My house has dissolved into a state of Mom-dom today.
Most of you know by now that I am a rather flexible and relaxed parent. I encourage my children to play in the mud. I have very few rules and restrictions, most of which are safety oriented. I allow my children to lead the way on most trips to the store, following them through aisle after useless aisle for 30 minutes to an hour just to buy a box of cereal that was located right by the entrance. I am what you might call child-oriented in my day-to-day life. I don't mind taking time to let them explore the aisles as long as they aren't grabbing things off the shelves. This is a well known expectation in our home.
I decided today that we would spend some time at our favorite location just down the road. I packed up the computer, dressed the girls, moved the car seats and piled everybody into the car. Our first stop was Kroger to get a couple of cheap Lunchables for the girls to snack on. It was a simple trip, but the girls wanted to roam the store. We roamed back to the fish case where they both pretended to eat all the fish steaks and crab legs. Then we wandered over to the case where the Lunchables live. They each picked out their snack, and we carried on to roam around the freezer case. Of course we wound up near the cakes and cookies...
Both girls ran over a grabbed a pack of cupcakes, turning the package upside down to get a better look. I told them no cupcakes and made sure the damage was not severe. We carried on towards the checkout. Marisa grabbed something else and got a soft swat on the bottom. Marisa took exception to this and began wailing loudly. Mind you, she's still in diapers. A spanking on her bottom is never even felt.
We proceed to the checkout. The store marketing team is quite clever. They put chocolate in EVERY SINGLE AISLE right by the registers. Marisa determined right then and there that she needed chocolate right then and there. I, being a bit near the end of my rope, told her that there would be no chocolate today. I was very calm and quiet when I told her no, but she just does not like being told "no."
Marisa took exception to this and began wailing loudly about how hungry she was. There was a woman near the end of the aisle watching the whole scene with that knowing look of a mother who has been through this a time or two with her own kids. She gave me a gentle smile. I gave her a smile with a bit of rolling eyes. I ushered Marisa over to the counter and away from the chocolate that she was gazing at with the forlorn look of a puppy who hasn't been fed in days and sees the bacon through the glass that can't be breeched. (You know this look...)
Kira chose this moment to begin crying. To be honest with you, I have no idea what Kira's issue was. She was complaining about having to stand by the counter. The woman directly behind us was "crowding" us. The cashier was dealing with a huge stack of coupons. I was being very patient and calmly explained to the girls that we would only be a few more minutes and I needed them to stop crying.
They cried louder.
I took a deep breath.
I said to myself as I'm looking around at the people in my vicinity ---
"Self, whatever you do at this very moment will determine what happens the next time you walk into a store with these two children."
I recalled a discussion that Randall and I had just a week or so ago about giving warnings and following through. At this point, I had not actually "warned" either of the children. I had asked them to quiet down. I had reminded them of my expectations for their behavior in the store. I determined that at their age, they are old enough to understand that their actions have consequences and that these particular actions are not acceptable to their mom.
I took a deep breath. I gathered my dignity. I took both girls by the hand. I apologized profusely to the cashier and explained that I would be leaving now without buying the two Lunchables on the counter. (He was still busy with those coupons.)
The girls really began crying at this point, as they both realized what this action of mine truly meant.
We walked to the car. I buckled them in. I brought them home.
There will be no sandbox today.
I made them both sit on the floor at the foot of my bed. I gave them their "snack trays" and fixed their lunch. (Not Lunchables... ) They ate their food in relative silence. Marisa declared she was done and ready to play, only to be met by my stern Mom-dom gaze with my declaration that she would sit by her tray until I was done with her being there. She crawled back to her allotted space with tears rolling down her cheeks.
After both girls finished their paltry meals, I removed their shoes and socks in preparation for bed. Kira went off to the bathroom while I settled Marisa into the bed. I gave Marisa a short speech to remind her why she was in trouble and that I still love her no matter what. I rolled up the extra quilt that lives on our bed and placed it in the middle of the bed. I told Marisa that she was not to cross the quilt.
Kira finished in the bathroom and I gave her the same type of speech as Marisa had just received. I reminded her what behavior is acceptable and why we were now in the state of Mom-dom. I directed her to crawl into my bed. I also gave her the same directions with regards to that rolled up quilt.
I couldn't stop there, though. Oh no - this is TOTAL MOM-DOM MODE.
I instructed Marisa to roll onto her side and face Daddy's lamp.
I instructed Kira to roll onto her side and face Mommy's lamp.
Then I turned out the lights and vacated the room.
Amazingly, there was not one single protest...
One last thought that I need to add. I really hate Mom-dom. I hate having to be harsh and dole out punishments of this nature. It would have been so much easier for me to just go on with my plans and take them to play. That was what I really wanted to do - move on to the next stage of the day and let the horrid scene of the grocery store fade away.
Easier is not always better.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
My house has dissolved into a state of Mom-dom today.