June 19, 2009

  • One of Those Days…


    The day started out fine. It really did.

    Zoe was up soon after 6am, and declared vehemently that she was so hungry. So I fed her breakfast and ate breakfast myself. And was I ever delighted when she actually told me she was still tired and wanted to go back to bed. I guess she really was as hungry as she said she was, and that was what woke her up so early. Although 7-ish is when she has been waking up, and staying up for good.

    So back to bed she went, and by then the baby was awake and hungry as well, so off to bed we went too, to feed the baby in a more relaxing position. :) Whereupon we both fell asleep and it was quite the restful morning…

    So restful, in fact, that I decided we would make a trip to town on this wonderful day. I had a gift that I needed to return, as well as another birthday gift to purchase. One store, two kids, one mom. This would be a breeze. Zoe was so happy to be going away and I was perfectly confident in her continued happiness.

    Getting all of us out the door took a bit of time. I still haven’t learned that it takes so much longer to get ready to go anywhere with a little baby, especially trying to work around her eating schedule. Zoe didn’t need to go potty, so all was good. I dressed us all us, good and proper. Not Sunday outfits, but you know, dressed up. That way if things went downhill rapidly we wouldn’t look completely disgraceful.

    And off we went, a happy little family. On the way in, we passed Bealls Outlet (that and Cato are our only clothing stores for an hour around). Now, I’m not really a Bealls Outlet fan. I shop there about twice a year. But I hadn’t been out of the house shopping in weeks, and I thought that we’ll probably hit that store on the way back home, since my destination was Cato. Oh, and maybe we’ll go to the little consignment store in town too, and see what they have…

    Zoe was thinking food. “Donut shop!” Donut shop!” she kept chanting the whole 15 miles in to town. Oh dear. I think I took her there too many times when I was pregnant and had donut cravings. Well, maybe we’ll stop there on the way back too, I thought, although I didn’t promise. She’s too young to understand future tense happenings, so I would only have made life more difficult for both of us if I had promised but not gone immediately. Thankfully. Or else I probably would have promised.

    So to Cato we went. Carseat in one hand, with the baby who had fallen asleep. Zoe in the other hand. The “other hand” proved to be a challenge from the start, because how do you hold a carseat in one hand, a purse over the shoulder, plus a one year old in the other hand, and still try to shop?? Tell me if you can. There must be a trick to it.

    I soon realized that this shopping trip was not the best idea, and that I had to make fast tracks. So Zoe was let loose, and given firm instructions to “stay close to mommy.” I don’t know what naughty streak entered that child, but she thought she was given free reign throughout the store. As she saw me browse through racks, she “browsed” herself, pulling hangers off the racks and carting the item through the aisles.

    I felt like all I was doing was running after her, making sure she returned each item. How is one supposed to do any shopping with this kind of system?? The only kind of disciplining I could do in public was stern talking, and that wasn’t working very well. Finally, she started following me a bit more closely and I pulled a few different clothing items together for my intended gifts.

    That was when I noticed shoes where they weren’t supposed to be, and the named one year old right beside them, pulling  more  boxes of shoes out with the intention of opening the contents. That was quickly stopped, the shoes returned, and once again we tried to shop for the gifts a bit more.

    I wished with all my heart for a shopping cart. Didn’t these stores realize they weren’t going to get business from the mommy class if they couldn’t even bring their kids and keep them all in one place??

    And that was when I rounded the corner and saw the said one year old girl pull an entire stack of shirts off the shelf and onto the floor, while reaching for another stack. This mother made fast tracks, disciplined in a way that was a bit more than stern talking, and decided it was time to leave.

    By this time I was feeling like I would have been the next case study for the Pearl’s “No Greater Joy” magazine…

    That was when I saw her reach up by the register and pull off several boxes of fragile perfume bottles… Okay, this is not going so well!! Whatever happened to my obedient child?? I wondered in agony.

    We walked to the checkout counter, Zoe, the baby, and me. Zoe was crying because she wanted to look at the colorful jewelry about 10 feet away. Knowing her record the past 10 minutes in the store, I wasn’t about to let her go that far, especially not with jewelry in sight. So the car seat was placed on the floor, the one year old’s hand was firmly clasped in mine.

    The item was returned, and one clothing item rung up. When I went to pay for it, I had to release the hand of the one year old. The transaction took only seconds, but when it was over Zoe was no where in sight. I opened my mouth to call her, and before I could get a word out the saleslady quickly volunteered, “She went that way!”

