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First Solo Outing with Two Kids...Or, I Make it Out Alive!

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

First Solo Outing with Two Kids...Or, I Make it Out Alive!

Until this morning, I had not taken the kids anywhere by myself.

This is how we spend our days.
Most moms are probably thinking, "What a wimp!", "How can she stand being in the house all day?", or "How is that even possible? Doesn't she have to do things like grocery shop?"  These are all valid questions.  Claire is, after all, two months old.  It is boring being in the house all day.  We do need to eat.  And yes, I am kind of a wimp.

But I am lucky (so lucky) in that Charles works from home and we are close to everything we need.  So he either does the grocery shopping while I hold down the fort or we go together once he's wrapped up for the day.  It's a pretty sweet deal.  

I am getting bored, though.  And there are all sorts of fun things to do around here.  Like, for instance, go to Story Time at the library.

How fun does Story Time sound?  Kids around the same age as Jack, fun new stories we haven't heard, climate-control...all the things we like, and only a short drive away.

So I decide this would be a great first outing.

Before I get into this, I should say that Jack is a good boy on most occasions who weaves in and out of the Terrible Twos on a day-to-day type deal.  As in, yesterday, he was just such a joy to be with and so well-behaved and in such a great mood you would have thought Charles and I were the World's Greatest Parents, because how else could a little boy be so perfect?  But today was spent in the throes of the Terrible Twos and if you had been at the library, or Target, you would have surely wondered how any mom could do such a horrible job raising her child.  

Picture this scene, if you will: a nice lady at the library giving us a cute little duck "ticket" to get into Toddler Story Time, a little auditorium full of babies and kids 1-2 years old, two energetic teachers at the front of the room racing through pirate stories and puppet routines in an attempt to keep their young audience's attention...and then we enter. 

I was holding the baby in her car seat because I somehow thought it would be a good idea to carry her in the seat she was sleeping in because, well, she was asleep, and the stroller seemed like overkill (had I known how far I would have to walk or that the diaper bag would get heavy or that I'd be dragging a reluctant two-year old with my other hand, I'd have brought the stroller).  

As soon as the door opens, Jack decides this is not his cup of tea and lets everyone (EVERYONE) know in no uncertain terms that he does not want to be there.  "I want to go!" he yells.  It is pretty loud in there, what with all the toddlers and all, and Jack does not like loud noises...although he has no qualms with making loud noises himself, as was evidenced at this time.  "I WANT TO GO HOME!" he yells, louder this time.  At this point, the door is still open because Jack won't walk into the room all the way.  I am holding the baby in one hand and holding the door open/pushing Jack in with the other.  Only, he's not going.

He keeps yelling that he wants to leave.  People are staring to look at us.  Kids are starting to turn around and watch.  At which point Jack takes it up a level and starts yelling, "Don't LOOK AT ME!" to every child who dares turn his head our direction, and the more he yells the more kids are turning around and looking, and they more they are looking, the more he is get the idea.  

We are still in the doorway.

I manage to coax (shove) him in and put Claire's car seat on the ground.  I sit down and pull Jack, still yelling at kids not to look at him, onto my lap.  "Why are the kids looking at me?!" he is screaming.  Whooo, boy.  Jack wants to leave and I am starting to feel like a jerk for making him stay as he is truly unhappy being there. wasn't easy getting there and I decided I was going to stay for Story Time, like it or not.

So he sits on my lap, complaining (loudly) as the teachers go through their routines.  There are lots of kids and moms in the room and they all seem to know the drill, and clap after each routine.  Every time they clap, Jack asks if it's over and begs to leave.  At this point Claire wakes up so I pull her out of her seat and onto my lap as well (Lord knows the last thing I need is *two* screaming kids).  

As the end of Story Time nears, Jack is quieting down but still miserable so I decide to pack up and go on a "good" note (in this case, no screaming/yelling at innocent babies to look away from him) after a whopping 15 minute of Story Time.

But I am not going to return home defeated, oh no!  I decide to go to Target to let Jack pick out a new movie for movie night (a new Friday night activity at our house).  

And then the fun really begins.

So, when we normally go to Target we park by the side with the Starbucks (how lucky am I, right???  Starbucks inside Target!) and get a beverage to enjoy during our shopping trip. And more times than not, we buy Jack a cake pop to munch on (this keeps him relatively subdued for the first ten minutes, at least).  Knowing this, and also not needing anything on that side of the store, I decide not to park there so I don't have to take Jack past the cake pops.  

I load Claire up in the Ergo this time and hold Jack's hand and into Target we go.  I wanted to buy him Nemo, but apparently it's in the Disney vault so I was browsing through through the blu-ray choices while Claire slept and Jack looked at a Mickey Mouse book.  I quickly come to a decision (A Bug's Life) and tell Jack it's time to go.  

