Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Mother's Advice......(for my kids)

The first time I went to a grocery store with one of my kid's was when Fia was 5 days old. I have no idea why on earth I felt the need to take my five day old baby to the store when my husband was off work for the summer but, well....back in those days control and proving myself to be able to handle IT ALL was key. I remember racing around the store with my mylicon bottle in one pocket and binkie in the other. I was praying she wouldn't let loose and that I could get in and out without causing a scene. I got through it all right but then was stopped in the parking lot by someone wanting me to sign a petition. I was a bit out of control trying to maintain my control and do it all because I ended up yelling frantically at her while racing the cart through the parking lot "MY BABY IS FIVE DAYS OLD AND NEEDS TO EAT!!!"

Ahhhhh........the good ol' days.

When Fia was about nine months old and still a bit of a pill I was back at Marc's shopping. I had made it through the store and was just about to check out when she let loose. If you all had ever seen Fia let loose then you know how ear piercing and, frankly, annoying it was when she would have her screaming fits.

It was the best thing to happen.

I just held her while she was screaming and calmly put all my groceries on the counter. I never yelled or got too flustered or tried to rush through everything. The grocery ladies were a bit flustered and tried to rush but you can only go so fast and nothing was going to calm my girl down except to get out of that store.

I survived. She survived. It wasn't the worst thing in the world and a screaming child didn't mean I was a bad parent. Before I thought it did. I would become tense entering a shopping establishment. I would become irritated by the littlest thing, something that wouldn't even register at home but because I was in public I was hyper aware of it happening. I would mutter things under my breath, I wouldn't think of threats in my mind of how I was never shopping with a baby again, this was horrible, etc., etc.

What I would tell that woman I was back then and what I want to tell my children when they grow up is to ENJOY your children. Yes, grocery shopping is different with children, it takes longer, there are sometimes hiccups along the way but it can be enjoyable, even fun.

Just the other day we where in Marc's and the kids wanted to stop and look at the toys. And we did. It was fun. We spent 10-15 minutes just looking and playing and exploring the toy aisle. When I said we needed to move on there was a minute amount of grumbling but not much and no expectation that we would actually buy a toy - we never do and I am not even sure they would even consider it an option. Then we moved onto the produce section and everyone helped pick out the foods and put them in the cart. When we went to get our baking supplies Nico had to pick out the different things and look for letters (which we usually don't do but it was fun to have him try to figure out which things to get). Nico tried to push the cart, then Francesca tried. There was a little bit of arguing that would have been made A WHOLE LOT WORSE had I made a bigger deal out of it; had I been paying attention to who was watching me rather than just dealing with the issue at hand the way I would deal with it at home. Everyone unloaded the cart together and we talked to the cashier - rarely can any of them resist the big blues of Nico and loud "HI!" of Francesca. It was so pleasant. It was actually fun to go grocery shopping.

When I see a stressed out mom yelling at her kids in the grocery store (and it has happened to me too and I want to step back and look at myself and say the SAME THING) - calm down, you aren't a bad mom, you don't have bad kids, it happens. Everyone has bad days. Just slow down, deep breath, regroup and try to remember to enjoy the experience, every experience with your kids. Someday you will wish you have a reason to stop in the toy aisle and spend time browsing. You will wish you had someone accompanying your shopping experience with the rock and roll version of the abcs. Your heart will yearn to buy string cheese and dora bandaids and a small box of animal crackers as a treat so you can go home and bite the heads off of lions and fight over who gets the sea lion. Even now I get a bit sad when we go and Fia isn't along with us at the store, she's off at school doing big girl stuff. I can't imagine when there will be one and then none. I am sure I will enjoy the peace and quiet and how shopping probably only takes 30 minutes and not an entire morning. Or maybe I will just swing by and pick up Perrin and relieve my glory days...............................

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