Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reverse psychology gone wrong

A mom friend of mine once declared, "I will not take my three children to the supermarket. I'd rather be shot."

I thought, "Really? That seems extreme." But I had one child then. One small child who couldn't walk.

But now? With two sons who act like whirling dervishes from the moment they wake up until they fall into bed at night from exhaustion?

Oh yeah.

Unfortunately, I recently had to take both boys to the store. I needed just a few things, so I figured it wouldn't get too out of hand.

Things went fine with the Man-cub and Junebug sitting in a two-seat shopping cart that looks like a truck, until the Man-cub wanted to steer both his and the Junebug's steering wheels. The Junebug socked him. The Man-cub shoved him back.

"Guys, guys," I said, "Look, you can beat each other up when we get home. But not here in the store." I hoped this would pacify them long enough to forget that I said they were allowed to clobber each other.


The Man-cub continued to hog both steering wheels, and the Junebug continued to whine about it and smack on his big brother to get him to stop, so the Man-cub would retaliate, and pretty soon even I couldn't steer the shopping cart.

"Look, boys," I said, getting close for eye contact. "You can break boards over each other's heads when we get home, but here in the store, you have to behave."

The Man-cub looked at me, doubtful. "No, I'm not going to break boards."

They kept at it, and I decided to carry the Junebug, who eventually wanted to walk. Then the Man-cub wanted to walk, so he climbed out of the cart on his own when I wasn't looking, and before I knew it, two women shopping in the bakery weren't able to maneuver around my boys, who were sprawled on the floor, wrestling.

So of course, I looked like The Mother of the Year, and their looks to me told me so.

I put the Junebug back in the cart, and the Man-cub proceeded to smash his little brother's fingers while I raced to the checkout.

"Not in the store!" I pleaded. "Stick each other in the eye with hot pokers! Give each other karate chops! Sock each other in the eye! WHEN WE GET HOME!"

My tactic was flawed from the start. Preschoolers and toddlers ... waiting ... not a chance. Instant gratification is what they operate on.

Silly me.

And when we got home, the Man-cub and Junebug played together quite nicely.

So when it comes to going to the store with two boys...

Just shoot me.

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Blogger LceeL said...

I'd offer you a HUG but others might be suspicious of my motives. :)

September 27, 2011 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Aw yes, the joys of shopping with children. I know them all too well.

The young business set glare at you so judgmentally actually audible.

Your fellow right now in the think and thin of it parents give you knowing, sympathetic glances.

And the "all my little kids are grown and have kids of their own" grandparents smile patiently and lovingly and talk about how when you have little kids the days are but the years are short so enjoy them while you can. And as much as you appreciate their sentiment it is hard to love your little ones when they have just rushed into the middle of the clothes rack or knocked a box of cereal off the shelf for what feels like the millionth time in the last 3 seconds!

September 27, 2011 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Freckle Face Girl said...

Oh yes, sadly I know it well. I am really happy now that the kids are in school. What an amazing experience it is to go alone or with just one of them!

September 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Madeline said...

Hugs. I'm scared of shopping once Sophia really starts walking/running. She's such a wild one. Unfortunately Stephan has a week on week off schedule. During his week on he's gone for 14 hours a day for 7 days straight. There's no avoiding shopping by myself with the kids. I'm imagining Sophia scaling the cart and ending up 5 aisles over pushing down displays before I can even blink.

September 28, 2011 at 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Audubon Ron said...

Very clever. Someday son, you'll be able to fill my shoes!

September 29, 2011 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger CaraBee said...

I had NO idea how hard shopping with a kid was. Or how lucky those parents who have kids that will quietly sit in the cart. Mine? Does not. Yet another reason I LOVE pre-school.

October 2, 2011 at 10:22 PM  

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