All’s Well That Ends Well, Right?

Today was too much of a stressful day for me. It started off with rushing around the house trying to make it to my chiropractor appointment on time (one of the only non-stressful events of my day.) In the rushing around, I never got a bite to eat, so by the time I got done with my appointment I was one hungry/grumpy/unstable mess. Just as I was leaving my appointment Drew decided to throw a fit right there in the office because I told him he couldn’t have a cookie (after he’d already had who knows how many.) This really stressed me out because it is so hard to know what to do when you have to discipline your child in public. I really didn’t want to brush this episode off because he has really been acting up lately. Fortunately, my sister is the secretary at the chiropractor’s so I handed her Beau and took Drew outside so I could talk to him. Even after the “disciplinary action” he was still asking for the cookie and crying that he didn’t get it because it was “his”, and he wanted to ask Ariel if he could have it. I have such a hard time knowing what a three-year-old is capable of understanding. Sometimes he demonstrates understanding of things that blow me away, and other times I don’t know if he just doesn’t get it, or he’s just being very defiant. So then we proceeded to finally eat lunch, and meet up with Kevin. Thank goodness for food or I would have melted onto the floor of our Suburban in frustration by that point. Then we proceeded to Sam’s Club which really went just fine, except for the 2,678,000 things Drew asked for while we were there. I don’t’ think there is a way curb the asking for things unfortunately, but if any of you out there have any good solutions for that one, I’d love to hear them. Then it was across the street to Wal-Mart where I not only had to finish grocery shopping for myself, I had to get groceries for my grandmother as well. So I kept Drew out of the cart this time so I could easily separate my groceries from her groceries. Well, Drew whined the entire time, pulled and yanked the cart this way and that when he wanted to go towards something he wanted, put random things he wanted in the cart, and pitched fits several times when I told him he couldn’t have things. We’re talking screaming and jumping up and down here. Let me tell you, people, that I am one of those people who will shy away from any public attention even if it is good. Imagine my embarrassment, when my child is acting like a holy terror! In the midst of all this, my conscience starts kicking in, asking myself questions. “Why is he behaving like this?” “Is it my fault?” “Am I not giving him enough attention?” “Am I giving him the wrong kind of attention?” “What is the right kind of attention?” “What if it’s already too late?” Fortunately, I found a job for him in the grocery cart: being the wall the separated our groceries from grandma’s groceries. Finding something for him to help me with, helped to keep him out of trouble. Let’s hope I remember that the next time he’s having a day like this. While I’m in the grocery store, my grandmother, bless her heart, calls to tell me some other items she forgot on her grocery list. I was already 3/4 of the way done. And must I mention, Wal-Mart’s ability to have everything in stock but the thing that I want. So then we dropped off the groceries with grandma and went home to cook dinner. Drew was just fine after this because he was, well, asleep.
I was in a hurry to cook dinner because I wanted to make sure Kev had something to eat before his recording session at 6. When he got home, to my relief, he told me it was cancelled, at which point I began to breath again. Then he went and decided to clean the toilets, because, and I am ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t cleaned my bathrooms in at least a month. Aside from the laundry, the bathroom cleaning is one of the first things I would hire out to someone else if I could afford it. However, I still felt bad that he had to go clean them. I’m thankful I have a husband that is willing to do it, don’t get me wrong, but there is still some part of me that feels guilty when my husband has to go clean the toilets. So Kevin cleaned the toilets, I made dinner and everything else went fine for the evening. No complaints. (Could I complain any more?) Now I’m just watching an incredibly depressing movie, but I’m keeping myself distracted by writing this. All I have to say, is it better end well.

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15 thoughts on “All’s Well That Ends Well, Right?

  1. We’ve all had those hard to handle kids days and let me just be the first to say you’re not alone. Maybe when drew gets a little older you can threaten him with “If you don’t straighten up, you’re going to scrub toilets today”. Hee hee

  2. Well this may sound silly but a couple things I remember from 20 years ago when my kids were small, and the shopping experiences is this…I told them if they were good (before we went to the store) they could pick one special toy to take from home shopping with us (they think it is a “special treat” that way. Then they spend the time playing with it instead of looking around for new things to want.
    Another idea was to have them look “up” at the big signs in the store and find the letters of their name…it keeps them looking up instead of at eye level where they keep all the toys and things kids want. Then maybe they get a candy or something if they find all the letters to their name. Or find the numbers 1-10 or the whole alphabet! Depends on their age and how long you plan on shopping-!!
    Just a thought from the “archives” of my mama years.

  3. Sorry, no real advice here just mucho understanding. When we had our first, she didn’t ask for things when we went shopping (although she did know how to pitch a holy fit in public!) So I thought I had just handled things perfectly because she didn’t beg for toys.

    Then. I had. My second.

    The child came into this world expecting to be given her every hearts desire. (She even throws things in the cart that she wants. I accidently stole a bunny from Target around Easter and had to return it because of her.) Needless to say, I’ve since tossed the idea that I was such a fabulous mom the first time around. However, maybe this will make you feel better, that it is also not your fault that he asks for things either…and I’m pretty sure they’ll grow out of it. (Are ya listenin’ God?!?)

    😀 Hopefully things are going smoother today!

  4. You know, I’ve said this before, but it is SO TRUE – I think we live the SAME life on an ulternate universe. It is so weird.

    Perhaps there’s something in the air about boys acting up? Seth has been a holy terror, saved of course for public humiliation. What the heck? I hate the “pity” look other mothers give you. Yeah, right, your child never acted bad in public.

