FLASHBACK: August 28, 2012
Dude. Two year olds scream. Like, loudly.
Sure, there are beautiul moments that I have with Billie. Epically poignant and gorgeous in all the right ways. But then there is the rest of the time.
Doug is going to be a graduate professor this year. That, coupled with being an all around badass and losing 20 pounds this summer, warranted getting him a new wardrobe. So we headed off to the Gap to lavish him in the finest clearance aisle slacks and flannel his financial aid could buy.
Now a two year old in any store is rough. But the fashion concious spawn of Doug & I in a GAP? I can’t accurately describe the hysteria. Picture a Justin Beiber concert. In Japan. With fireworks. But with more tears. THAT is my daughter in a GAP.
In order to give Doug some privacy while getting his style on I made the valiant decision to walk her around the store. By myself.
WHY WOULD I DO THAT?
Walking a two year old around a clothing store is like taking a pack of wild dogs to the butcher’s shop & expecting them to wait patiently in line behind the counter. Worse than that? She found the damned Princess nighties two seconds after walking through the door. She was running up and down the aisles screaming, “I’M A PRINCESS! I’M A PRINCESS!” while all the middle-aged black women in the store looked at me and shook their heads. I attempted to grab one of the nighties from her and she tries to kick me and then straight up screams, “NOOO MOMMY! You’re hurting me!!! I’m hurting!!!”
Seriously? I’M hurting YOU??
So now I’m THAT parent. I’m the one with the screaming kid in the middle of the crowded store. And she is just playing into it, too. The more people who stare at me the stronger her scream gets. She’s like asuper villian who feeds off awkwardness. I finally ended up telling her we were going to go see daddy’s new clothes and taking her outside instead… A total cop out, I know. You always think, as a parent, that you’ll just sit there, in the middle of the crowded store, and reprimand them and then it’ll all be better. You think to yourself, “Well, if something like that happens then it’s a teachable moment and so be it.”
Well, fuck that, guys.
There’s no such thing as a teachable moment when you’re in public with a screaming toddler.
You think you’re going to calmly rationalize with them and warn them of the consequences should they not listen? You think you’re just going to explain to them that this is not acceptable behavior and they’ll magically stop? Right. And then real life happens and you & your thrashing devil child are the reason for the “Clean up on aisle three” announcement reverberating throughout the overly crowded Albertsons.
I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m just saying it’s a process. It’s tough to take a small child into a store without them being an asshole and embarrassing the crap out of you. But if you don’t do it then they’ll never learn and you’re eight years in the future wondering why you’re the parent with the 10 year old who can’t sit through a meal in a restaurant. So you pay your dues. You endure the looks. You take the screaming child out to the store time and time again knowing full well that you’re handling the equivalent of decade old dynomite. That baby so much as sweats and your entire afternoon is blown to smitherenes.
But I digress. The afternoon went better after she had a 10 minute time-out in the car (with the AC on, of course… but, dude. Timeouts in public are hard. Like, they require a delicate choreography to them) then we bought her light-up shoes because she said the Robots wanted her to have them…
Normal parents reward their children for being good. I reward mine for being weird. You can all thank me when she becomes a bad ass futuristic sci-fi writer.