come up again. Until we are ready to find out, it's off to the internet with the rest of our shopping list. Free shipping, anyone?


The Alrikabi's said...

Allie kids live by the "1 finger rule." They can touch anything they want, but only with one finger. It seems to work really well for her. Before that, there were regular meltdowns because Allie wouldn't let them pull everything off the shelf.

My friend Rachel came up with a great plan as well. every time they go shopping, even grocery shopping, they head straight to the toy isle. She lets her little girl pick out any toy she wants (usually a doll) and that is her "shopping toy/doll." She plays with it the entire trip, but she knows that when it's time to go home, that the doll also gets to go back home to her spot on the shelf. It's brilliant, and baby doll is always waiting for her the next time they go to the store. I'm stealing both ideas.

OK...I think that's all the unsolicited advice I'll hand out for today. enjoy!!!

sara said...

I love those ideas! Curt especially likes the second one and I think next time we will give it a try. Although, I must admit, I secretly find those meltdowns hilarious. Even so, it is best to keep them at a minimum!