Today I joined the club. The club of moms & dads who do things they swore they would never do as a parent.
This past week Harlow has been ultra sensitive. So sensitive that if you look at her the wrong way she starts crying. The mere suggestion of me sitting down while holding her throws her over the edge. So there’s that!
I picked her up from daycare and it was like any ordinary day. They said she had a fantastic day. Slept well. Ate well. Had fun. I get to the car and the mere suggestion of getting in her car seat was enough to send her in to hysterics. We typically battle it out over getting strapped in, so I was prepared for that, but I am usually able to distract her with snacks or a toy. Not today.
And of course we HAD to go to the store to pick up a few items. I would normally be wise enough to know when she is in this mood to avoid the store if necessary. But when is there ever a good time for the store? I work full time and commute over 2 hours some days. So it’s usually after work or on the weekends, which means she is in tow. Or stay at home moms; when is it ever a good time for them to tow their kid(s) to the grocery store. Even in the best of moods, my guess is hardly ever. I am able to navigate the store sometimes when Ciaran comes with me and distracts her, but again, that takes careful calculations. And some times I am really lucky an am able to quickly dash out on the days I work from home, but that is pretty rare.
Once we got to the store she wouldn’t sit in the cart which she doesn’t usually boycott. And when she does, I happily let her push the cart, which she loves. But today she wanted to be held. Ok fine. After unsuccessfully pushing the cart, holding her, picking up food while she tried to grab it out of my hands, I decided to put her in the cart knowing what was about to happen.
Yep. Screaming. Very loud obnoxious screams. She went noodle limp in the cart and arms were flying everywhere. I did my best to ignore her but it only got worse.
She got mildly distracted when I got to the berry section. She loves berries. She kept signing and asking for more. And then that’s when it happened. It was that moment in time that I become THAT mom. I gave in. I let her eat the fruit while I shopped because she instantly stopped crying and let me pick up a few things. I would love to lie and say that I washed the berries before I gave them to her, but I didn’t even do that. I thought about it. I tried to find a water bottle in one of the aisles, but couldn’t get there fast enough.
I know that is the start of bad habits. I swore I would never do it. That I would never be that mom who bribes their kid with yet to be purchased food to stop screaming and behave in the store. But I did it. I know other moms are going to curse me as they tell their own children that they have to wait until they leave the store to have a snack. I’ll deal with the consequences later.
I’ve read the articles that say to bring your own snack, a toy even. Play I spy as you go up and down each aisle. Ignore the screams and tantrum… which I did do for a while. But even I couldn’t handle the shrieks anymore. I can’t imagine how annoying it was for other people.
And here’s the thing. I do bring snacks sometimes. They are usually consumed within a minute. I also didn’t have any on hand this day because I came straight from work. Toys they say? My child would throw them on the floor in a hot second and I would spend the entire trip to the store picking them up while she kept throwing them out. So that’s a negative.
Oh and I spy. The only thing Harlow spies is food she wants to eat and then promptly demands. So I actually spend most of the trips to the store distracting her from the food we see in the aisles.
So I either need to be super inventive with a distraction mechanism or just be THAT parent. It will prob all be the latter.