Each Friday, at least for the foreseeable future, I will be sharing a blog post from the past. These will be posts from other places that I have retained the rights once again, or from this blog. I hope you enjoy these entries. I know they are ones that have made me smile.
This post originally was posted March 2, 2012.
I should have known we were destined to homeschool when my son was a toddler. He found great joy in learning new things, even if they caused me grief. Take for instance, his discovery of how to best embarrass mom in a store. I have always been a fan of creative parenting. Unfortunately, I didn’t see in advance that when the parent gets creative, so does the child.
He only threw a temper tantrum in the store once. We were in Walmart at the time and he proceeded to throw himself on the floor, complete with kicking and screaming. Instead of flaming red with humiliation and giving in to his demand for a new toy, I decided to turn the tables back on him. Bystanders gawked in horror as I calmly chided him and encouraged him to make it really good. “Is that all you can do? C’mon…put more into it. Make it worth it. Kick some more. Scream a little louder. Do I need to get down there and show you how to really do it?” Within about 2 minutes he quit. He knew it wasn’t worth it. I would most likely cause a bigger scene than he was currently doing.
It was probably about 2 years later when he would get his revenge. He discovered a new game. You see, I had prided myself in being a good mother and teaching him what to do if he should become lost in the store. He knew his name, my name, and to find a responsible adult, aka store employee, to get help. You see where this is going, don’t you?
The first time he made his escape, we were in Walmart. I was in the clothing section looking for a cheap shirt. I glanced away momentarily, and he took advantage of the 2 second lapse in my judgment. I looked back and I was missing my child. I panicked. Within about 60 seconds, I heard over the loud speaker: “We have a lost boy. His name is Chandler and his mother’s name is Brenda. Can she come to the customer service desk to get her little boy?” Brilliant! He did just what I told him to do. I was obviously mother of the year material. How naive could I have been to think this was just an accident?
The second time he did it was the same day, different store. We were at the grocery store. I turned to reach something off of an upper shelf and when I went to put it into the cart, he was gone. Moments later, I heard myself being paged to the front customer service desk. This was war. He was Houdini and I was about to be the drill sergeant. As I thanked the clerk, I gave my son the look—the one that all good mothers have down and can manage without a second thought. Some call it the death stare. He laughed. I knew I was in trouble.
It was perhaps 2 or 3 days later when he decided to practice his escape artist act again. This time I was ready. The instant I knew he had slipped away, I literally ran to the customer service desk. They looked at me funny. I smiled a knowing smile and said, “Just wait. You’ll see.” About that time, my son rounded the corner with a responsible adult employee. The look on his face at finding me waiting for him was priceless. I was the victor and he knew it. Game over.