    Oh, great. Now the salespeople are nervous and keeping a watchful eye on my child. That only makes things worse. Seems like children always act worse when more people are watching them. So much for dressing up to make a good impression. They probably thought we’re a rich, spoiled family. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

    So I went “that way” and found her, I don’t remember where. Shoes? Jewelry? Brain doesn’t remember anymore. Point is that I found her, and out the door we went. Whew. Shopping mission accomplished. Whoever knew it would be so much work to purchase one little shirt and return another??

    Baby was waking up and very hungry. It had been three hours since she last ate, and that’s long for her.

    As I was buckling Zoe in her seat, I remembered that she hadn’t gone potty for a while, and asked her if she needed to go. No, she said she didn’t, and I was gullible enough to believe her. Because I hadn’t even put the car in reverse before I saw that she had totally peed herself right then and there.

    I was not a happy mama. My patience was already tried to the max, but there was nothing I could do. Her skirt was soaked as well. But thank God for Piddle Pads from BabiesRUs, so at least the entire car seat didn’t get soaked.

    We were homeward bound. No donut shop. No Bealls Outlet. No consignment store. We were done. We were done for weeks, as far as I was concerned!

    The baby wailed most of the way home, but with Zoe’s peed condition, I decided to keep going and feed the baby at home. Zoe kept giggling at me in the mirror, while I kept giving her stern looks and trying to explain why she needs to tell mommy if she needs to go potty. Finally I realized I was making things worse for both of us and I couldn’t keep trying to punish her by putting her on a guilt trip. Guilt trips are really not how I want to discipline my children, although that sure was what I felt like doing in that moment.

    And I decided right then and there that there really is something to the “Keepers at Home” theory. It really is best for a mother with two children ages one and under to stay at home.

    Home. Undies changed. Lunch eaten. Nap time!

    It’s after that that my mind starts getting foggy… However, I do remember another “accident”, which was really not an accident at all, on the couch before supper. And another “accident”, which was not an accident at either, on the other couch after supper.

    And I remember telling Ben that we seriously have child-training issues!! As well as dissolving into tears when he said, “Babes, you sound like you’re having a rough day.” And I wailed in return, “But you’ve said that almost every day this week!!”

    Somewhere around midnight I fell asleep. I awoke this morning, after several night-time feedings to Baby, to hear Zoe beside me, and opened my eyes to see her waving a wet toilet bowl brush in front of my face.

    Yes. That really happened.

    This is the impish little girl that challenges and delights my days! And she is every bit as mischievous as she looks. :)


    Oh, it’s just OnE oF tHoSe DaYs! :)



Comments (20)

  • I laughed and then I almost cried, because I have felt that “near-desperation” feeling!  Cato’s and JcPenny are the worst!  My JCPenny has no carts!  And CVS has these teeny tiny carts where I have to decide whether I put my coupon binder or child in the cart….since the other has to be carried, I usually put the child in.  I asked when they are getting bigger carts and they looked at me like they wondered why on earth they would do such a thing!  And Cato…..ours went out of buisiness last year..is it any wonder?  

    I hope the next shopping experience goes better….and no more toilet brushes in your face!

  • I know exactly what you mean! I like the double strollers for shopping in stores that have no carts, I know they are huge and some clerks look less than impressed, but hey, it’s the only way I get out of the store with out tearing out my hair. That way, the toddler is strapped in with a drink, book or toy and I have a quick 15-20min of shopping in peace. It gets easier.

  • well you are brave. I DON’T go anywhere with my 4 yr old and 6 week old alone. I always go with my husband as a family event. (I’ll go places with my 9 yr old though!) the thing about child-training… well it works well and all. but you HAVE to be in the moment. 1 yr olds just don’t hold attention that well. at the toddler stage – it’s there training phase… not their obeying stage. meaning they are still learning at that time. so there will always be set backs. don’t aim too high or you’re always feel let down.

    my favorite idea a friend gave me a while back – take small successful trips to encourage good behaviour and a feeling of success in the kid(s). try taking a trip to one or MAYBE two places. never go while hungry. never go while tired (you or the kids!). and always try to end on a good note. the cycle of running after kids and guilt tripping them for disobeying is a hard one to break once it starts.

    sometimes you hjust have to settle and realize that doing a particular thing with a certain aged child just doesn’t worl well for you. that doesn’t mean they are bad kids or you aren’t training right, it just means they aren’t ready yet for it. no matter how mcuh you try to train a 7 yr old, they wont know how to drive a car until they are old enough to take on that responsiblity. ykwim?

    don’t worry… not every day is so hard. :) there are many good days! think of the great morning you all had!!

