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We’re scene-makers March 21, 2010

Posted by Erin F. Wasinger in Being a mama, Kind of unreasonable.
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I’m pretty good at remaining cool, calm and collected (in public) but there it was: the tantrum that did me in.

She cared not that we didn’t know when the last time that store’s floor had been mopped. She paid zero attention to my reddening face. She stopped whining from her belly-down position on the tile floor to smile at some well-intending lady (with no knack for social graces or timing) passing, saying “what a cute little girl!” Yes, cute, I wanted to say. And only $50, now for a limited time! Get your money out, lady.

Juuust kidding.

But I’m not kidding about this tantrum. She wanted to keep rolling a toy dump truck around the clothing displays. I wanted to walk down and look at clocks. See the dramatic build up here? Wouldn’t you throw yourself prone on the ground for that very same reason? MAMA IS UNREASONABLE.

I attempted to pick her up when she was still in her crouched position, but only managed to pop up with the truck, as she wriggled her arm out of my grasp and did her best wet-blanket imitation on the floor.

Oh good Lord, I thought. “Alice, let’s go.” “Alice, I have your truck.” “Alice, Mama’s leaving.” “Alice, where’s Daddy? Let’s go get Daddy!” I even shut up and tried walking away. I made it about 10 feet away before I realized she didn’t even know I was gone, because she was too busy heaving great big sobs into her folded arms under her head.

NOTHing worked. NOTHING.

And where was Dave? GOOD QUESTION. He’d taken the cart and was halfway through the clocks aisle for all I knew.

So I reminded myself that I had quite a few years and pounds on the little punk – I could totally handle this (insert me pushing my sleeves up my Popeye’d up arms here). I did the pregnant lady stoop – an arm full of stuff I hadn’t gotten the chance to put in the cart yet – to peel her body off the floor, but – oomph – I just – heaving breaths, red face, Braxton Hicks out of left field – and I – ugh – couldn’t get her boneless body off the floor and into a standing position, let alone pick her up. And she knew it.

But then. Then! Like a mirage, he appeared.

I pulled myself back up in time to watch him carry her across his shoulders like a sack of potatoes – light beams shooting out of his fingertips, I swear it. “Let’s go, Alice.” That’s it. Just swooped in, grabbed her and hauled her away.

It was the sexiest I’ve ever seen Dave. My hero.

I’d like to tell you I did some masterful parenting skill here or that I broke her almost-2-year-old’s resolve and got her to understand that just because she wanted to push the truck didn’t mean she was going to get to push the truck … But I really just needed a bathroom, so I’m putting this one squarely in the “next time” file. And, maaan, do I give single mothers (and one-parent shoppers) some major kudos.

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