    Terrible twos???? Twos have nothing on Threes!!!!

    Sorry – I’ll end my rant now. I hope you have a better day today.

  5. Jason instituted a system for our oldest three (ages four, four, and two). Before we enter the store, I have them chant the three store rules (even Jonah, although he only recently got all the words right):

    — Don’t touch ANYTHING.

    — Don’t ask for ANYTHING.

    — We won’t get ANYTHING.

    They really enjoy reciting them at this age, because it makes them feel clever, and gives them a sense of ownership. That way, if they start acting up in the store, I can just make them recite the rules again, and they go, “Oh, yeah!” And sometimes they actually DO get something, if they’ve been following the rules pretty well, and it’s a big exciting surprise that way, rather than a bribe that they come to expect. But it’s a system you have to start at home, by teaching them to memorize the three rules, so they can whip them out in the store later. Works for us.

    And of course, every once in a while, when one of them does decide to act like a preschooler/toddler and have a meltdown, or get an attitude we stop everything to have more serious words. Whispering works wonders, especially if you sound like a very calm ‘tough-mommy,’ and don’t act the slightest bit flabberghasted by their behavior. 🙂

  6. I think that as far as asking for things in the store goes, it’s important that they don’t always get what they want. I don’t think they should ALWAYS have something when you’re out shopping, THAT could get expensive. Plus they grow to expect it and it doesn’t become a treat anymore.

    If it’s at all possible, I try to go shopping without the kids, even if that means I’m shopping at 10pm. It’s worth the peace and quiet.

    The other thing that I found is that a couple snacks concealed in your purse and pulled out at the most restless of times will go a long way.

  7. I’m so sorry. Ellie is going through that same stage of whine and gimme gimme. I ask her, “What does whining get you” and in her 3 year old voice,

    “nothing.”

    She knows but ALWAYS could use the reminder. It’s good to tell them the ‘rules’ prior to going in to the store. I found that helps for them to know what is expected.

    You are right about Wally’s though..never have what you need in stock. hehe. ITS TRUE!!

    Im sure the 3’s are more difficult than the twos, by a longshot. Not much solace in this but it will pass. As for the bathroom, IM SO WITH YOU on that. You know I can keep a clean house, just let hubby scrub the head. I have two boys in my house that I believe stand on the bog and aim outward. YIKES.

  8. Heather-Yeah, I think boys are just harder to deal with at this age for some reason…or maybe it IS just in the air.

    Rebecca- I like your rule system…I may just have to try that next time.

    Allie-if you go shopping late at night on a regular basis, maybe we could go together? I would love to go without the kids too, but Kev hates having me out at scary Wal-Mart by myself after dark. He might feel better if he knew I was with someone.

    GiBee-you know how duct tape doesn’t work when it gets wet? Well….

  9. Cheers to Rebecca and Jason!!!! That is right on advice and parenting.
    Aside to Sarahgrace: even these great ideas are not fool proof. There will be days…..
    Urcarla’s creative games also get my applause (somedays).
    I raised all of my kids RIGHT and they all turned out different 🙂 And even the most docile and pliable occassionaly had, uh, trouble behaving in public places. I had to learn to not be embarrassed by my kids being kids and to set my teeth and do whatever I had decided was the right response (Oh yeah, big talker, aren’t I – Let’s not talk about crawling into bed mortified or crying all the way home).

    Be confident and sure of yourself, even when the pint size lawyer argues, “But it IS MY COOKIE and I should be able to….”
    Three is old enough to understand, “You have chosen by your behavior to not have this cookie right now. We will put the cookie right here and we will talk about it later.”
    Cher

  10. I am having the same trouble with my five year old who asks for everything and can’t understand why she can’t have it. Personally, I am very concerned about how much she seems to always want stuff when we already have so much. I don’t like bribing with more “stuff” because it just feeds her fire. Also, I don’t want her (or any of my kids) thinking that they should use stuff to try to make themselves feel better.

    And, I want my kids to behave properly because they know it’s best, not because they are getting something material out of it.

    Having said that, I don’t always know about how to deal with tantrums. I DO regularly tell the kids what to expect before we go somewhere… (For example: We are going to get a gift for the birthday party. We are not buying anything for ourselves.) I do talk about trust with my children too. I explain that I need to know that I can trust them to obey if we are going to go out in public. Otherwise, they will not be safe, and I won’t take them out if they I feel they won’t be safe. (And that also means that we have left a lot of places during tantrums too. I once left church with my daughter throwing a holy fit even though she had no shoes or coat on!)

    I don’t know if that is any help at all, because you probably already knew all that. I sympathize. We all have those days where we just don’t know WHAT to do. Thankfully, one or two of those days every so often is not going to ruin our children.

    That was too long. Sorry.

  11. So, Sarah, how did the movie end? It wasn’t “Titanic,” was it? If so, I could have told you that wouldn’t end well. Same with “The Hindenberg” and the new one, “Flight 93.”

  12. Muley- well, considering that NONE of the movie had any really happy parts, it really wasn’t much of a let down when it didn’t end well either. The movie was “Lord of War”. It was more of a “for gun control” political agenda movie than it was a good story or entertainment. Actually, I didn’t think it was a good story at all. Somebody told my husband that it was a “really good movie,” unfortunately I don’t know who told him that, so that I know who suggestions to dismiss in the future…

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