Duck and Cover

As mother to T.Puzzle and Full Speed, I know what it takes to get through a day. I have to be strong, set lots of stern boundaries and not give them an inch. If I can’t do these things then I have to be prepared to duck and cover.

We were down to our last pull-up and I had to take little T.Puzzle with me to Target. If I am in the right frame of mind and he is too, it is a reasonable task. If I am tired, crabby and not feeling up to being a drill-sergeant mommy, then we are in big, big trouble.

I just was not in the mood to fight him at every turn. He kept tossing everything I had in the cart onto the floor. Normally, I would stop no matter if we are in the food isle or near ladies’ lingerie, and reprimand him. He would be placed in time-out and would wail to the high heavens but most likely would get his act together. I just couldn’t do it today. I wordlessly kept placing everything he tossed on the floor back in the cart. I chose to ignore his behavoir and that was the first of my mistakes.

By the time we had reached the cashier little T.Puzzle was ‘helping’ me push the cart. It was my weak attempt at distracting him from his naughty behavior. It didn’t work (another mistake). He decides now is the time to run away from Mommy and giggle. I grab him and place him in the cart’s seat and he starts screaming ‘no!’ at the top of his lungs. To complicate matters he keeps getting up in the seat dangerously teetering over the side. He looks ready to jump. I try my best to unload the cart and to make light of his insanity to the cashier. She looks wholly empathetic and mortified at the same time. As I lean down to grab something off the base of the cart, little T.Puzzle makes his move. He grabs a heavy box from the counter in front of him and proceeds to chuck it at my head. The cashier lunges forward to save me and in the process her knee hits the counter with a sickening thud. It’s her bad knee she tells me. Well, of course it is. Why would it be her good knee? That would make this story less upsetting and as you can tell, I wasn’t catching any breaks today.

I effusively apologize for the misdeeds of my child and the unfortunate injury he caused. Of course, he hasn’t let up screaming ‘no!’ yet either. I take my cart, my wobbly self-esteem and my overtly aggressive child and exit. I manage to strap him in his car seat, get my things unloaded and put the cart back. As soon as I reach the car I dial Mad Dog. I cry and he listens and when my crying gets really desperate sounding, little T.Puzzle switches his ‘nos!’ to ‘sorrys’.

It didn’t help because I was very sorry, too.

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