  • p.s. double strollers are great! and so is a moby wrap or mei tie to give you more hands free for the 2 yr old :)

  • yes the joy of motherhood! :) I don’t really enjoy shopping so that’s a plus. Although, i think i’m starting to like it and really should go more often now cuz i just have Adam and should take advantage of it before we decide to have our family grow! :)   What are piddle pads? I’m in the middle of TRYING to potty train my 2 year old and maybe i need to know about those things! :) I hope you are having  a good day with your girls. :)

  • that was a good story! but I almost feel guilty for laughing too… I can only imagine the feelings and emotions in that day! What a fun stage of life we are in right now! =) Hopefully you’re next shopping trip goes better for you!

  • Yes, it does make for a funny story! Thanks for being humble enough to share it!  We ALL have those moments:  Last summer when I was big and prego I was at the grocery store with two when my 3 three old decided not to listen to Mommy.  We had traveled a bit to get to this store and I was just through the first isle when this happened.  He decided he wanted a certain ice cream and I told him no.   He kept it in his hands (how DID he get it in the first place?!?) and walked away.  I called and he did not return.  I followed and he continued walking, yes running away from me in the opposite direction. By this point in time he was so far away from me that, in my large prego state, there was not way to catch him!  Strategy time:  step into an isle where he does not see, and wait for him to return in search of me. He did, but I was unable to snatch his arm before he saw me and ran away again!   I had three or four items of a large list in my cart, but decided the only thing to do was go home.  So I went to the check out without him, but fully aware he was watching me.  He did follow, ice cream still in hand and proceeded to place it on the checkout! At this point, I handed the ice cream to the cashier telling her I did not want it and firmly grasped the arm of the disobedient child as I paid for my groceries.  While buckling them, I informed him of the consequences upon arrival at home.  Well, by the time we arrived back at the house, this child was sleeping soundly! I put him in bed and let him sleep. I could not let him get away with this (desiring no repeat experiences!) so I did follow through when he woke up.

  • Oh no!! Is there any way to keep my second child inside of me a little longer??! ;) This sounds exactly like a “dissolve into tears” situation, and the bigger problem is that I already had my share of “running away child” frustrations this past week in airports! And let me tell you that a 34 week pregnant mommy does not look good running after an almost two year old. So embarrassing . . . I don’t know if my face was red, but it sure felt hot! It must be their age and stage, ‘cuz I’ve been wondering too whether or not any training has been “sticking” or maybe I need to dig out all those great child training books again?! Maybe, “How to make your child mind without losing yours” would be a good place to start. =) Never read it myself, but the title sounds appropriate. =) One thing is certain, I need to stay home now for a while and work on some things . . .

    But oh, it was funny to read your story. Felt so SORRY for you, but still had to laugh out loud. =) May you be blessed with peaceful shopping trips in the future, ’cause we really do need those once in a while too . . . I mean, we might be keepers at home, but we still need to bring our food and clothes “from afar” too, right? Maybe we should start a “Every store needs a shopping cart” petition or club or something to make store owners aware of our plight! (strollers work too, but I still like the carts ’cause you can actually put a few items for purchase into it. . . and it’s not as easy to accidentally shoplift ‘cuz items aren’t tucked under your stroller, out of view . . . it hasn’t happened to me yet, but I can easily imagine that scenario!)

    Anyway, much love to you! Wish we could help each other out on such days!!

  • What a day!!!  I just had to chuckle though ~ this too shall pass ~ :)

  • Aw, Clarita! I’m sorry you had a rough day…it sounds like you’re keeping your sense of humor though. I’m sure that’ll be me in a few years, and I just hope I can handle things as graciously as you do! Do you have a baby sling/snugli? I’ve found it to be a lifesaver…much easier than lugging a carseat around!


  • oh Zoe sounds like Jackie :) keep the scissors far from her – Jackie cut herself some bangs today. I wish I could lend you my Moby Wrap. It is a pain to tie on, but newborns love it and then your hands are free to hang on to toddlers. It is comforting to know I am not the only one with shopping issues.

    ~loved your post as always!

  • Zoe’s adorable! It’s so good to hear others have these days too!  and it’s very funny when it’s not your own.  Just yesterday we had an “inccident” in the car so child #3 wore his sisters panties and capris rolled at the waist to keep them up, into Chick fil A and walmart.  I loved  my sling and snugli, and my experience with a double stroller, it’s great for the malls and such where its a larger area, but these small stores it doesn’t work for me, not to mention they are a pain to get in the doors. One day I thought yeah a shopping cart and then it was soon tipped and all contents across the floor w/shrieking children, and gasping onlookers - right now we’re trying wristbands, attached to myself and each other. 

