I’m moody, so it’s no surprise that my daughter is moody too. There are a lot of times when she acts like a jerk for no apparent reason. Today was one of those times. Is calling my daughter a jerk a little harsh? Perhaps. Look, I gave birth, I didn’t have a lobotomy, so some of those pre-baby thoughts still linger. Plus, any mom who tells you that she has never thought that before is either a liar or on meds.
I was a woman with a mission – Ella needed a fall wardrobe and the sales were too good to pass up. Unfortunately, Ella decided to do whatever was in her power to make this Mission Impossible. I did my duty and fully prepared for this shopping outing. I made sure my daughter napped and had been fed. I was equipped with a sippy cup, pacifier, Cookie Monster. My shopping trip was perfectly pleasant…for the first fifteen minutes. Then, what began as a few bratty whines quickly morphed into full on screaming session. That’s when I noticed dirty looks being directed our way. I was annoyed, embarrassed and silently dared the woman two clothing racks down to make eye contact. I felt like screaming “Look, lady, I’m a mom, not a puppet master… I’m not exactly in control of her every move”.
There are many times in life when you encounter an experience that has a great impact on your character. Often you won’t realize its effect until years later. But sometimes you feel a change immediately. For me, today was one of those days. I was faced with a choice. I could have rushed out, giving up the greatest toddler clothes deal I have ever seen, embarrassed, apologizing to everyone who witnessed my daughter’s meltdown. Yes, I could have done that, but that would have been what the pre-mommy me would have done. That would have been the choice of a person who didn’t understand that sometimes kids act like little 3 foot, sippy-cup-throwing, snot-bubble-blowing maniacs. And guess what? Eighty percent of the time it’s not because their parents spoiled them or because their mom and dad are weak and don’t know how to discipline them. It’s because, as I mentioned before, sometimes kids are jerks. And sometimes you need to pull a Tony Danza and show your kid “who’s the boss”, stick to your guns and not give into their cringe worthy tantrums. So, I held my head high, gave another “I dare you to say something” look to the few people standing nearby and did what any proud, confident mother would do…
I distracted my daughter by the Nick Jr. underwear display and let her sit on the floor next to me and one by one remove each and every package off of the display case. It was a win-win situation. As I looked down at my daughter, surrounded by Dora the Explorer panties and Wonder Pets briefs, I couldn’t help but smile. I began to
kick the evidence under the display neatly place the 3-packs of underwear back on the shelf and gave myself a metaphorical pat on the back. I’m really starting to get the hang of this whole mommy thing.