So today while I'm frantically trying to find toothpicks at the grocery store, Lucas becomes frustrated with the rolling pin I'm purchasing. It seems to have become wedged in some part of the cart and he is unable to release it. So here it comes... frustrated sounds...whining... SCREAMING! My heart stops and I casually turn around to help him. I do everything to prove to the people around me that I am a calm mother... this doesn't get me riled up (even though I'm freaking out inside). I speak to him in calm terms and tell him to take a chill pill. To relax. All he has to do is ask for Mommy's help. But the tears continue until he realizes the rolling pin is back in his hands. Calm... smiling again... happy baby.
I do not find the toothpicks and decide that I better get out while the goin's good.
We're in the checkout... 15 items only, please... but it's the only checkout open... other than U-Scan, which is NOT going to happen with my heaping cart of holiday baking items and such. So here I go. I'm unloading and Lucas is attempting to help. All is well, until there are no more items for him to hold/play with/help/ruin. So here it comes again.... frustrated...whining... SCREAM! My blood boils and I can feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. Because now I'm faced to face with the checker-lady and the bagger-lady. I ignore Lucas and keep checking out.
Then it happens. Checker-lady says: "Wow...he's special. Better get a grip on that screaming Mom. You need to stop responding to that and insist that he use his words instead."
Oh no she didn't.
I couldn't even respond. What do I say?! I smiled and said something benign like, "Yea..." So all the way home I stewed and thought about all the things I could have said (instead of "Yea"):
- Look here lady! You don't know the first thing about my kid. So shut-up.
- Wow... great idea. You're right. In fact, I've been encouraging him to scream like that. I reward him every time with candy and hugs. I can totally see where I've gone wrong.
- He's 18 months old. His ability to articulate his feelings is still a little rough. Maybe we'll talk it out on the way home.
- You should write a parenting book.
- Thanks for the tip. Now I'm going to go and try and find my pride somewhere back there.
- Where are the friggin' toothpicks!?
And when I got home, I dropped two-gallons of milk on the ground. It exploded. And I cried.
Maybe I'll laugh about this tomorrow. Maybe.