Tuesday, September 27, 2011
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?
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.
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.