Friday, November 30th 2007
Speaking of Defying Basic Laws…

why, yes, we were. remember?

Today Caden-3yr tried his own brand of defiance. When Caden-3yr decides to try anything, he does it BIG. He’s just like that. So after picking up Ethan-7yr from school I take us all to Academy. In all fairness, Caden-3yr was only warming up at this point. Full Fledged Toddler Defiance is still a good 25 minutes away, and I think Academy could work. Ethan-7yr needs a new backpack, and I’ve been thinking about getting a barbell. I just thought I’d walk by and visit one.

Sensing a Toddler Storm might be brewing, I wisely got out the double stroller for Caden-3yr and Seth-2yr. Strapping potentially unruly children into strollers or car seats is ALWAYS helpful. We get the backpack, and I get sidetracked by really cute long sleeved Nike shirts. (I shivered my way into a weights class yesterday in a tank top and shorts. forgot the hoodie, and it was 40 degrees outside. Nice!)

Caden-3yr asked if he could walk. That translates directly to : “Can I get out of this stroller and run off, and then cause Seth-2yr to scream at the injustice of being the only kid strapped in? Please, Mom?” Given that translation, I said no. We’d been in the store only ten minutes, and were already on our way out.

So he waits until I’m not looking and takes off his seatbelt AND Seth-2yr’s seatbelt, and the two of them run off screaming in opposite directions. In. Academy. Which is a lot like a big old WalMart. Ethan-7yr is busy attaching hangers in a methodical fashion onto the red elastic straps of his new backpack, and doesn’t even notice his two little brothers jumping ship. My mouth falls open, then I decide to run after Seth-2yr while yelling over my shoulder in my meanest mommy voice at Caden-3yr.

Somehow, it worked. Thank you GOD because without divine help, catching two toddlers running and screaming in opposite directions in Academy is a feat that cannot be done by one mommy alone. Seth-2yr had on a shirt with a hood and I was able – just barely – to grab the edge of it as he ducked under a rack of clothes, squealing with joy at his unexpected emancipation from the stroller. By the time I got back, Caden-3yr had heeded the Scariest Voice in Academy and returned. As wonderful as that was, it was a fleeting moment of common sense.

What happened next was a Toddler vs. Mommy showdown in the Nike section. I’d love to say it was a victory for my parenting, but i’d call it a draw. We left without Ethan-7yr’s new backpack, without cute long sleeved work out attire, and without even a glance at the barbells. We left on a ‘To Be Continued’ note.

Occasionally over the last 11 yrs, one of my kids has caused me to stop all shopping and leave a store immediately to pursue further discipline. Not often. Maybe a total of four times. Four very memorable times. Once with Kimberlee-13yr (then Kimberlee-2yr) in a Super K Mart. A completely full basket of groceries was abandoned that day on the detergent aisle. Ethan-7yr two times, one at age 2, one at age 3. And then today.

Each of those times, I remember thinking that as inconvenient as it was – and embarrassing – it was absolutely critical in the raising of the child at that point in time.

Tomorrow while Caden-3yr is at preschool I’ll be taking Seth-2yr to get the still needed, abandoned backpack. No stroller. Just one mom and one toddler.

And maybe one barbell.


5 Comments on “Speaking of Defying Basic Laws…”

November 30th, 2007
2:52 pm

“unexpected emancipation!” Love it! I, too, have had the abandon the grocery cart moments, so I am with you. Parenting is more important than groceries, yes. I just feel back for the sales assoc. that has to put everything back. Ah well.
BTW, I’ve tagged you for an Meme. Just visit my blog for the details. Thanks.

December 2nd, 2007
12:34 am

I don’t go anywhere without my double stroller. Fortunately Michael hasn’t learned how to unbuckle himself YET. This story reminded me of shopping one day at The Sports Authority for a sports bra with 4 kids in tow. I’m not sure WHAT I was thinking in attempting such a feat. Fortunately the bras that I randomly grabbed off the rack in an angry mommy moment fit perfectly. Come to think of it, I’m going to ask Thomas to watch the kids tonight so I can go shopping ALONE and check out the cute workout things at the Academy that just opened here in El Paso. :0) Thanks for the reminder ~ and if I see any cute Nike long-sleeved shirts on the racks I’ll think about you.

December 2nd, 2007
4:40 am

My heart was racing as I read this knowing the said children. I think you chose the right kiddo to run after and the right one to yell the command…Miss T threw a fit…on the floor…in front of the electric doors in a local supermarket. It was a quick trip to the car and discipline ensued…Smiles friend

December 2nd, 2007
10:12 am

Wow, the Abandoned Groceries. Big call. I’ve often said that I’d be prepared to do it if the time came, but have never actually been pushed to that point. All hail the woman that has actually done it!

December 4th, 2007
7:47 pm

I feel your pain. I don’t usually give in when this happens but sometimes you have to. A few weeks ago my sister in law and I took 7 kids with us to target and have regretted it ever since :o )

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