Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

Home » 9to5to9, Boots' story

Come on Mom, give in. Once won’t hurt

Submitted by on Sunday, 23 November 2008 2 Comments
Ever since Big Guy was old enough to spit his first "gimme it," I've had a firm rule: I don't negotiate with terrorists.

Throw a fit, you're not going to get it. At least not until you calm down, and then you stand a fighting chance if what you're asking is reasonable.

Sadly, demanding toys on a clothes-shopping trip is not reasonable. Especially since I've declared many millions of times since Big Guy's birthday in July that there shall be no more toys until Christmas.

I guess Boots didn't believe me.The end result: A 90-minute shopping trip that should have last 45 max and had me and most people in Mervyns ready to negotiate with a terrorist called Boots.

In his defense, clothes shopping is frustrating for Boots. Most trips are all about Big Guy who, by virtue of being born first, gets the new stuff.

He was mollified briefly at the beginning. when he got to keep a pack of Thomas underwear he grabbed. I viewed it as "something so he wouldn't feel left out." He saw it as cart blanche.

He happily hugged the underwear and peace reigned while Big Guy and I browsed. We found a heavy jacket Big Guy deemed acceptable, but only after he had rejected a half dozen.

"I want a nice warm jacket, too," Boots said, thunder clouds gathering. "You have jackets," I replied. "Don't like em," he retored.

Then Big Guy found a pair of Batman slippers. He's been obsessed with slippers of late, they were only $5, so I agreed. "Does brother want slippers?" he asked. "No. Want a toy," Boots boomed. All right, so no slippers for you.

Next came jeans. Nothing acceptable in the boys' section, so we headed to the treacherous territory of toddler clothing -- Big Guy is so scrawny he can wear most 5Ts. And toddler clothing is dangerously close to the store's "expanded for Christmas" toy section. Mervyns might be in bankruptcy, but they're not totally stupid.

"Want Keen toy! Want Keen toy!" Boots shouted at the "Cars" display, and not in a happy way.

"We're not buying toys today," I replied calmly.

Ay, but next came the Keen clothing. And Boots had not forgotten that Big Guy was getting a new jacket.

"Want Keen jacket! Want Keen jacket!"

"You have a nice warm jacket at home," I said.

"Want Keen toy! Want Keen toy!"

And I wanted a double shot of Tylenol as Big Guy tried on jeans. Ever been trapped with a screamer in a department-store dressing room? Even worse, a screamer determined to bang the door of every dressing-room stall.

By then, there was no hope of turning the tide.

One 7-year-old boy tried his best as Boots continued his "want Keen toy!" chorus in the checkout line. "Little dude, it takes cash." he advised kindly.

Some shoppers looked on with "I've been there" sympathy, while others wore "get him out of here" glares. The latter would have been thrilled if I'd given in to the terrorist just once, and, truth be told, I was on the verge. Just once. What would it hurt?

And then I remembered exactly what it would hurt. Normally, the guys are fairly well-trained when it comes to shopping: When we're not going for toys, we're not going to buy toys. One stumble would have blown that forever with both of them.

So I scooped up Boots, still screaming and now kicking too, while Big Guy lugged the bags through the parking lot. I fastened Boots, his fists now flailing, in his seat.

Where he suddenly sighed heavily and collapsed. "I'm tired now. Need a nap."

Yeah, son. Me too.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

Similar Posts:

2 Comments »

  • Rachel said:

    That was SOOO my day on Saturday. I don’t normally take the kids with me, but I did this time b/c DH had to work overnight Friday night, so I was trying to keep the house quiet for him. I have three, ages 3.5, 2 and 5 months. The 2 yr old decided that she was really going to test her limits, which included asking to get either up or down from the cart (depending on which she was at the moment) and standing in the middle of one of the bigger WalMart aisles, throwing the new cat toy on the floor and screaming because she didn’t like my answer about something. After telling her to pick up the toy, which resulted with louder screams, I just stood there looking at the merchandise nearby until she calmed down and picked up the cat toy and walked with us to the checkout. I didn’t dare make eye contact with any of the other customers b/c I didn’t want to see any of the disapproving looks. Thanks for showing me I’m not the only one who had to deal with that this weekend!

  • Debra said:

    Honestly, I don’t know which kind of disapproving look is worse: the baby-beater glare that says “why don’t you just give the poor children what they want” or the “put that beast in a cage” stare that says you should keep the shackled until college.

    We got plenty of both Saturday. I’m sure they all came from people who never had children or were never children themselves who misbehaved in public.

    Once in a while, though, I’ll get supportive looks and the warm memories carry me for years.

    We were in McDonald’s once when Big Guy was 2 1/2 and Boots was just a babe. Big Guy decided to be a big pain, throwing food, yelling, etc. You get the picture!

    As I walked out with a kid under each arm, a woman got up and opened the door for me. “We’ve all been there, dear.”

    Wish I’d run into her type more often!