When Lil’ J was an infant, I loved staring at my little blob. Then when she started to sit up and crawl it was fun watching her slowly pick up new tricks. When we’d go out it was always easy to contain her. But now? Now that we’ve hit the toddler years, I’m dealing with a whole ‘nother animal.
Next time we go out I really need to take a picture of how we roll. We roll in a mobil pack n’ play. Or at least, that’s what the woman at the fabric store called it when she saw us. I agree with the brilliant description.
Basically, it’s throwing her some toys, snacks, and water in the main part of the shopping cart and letting Lil’ J entertain herself while I shop around the store.
I used to wear her in my carrier and that worked before she started walking but now she likes to get down. Then I’d put her in the seat part of the shopping cart but that wasn’t busy enough for her. I would use the Walmart limo (you know, the car with the two extra totally open plastic seats for kids to jump off of while you’re driving down the aisles.. Oh, wait… That’s just my daughter?), but I’m too worried moms will two or more kids will give me the stink eye. So I resorted to this. Why? Well, because walking around is destined for doom. If you haven’t read my BabyCenter blog you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.
We were fabric shopping—Well, I was fabric shopping; Little J was tagging along, at a local store when it stuck me. I was in the very predicament I thought I’d never find myself in: Child being entertained by random objects that should be off-limits, and mother in distress.
I’ve found myself in this predicament more often than I’d like recently. Before she started walking it was easy to keep her close at bay in the shopping cart I’m pushing around. But since she recently discovered how to walk along side me, she’d much rather use her own legs. I haven’t resorted to a leash—That’s on the list “HAIL NAHS” I made way back when before I was pregnant. Come to think of it, I wonder how many of those I’ve already done.
I had a heap of fabric on my shopping cart to get cut, but I wanted to put a roll back I decided I didn’t need.
Lil’ J was right in front of me and the roll just went on the shelf a few feet around the corner.
I made a beeline for the shelf, set the fabric down, and turned back around to grab Lil’ J, who had magically managed to run over to a display of plastic (or were they ceramic?) fruit, grab the largest one–what looked like a giant pear—and bring it back to show me.
I tried to stay calm and quickly analyze the situation but the look on my face must have said “hey let’s play tag” because she immediately knew I was about to chase her and try to take her new treasure.
She let out a huge giggle, turned and started to run. But two steps in her retreat she dropped the shiny pear—Which was ceramic—And we watched it smash into a dozen little pieces.
Then came another decisive moment. Do I run?—No, of course not, there were probably bystanders watching the whole thing. Yell at her?—No, it was my fault. Pick up the pieces and offer to pay for it—Bingo!
It was humiliating to say the least. I worked in retail years ago and have been shopping enough, witnessing similar situations with other mothers and their children. I swore up and down that would never be me. Yet, here I am. Picking up pieces of an overpriced decoration that costs who knows how much because I was bright enough to take my eyes off her for five seconds (I still should have known because it only took four for her to throw my blackberry in the toilet).
Even though I offered to pay, they told me not to worry about it, and I confined my daughter to the shopping cart for the remainder of our trip. My guilt lead me to spend a little more than I ordinarily would have, and I even signed up for their rewards program. Hankock Fabrics has my business for life.
I’ve only been a mom for 17 months but I’m learning quickly. One thing I know for sure: Never say never, and don’t roll your eyes at that poor mother trying to do her best, because in another year, that could be you.