I have been wanting to change things up a bit on this blog and site and one of my friends provided me with the perfect inspiration wth a post on her blog. So I am starting a Motherhood and Parenting category and will be sharing some personal triumphs and of course the many, many embarrassing moments and learning experiences of being a mother to my child. Hopefully this will help someone out there realize that they are not alone and at least provide a laugh or two along the way. In any case, it will be a great way for me to journal some of my motherhood stories.
Now, I am sure that your curiosity is peaked and you are wondering what my friend could have written about on her blog. She wrote a most wonderful piece “Banned From Wal-Mart” that made me smile, laugh and begin to reminisce of my own store fiascoes as a mother with a small boy child that I dared to take out in public. She began to worry a bit after posting her story yesterday that people would think her children never behaved. So she wrote a follow-up piece, “I Should Probably Clarify…” today. This again made me smile and I wanted to answer her worries and tell her that she is so not alone in the public store embarrassments. She at least has several children. I only have the one, so what is my excuse for the past indiscretions? Simple…I have a child and children will be children, no matter the quantity. So let me help her feel a bit better and hopefully some of you as well as I share some moments in my past when I questioned if the boy child (and I) would possibly make it to his current teenager age in one piece and alive.
I remember when the boy was but three years of age. We were in Wal-Mart and he decided that he simply must have a particular toy. I remember clearly saying “No” at the time. He proceeded to throw a major temper tantrum in the aisle that included throwing himself on the ground and sobbing and kicking and screaming that I was mean. At this point in my young career as a mother, I had very little experience with the temper tantrum scene. I was horrified, but something snapped in my tired mother brain. Instead of picking him up and carting him out of the store, or quickly giving in and getting him the toy, I began to laugh. The boy was amazed and tried even harder to embarrass me. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was most definitely embarrassed. However, amid the gawking people, here I stood and laughed at him.
It was through this embarrassed laughter that my mouth engaged and I began to tease him. I asked him things like, “Is that the best that you can do? C’mon, you can do it better. If you are going to throw a tantrum, then do it right. You need to add more kicking of the feet and pounding of your fists to make it really believable.”
People stared. I am sure they were thinking I was the absolute worst mother to ever walk the face of the earth. But then something amazing happened. When the boy realized that I was not going to react in a normal manner, he abruptly stopped the tantrum. The big alligator tears miraculously disappeared and he never threw a temper tantrum in public again. I suppose he figured it wasn’t worth it. I personally was relieved. However, he did find a way to get back at me. Which leads me to my next story…
It was probably a year or so later that the boy decided it was great fun to slip away in the blink of an eye and tell someone that he was lost. The first time that he did this, I panicked. Which is why I am certain that he felt he had found a new and exciting game to play with mom. There is nothing quite like the sound of the PA system in a store announcing that they have “found” your child and could you please come to the front courtesy desk and retrieve him. It wasn’t just in one store either. After a while, I began to fear that we would never have another store that I could buy groceries in because we had played this “game” in all of the stores in town. It was truly embarrassing.
The boy would figure out how to slip away and then about two minutes later I would hear, “We have a small boy named —- who is lost. He is — years old and is wearing —-,—–, and —–. His mother’s name is Brenda Emmett. Could you please come to the front courtesy desk, Mrs. Emmett and retrieve your son? Thank you and we are so glad we found him for you and that he is safe.” Yes, I wanted to sink into the floor and die. When I would pick him up, he would laugh and laugh. When my poor husband would get home from work, he would hear, “So, do you know what YOUR son did at the store today?”
Here is the sad part of these stories…I didn’t even have to exaggerate. But I am extremely glad that we no longer play these little games at the store. He even acts respectable most of the time when we are in public. Whew!
So what are some of your favorite or not-so-favorite Mommy Moments while in the store? Please share them so we all feel a little bit better.