Learning is one thing, applying another

Preschooler D and I were at ECFE yesterday and the topic was staying calm when in an emotional battle with your child.  The mommies were sharing the toughest battles they have with their preschoolers, and I just sort of sat silently.  A lot of their stories involved misbehavior in stores.  Please.  I mean — is Preschooler D not the most precious and well-behaved child in the universe?  What problem could he be in the big picture?  Of course I stay calm.  I even mentioned this to the parent coordinator.  I said something like, “I don’t know.  D is the tail-end child of older parents.  I guess I just have a high tolerance.”

Then we went to Target.

We had my favorite s’daughter Shelby with us (and I don’t just say that because she is the only one of my children who reads this blog), and we had barely made it past scarves and mittens when D took off.  I mean — took off.  Down and around.  In and out.  Here and there.  He was leaping through a clothing rack when a Target employee caught him. She could not see me and could not see that I could see her.  She got a look in her eye that told me she did not have children.  “Oh! Oh! Oh!” she shouted out, glancing around for the irresponsible mother.  “Don’t go through there, sweetie.  I don’t want you to get hurt.”

I came storming up.  “Thank you!  I have got it!”

“Well, I just don’t want him to get hurt.”

Yes.  Because he’s going to get crushed to death by this rack of short sleeve Halloween-themed t-shirts. What state is this anyway?  Who can wear short sleeves on Halloween?

“Yes!”  I smiled condescendingly.  “I. have. got. it.”

I picked D up by the scruff of the neck and keeping in mind the lesson on calmness I had learned at ECFE whispered very calmly in his ear, “Because you could not walk nicely next to Mommy and Shelby, I am going to plant your little butt in the cart where you will ride for the entire duration of this trip.”

I sort of wish I had been paying more attention in class.  I’m not exactly sure I got it right.


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