Every Tuesday and Thursday, I make the 1/2 hour drive to drop Asher off at preschool. Due to the distance and current gas prices, I typically spend these 2 1/2 hours running errands. Zephan typically spends these 2 1/2 hours making Mommy’s life miserable. Our outings look something like this:
Armed with my typical defensive arsenal of snacks, sippy cups, and toys, (all of which I know will fail me in the end), I take a deep breath and head for the nearest cart. And so commences tantrum numero uno. Zephan begins flailing and implements his best baby self-defensive maneuver. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the one that every toddler perfects in attempts to become the most difficult thing in the world to hang onto. Slippery little arms go up and over the head, the midsection slithers snakelike downward, while legs kick you in a swimming motion towards the ground. Zephan is a master at this move. Seriously, he should give lessons.
Once wrangled into the cart, I begin dispensing my Weapons of Mass Distraction (the aforementioned snacks and toys). My tactical maneuvers seem to work at first, but then Zeph counterattacks by spitting his cookie out all over his shirt and launching his sippy cup onto the floor. I change my plan of attack, and begin the next phase in Operation Divert Tantrum. I point out fun things in the store to look at. I ask him to tell me what noises every animal God ever created makes. I give him a box of macaroni with a picture of a bunny on it and talk ad nauseum about the bunny. I show him how to shake the box to make cool music. All of this seems to work! That is, until the bunny box is catapulted and Zephy tries, yet again, to escape from the cart. I decide that if we’re ever going to get through the store, I better bust out the big guns….it was the only thing that kept me from being eaten alive for 7 yrs in the elementary schools….my ability to…. make a complete and utter fool of myself.
So, I once again endure the public humiliation of performing an entire preschool medley, complete with lively song and enthusiastic dance, while yet trying to toss necessary groceries into the cart. To my delight, this evasive action seems to work….at least at first. But then tyrannical King Zephy becomes tired of his jester and demands (with tears and wails) something different. At this point, I’m typically exhausted, crazy, and pretty much done. I decide that Zeph has once again won the battle, and I head for the checkout line. Oh, it doesn’t matter that I haven’t completed my shopping list. So what if we don’t have eggs and diapers for the next week? If he will just stop crying, I am willing to deal with being eggless and diaperless…
So….if next time you’re at the grocery store and you see a crazed mother performing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes over the cries of her demanding child, don’t you snicker and judge her too harshly. She may just get back at you by handing you her toddler!