At first, I think we are going to get out of there without any problems.

Then Jack sees a Transformer toy (one for $30, nonetheless) and decides he wants it.  No, make that he  decides he "needs" it (I would like to take a quick moment here to congratulate the marketing department of Target for putting $30 Transformer toys at toddler eye-level in the movie section...nice move).

Not only does Jack "need" this Transformer toy (and for the record, he doesn't even know what a Transformer is), but he decides to throw a complete FIT to prove how much he needs it.  He sits on the floor, he pulls the toy (repeatedly) from the shelf, he does his window-breaking-opera-singer scream and screams "I NEED IT!!!!!" all the while refusing to stand up.  I am trying to put the toy back and pull him up with the sleeping baby attached to me and quite frankly, it is not going well.  

I finally get the toy back on the shelf and grab his hand and make a beeline for the checkout stand.  I am practically dragging my screaming and crying child through the store while he lets everyone know he needs that toy.  When I get to the one open line on our side of the store...there are four people in it.  Claire is starting to wake up.  I see a lane open a little farther down and head that way (screaming toddler in tow).  A lady is unloading a very full cart.  

There is one more hope...the Express Lane.  By Starbucks.  I decide to go for it (a little cake pop drama can't be worse that this carrying on, I figure).  As *soon* as we near the Express Line Jack sees the Starbucks and his needs change.

"I want a cake pop!" he cries.  The Transformer has been forgotten.  Claire is stirring.  I try to ignore Jack's request because I know that what my negative response is going to invoke (and this kid is SO not getting a cake pop after what he's put me through).  "I want a cake pop! I want a cake pop! I want a cake pop!"  I remain strong and ignore, ignore, ignore.  He changes tactics.  "Please can I have a cake pop, Mama?"


"No, you cannot have a cake pop today" I say.

Well you can imagine how that went down.

The next thing I know I have a wailing, crying, tantrum-ing toddler trying to throw himself to the ground and yelling "I WANT A CAKE POP!" at the top of his lungs while I use my free hand to pull the debit card out of the Ergo and try my hardest to avoid the stares of the people in line behind me (the cashier was kind enough to pretend she didn't notice, or maybe she's just used to it...I know I am not the first one to have a screaming kid in Target).  "I don't want anyone to get my cake pop!!  I want a cake pop!! PLEEEEEASE can I have a CAKE POP!?!?"

At this point I am going to lose it.  But right before I throw myself to the floor and join in on this tantrum, I feel something...funny.  Laughter.  

That's right...some part of me, the part that "will look back on this and laugh" surfaces and all of a sudden I am finding humor in this moment.  And with humor as my armor, I am able to pull (drag) my very, very, VERY loud child out of the store and load him up into the car (with tears streaming down his face and yelling "I WANT A CAKE POP!" the whole way, I might add). And as soon as we get into the car the tears subside and my reasonable two-year-old returns ("I don't want other people to get my cake pop, Mommy") and we head home.  
The moral of this story is A) I am brave (ha!), B) I survived, and C) don't check out by Starbucks (unless you are going to buy the damn cake pop).

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At September 28, 2012 at 9:29 AM , Blogger stacey gibbon said...

You are a brave woman! I give you major kudos. I only have one child and still have moments like this. (And I have cried before) Kudos to you for getting out of the house and kudos for standing your ground on the cake pop. I hope you have a better day today!


At September 28, 2012 at 1:46 PM , Blogger Kat Biggie said...

Oh girl, I have been in that situation before! I know what you mean! About all of it. The screaming child (or children) in the store... the stares, the whole bit. I am glad for you that you were able to find the funny and laugh, cause, like Stacy, I have been brought to tears in moments like this... when I seriously wonder if I am the worst mother in the world because I can't even take my kids to the store without a mega scene unfolding! So happy to know I'm not alone!

At September 28, 2012 at 4:11 PM , Blogger thatdesigngal said...

Oof, honey, I needed a glass of wine just reading that! AH! Kudos to you, I am definitely not looking forward to that stage.

Visiting from SITS, have a wonderful weekend!

At September 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM , Blogger Carrie said...

Oh yes, I've cried plenty. Ha! It's gotten a little easier as the kids have gotten a little older.

At September 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM , Blogger Carrie said...

Yeahhhhh...I had a few of those "worst mom ever" and "I am a failure" thoughts myself!!

At September 28, 2012 at 7:21 PM , Blogger Carrie said...

My inability to handle even the two small children I have is the main reason we're not going for #3. Ha!


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