Slight of Hand

When you become a parent, all of a sudden, you also become a magician. In the beginning, it’s just being able to make dinner with a baby in your arms, or being able to keep a relatively clean house while surviving on about 3 hours of sleep a night. But as your little one gets older, it becomes more of an ability to either keep them entertained, or distract them from something they shouldn’t or can’t have.

Case in point: I recently made a special trip to a store with Little P, and upon entering said store I realized I’d made a rookie mistake – I didn’t put Little P in the stroller. Normally this isn’t a problem as I’m usually shopping at places that have carts and can put her in one of those, but not today. So I had to make a decision: either call it quits and get back in the car and try and make it out here another day, or brave it with Little P walking with me. I really should have just called it quits.

Aside from her wanting to a) not take my hand and b) run like a Zombie was chasing her, I had to deal with her picking up things, and walking around with them like they were hers. For the most part, it wasn’t too big a deal. If her holding onto a book or a doll while I tried (in vain, I might add) to find what it was that I actually came here for, I was okay with that. But then we came to a section that had a bunch of teddy bears.

And again, this wouldn’t have been an issue. I mean, really, what harm can a kid do to a teddy bear when they only have it for a few minutes? That, however was not the problem. The $50 price tag and the fact that Little P had decided it was now HERS, were.

Trust me, I tried everything. ‘Honey, do you want a snack? How about a cracker?’ ‘NO.’ ‘Hey, look, Mommy has your Mickey. Do you want to take him and give Mommy the bear?’ ‘NO.’ ‘How about some water? A cookie? A book?’ ‘NO. NO. NO.’ *sigh*

Okay, so the usual tactics were not going to work in this case. What on earth can I get her to take without there being a scene (cause you just know how much I lurve leaving a store with a screaming toddler) and without me having to fork over $50 just to keep Little P calm, cool and collected. Maybe there was another teddy that I could get her to hold? Nope – they were all ‘hand made lovingly and given their own personalities‘. Hence the $50 price tag. Fan-frigging-tastic. Okay, woman, think. What would Little P want? And then I saw them. Shoes. Not kids shoes. But shoes none the less. And we all know how Little P loves her shoes.

‘Look, baby girl. Shoes.’ ‘Shoes?’ ‘Uh-huh. Do you want to go look at the shoes.’ ‘Yes!’ ‘Okay, well Mister Bear needs to go back to his friends if we are going to look at the shoes.’ ‘Bear come?’ ‘No, sweetie, he needs to sit with his friends while we look at shoes. Okay?’ ‘Bear come home?’ ‘Maybe after we look at shoes.’ ‘Okay.’ With much reluctance, she hands over said expensive bear and makes straight for the shoes. Okay, crisis averted. Now, how do I leave the store without buying a new pair of shoes (which, given the price of the bear, are no doubt going to cost more than my weekly grocery budget) and by-pass the bear?

After much giggling over the shoes, I was able to maneuver Little P past the bears, by keeping her attention focused on the other side of the aisle and blocking her view (talk about being an Illusionist – ‘watch me make all these teddy bears disappear!’) and we got out of the store in one piece. Without what I had just driven 30 minutes to try and find, but that’s okay. No tantrums, crying or expensive teddy bears, tends to make for a successful trip. 

Next time, I’ll pack the stroller. And do a little more research to make sure the store I’m going to doesn’t sell $50 baby dolls. 

So, till next time, read up on the manual. Rookie mistakes like this can cost a bundle.

K

Mommy-ism #43: ‘Quickly running to the store to get a few things’ takes on a whole new meaning when you have a baby. Gone are the days when you could leave and come back in 15 minutes and have everything you went out for. A short grocery trip now requires planning, checking & double-checking to make sure you have everything, and then hoping that your little one doesn’t have a melt down while you are there. Makes me wonder why more stores don’t have drive-thru’s…”

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