13 November 2013

the store is my playground

Taking S. to any store is pretty much the worst. This is discouraging, as I am only trying to take ONE child shopping here. (How does one do it with more young children in tow?)

Yesterday I decided I wanted to check out Goodwill. This was clearly a bad idea, but my brain forgot to remind me that I had a toddler in tow. So I carried on in blithe ignorance. I set S. down so I could browse while monitoring him in the corner of my eye, and then he booked it in the other direction, out of my sight. After lingering briefly, I went to follow him and couldn't spot where he'd gone.

Shortly thereafter, I hear over the store intercom, "Could the mother of a toddler with blonde hair and blue eyes please come to Customer Service?"

Hustling a bit, I headed to the front of the store and was greeted by the unmistakable sound of my child's crying. When I got to him, the employees told me he had run out the front doors before they retrieved him.

Cue judgey looks.

I thanked them and made a half-hearted attempt to resume shopping, but S. wasn't having it, so I left.

I felt angry and frustrated with S., but I think what actually made me angry and frustrated was how judged I felt by the employees of Goodwill. I appreciate them saving my kid from self-harm and all (I don't even know if he made it all the way outside, but I sort of doubt he would have gone that far?), but do I need a "Worst Mother of the Year" ribbon, too?

How do I keep my child from running amuck and either destroying property, escaping into the world at large, or otherwise ruining his life (and mine)? When riding in a shopping cart, he cries and wants out and does everything in his power to climb out; when I'm carrying him, he desires to leap to his death.

Do I need to get a child leash? Refuse to take him shopping without backup? Please advise.

The advent of taking S. places without my co-parent is actually a rather novel one, so maybe I just need more practice to perfect it. Until maybe June of this year, I pretty much refused to drive anywhere farther than approximately five minutes away without backup because S. was so hellbent on hating his car seat. If we had errands, I would make Tim drive and I'd sit in the back next to baby and try to distract him. Once I figured out how to do so, my methods usually involved nursing him by leaning over the car seat.

Reminiscing about nursing in the car on a regular basis actually makes me feel a bit better.

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