Cute toddler turned monster in the grocery store…

Im not sure if Im a glutton for punishment today or not but here’s the scoop.  I decided that since neither my daughter nor myself are experiencing any cold-like symptoms on a day off that I should visit my grandmother in the nursing home and then finish up at the grocery store.  Our visit at the nursing home went okay even though Ava refused to have anything to do with her great-grandmother who as Alzheimers.  I feel like I have to balance the act of comforting my scared toddler who is terrified of wheelchairs and comforting my grandmother who has no idea why my adorable little daughter is yelling “No” and “Stop” when she asks for a hug and kiss.  Stressful? Hmm, yes, I think so.  Luckily the nursing home was engaging the residents’ in some activities that are perfect for toddlers which I think may have broke the ice.  So after an hour or so of that, we head to the grocery store…alone, without daddy.  We usually all go together so one of us can shop and the other can manage Ava.  It would be nice if one person went to the store and the other stayed home with Ava but I think it’s important to use outings as a way to teach appropriate behaviors…even if the outcome isnt as desirable as hoped for. 

So we get to the grocery store and all is good ~well, other than Ava tripping on her new shoes in which the clerk informed me is her correct size but I beg to differ and the wind blowing so hard it knocks Ava’s hat off her head into the parking lot…ugh.  I choose the small cart because we dont have many items to retrieve and I thought this would be a quick trip…not so much. Ava managed to find everything in the store with SpongeBob on the packaging and refused to continue on our path until we sat on the floor and had a good discussion with or about SpongeBob.  BTW, I detest Spongebob but have found that this obsession is one that I cannot easily squash; I now use him as an example of undesirable behavior when I must endure an episode.  When I attempted to hide so she would follow me, she thought it was funny and a new game.  Didnt work.  When I chased her to grab her up she thought that was funny and thought it was a game.  I finally scooped her up and threw her over my shoulder, meanwhile my purse is wide open in the cart two aisles down.  Lucky to live in a small town where most employees know me personally ~Thanks Dad!  After an hour later and 4 tantrums on the floor we are paying.  I chose the self-checkout thinking this might be faster.  Well, it probably was faster but I had to bag everything myself  (only one bag) and during that short time Ava decided to try the automatic door in front of the checkout lanes.  Luckily I caught her in time and probably yelled too loudly, Ava get back here! I felt so horrible yelling but I was scared more than angry.  Im so glad she listened because it could have been much worse.  I picture popped into my head of her running out the door into the parking lot thinking it was another game…ugh! So glad that didnt happen.   When we were getting in the car she was hitting me, yelling at me and pulling my hair.  I did my best to stay calm and put her in her carseat gently.  My favorite trick to use when she is out of control is to make her laugh.  If I tickle her or make a funny face it usually works.  To my advantage, a man in the vehicle next to us was getting out of his car and made funny faces at her while I was attempting to tackle to task of securing the seatbelt with her flailing her arms and legs.  Thank you kind stranger.  Lesson learned: Dont go grocery shopping with a toddler without help 🙂 or take the big cart to contain the child.    Naptime could not have come soon enough today. 

As a disclosure statement, I just want to say that I am not the type to let my kid run wild but I do think it is important for kids to learn their boundaries and explore in a safe environment.  This store was managed by my dad for the last 18 years and I felt completely comfortable with the employees and was very familiar with my surroundings.  Had I not been this would not have been something I would talk about openly.  I am also not one of those parents who leave the house unprepared.  I had all kinds of distractions, juice, water, snack cup, crackers, books, toys, diaper bag and I tried using distraction and other methods of parenting skills.  My favorite parenting trick to use when toddlers are behaving undesirably is to make them laugh, usually they forget why they were upset.  (I also explain why I dont like their behavior at some point).  What is your favorite parenting trick when you are embarrassed by your child in public?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jeff Silvey
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 03:31:02

    Making them laugh is a good trick. It usually works, except during the worst meltdowns. Yeah, I’m always afraid of parking lots. We’re really strict about our daughter either walking and holding hands, or just being carried outright when in a parking lot.


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