  • Well, you can say it wasn’t uneventful!  My daughter is a wild child in stores sometimes.  I think there is just sooo much stuff to look at and TOUCH!  I don’t think she can walk by something and NOT touch it.  LOL 

    But, I’ve gotten to know her little tactics and I’m becomming a pro.  Until she finds something to outsmart me, anyway.

    I always have 1-2 changes of clothes in the car, including undies.  : )  That’s another thing I learned.  And now that Lilly is 4, I STILL carry them just in case there was a spill or accident in the car (which hasn’t happened for a long time–besides turing her water upsided doe when she was sitting in her chair leading me to believe that she had gone all over herself.  Thank goodness it was just water! 

  • oh, dear! It’s for reasons just like that, that I stay home with my 3! :) It is certainly challenging to take little people out shopping; I’m finding that if I expect too much of myself and or them, I’m bound to be highly disappointed and frustrated; sooooo, if I expect very little of any of us, and things go somewhat ‘good’, I’m very pleased! But, still it’s just easier to stay home…But, hey! your tale just speaks of NORMAL! We all go thru it!!

    have a good week!

  • Ummm, you may think it crazy, but one thing i do if I don’t want to take a stroller is to firmerly tuck my keys and wallet in beside the baby in the carseat…  Hope that your day goes well :)

  • Forgive me for laughing but you make all it sound so funny! Probably only because I can so relate but this time I don’t have to endure the embarrassment myself. I had a four year old and a baby so it was a little better but boy did we still have issues. And then I was so embarrassed b/c hello, he was FOUR, why hadn’t he learned to do better? I used a snugli in almost every store I went to until I couldn’t squish my 6 mo old baby in anymore. It takes forever to get in and out of the car but at least I could move around in the store. You are really brave to try going out with two so tiny! And I’ve just got to say, you sound like a really, good mom! Hang in there. Oh, and BTW, Zoe is beautiful!

  • Smiling and understanding!

  • Ahhh, I loved your post. I really enjoy reading your posts and seeing your pictures. What an adventure is motherhood. What a privelage too. I don’t know you but my husband and I were at SMBI with your husband. Blessings on your day!

  • I can relate – Nadia is not pottytrained yet, partly because the bathroom is her naughtiest place – dipping water out of the toilet with her little teapot – throwing whole rolls of toilet paper and stacks of washclothes in the toilet, messing with baby oil, shampoo, toothpaste. I try to keep the door closed when she’s upstairs. She is the most hilarious little thing though and her grandma says she’ll be a charge nurse when she grows up, she’s that bossy. It probably gets better when your youngest is like 4 – not there yet. :0

  • Happy Anniversary to you and Ben!! Remembering your wedding day and the week prior always gives me happy tingles up and down my spine ‘cuz of the time I got to spend with you and the things that were just beginning to happen with Phil and me. ;) Remember Java Joe?? That place hasn’t been open much since then, but I often, often think of the two of us sitting in there and *you* getting a call on your cell phone for *me*. Agghhh!!!! Didn’t we feel like screaming??!

    Anyway, your day was so lovely, and even more importantly, your lives and marriage are lovely. May the Lord bless you and keep you today and always. And, may you draw closer to each other as you continue to seek Him and make every-day choices that intertwine your lives in a way that cannot be separated! I can’t get the exact quote together right now [pregnancy brain?], but am reading a really good book called, “Becoming the Woman of His Dreams”, and in it is a great description of how “togetherness”~ doing things together, spending time with each other, showing interest in the likes of the other person, etc. etc.~ builds ties and memories between a husband & wife that are extremely difficult to break and help to guard against a spirit of separation and divorce. Separation of hearts and lives doesn’t just happen overnight, but comes as a result of neglecting time together . . . I don’t know if I’m making sense here, but it was a good reminder for me to CHOOSE “togetherness” with my husband and children whenever I can . . . [Last night was a good example: I could have stayed in the house to finish cleaning my kitchen perfectly (which needs to be done *sometimes*) while P&D went out to do a couple of chores, but since most of the work was already done, I told them that I wanted to come along. We ended up staying out there for almost 2 hours looking for blackberries, picking beans and cherries, gathering eggs, riding around on the golf cart, and having a jolly old time doing all of it. =) Good times, and one more memory added to our stockpile.]

    Have a wonderful day!

Post a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *