It was the busiest time of year and he was running away from me. I didn't have the stroller because it was an unplanned, last minute trip. I really
needed wanted to use my Sephora credit before it expired so I had to make it work. Even if it meant dragging my cranky toddler to the gas station (I hate gas stations as much as he hates sitting in the car feeling abandoned); and even if it meant feeding him drive-thru dinner in the car on our way there; and even if it meant leaving the stroller at home. Deep breath. I braved rush hour traffic in the thick of holiday hustle and bustle with a terrible 2er in tow. It was game time.
And at first there was hope. I managed to snag front row mall parking. Amazing, I know. But as I carried Dylan through the doors of the mall and set him down, it took three seconds for him to transform from a feral rat to a full-blown wet gremlin, bolting away in the opposite direction. I was losing control faster than I imagined and it was obvious when he ran to the back of Santa’s giant Christmas tree display, then confirmed when he began shaking the large steel barricade protecting said tree from this exact situation. And honestly, I may have been able to regain control had it not been for the damn mechanical bear that kept spinning its head from left to right. Dylan was enamored and adamant he wasn’t going to cooperate. I couldn’t compete. Can we just go to Sephora now?
I needed a solution and a Xanax, but not in that order. I knew at any given moment things could get worse. I mean, he ate crap for dinner, he’s in front of the biggest Christmas tree in the world, on any other night he’d be in bed by now, and there’s a bear with a spinning head that keeps making eye contact with him. I know my son. I know all I need to do is mention leaving and he’ll either shrill, scream, hit me, pull my hair, flail his body like a dying fish, OR!!! Simply agree and follow me. Yup! I know my son alright, well enough to know that you never know with a two year old.
At this point, I’m officially threatening abandonment. “Bye Dylan! Love you!” I said, waving goodbye and walking away. Fifty feet later, he showed no signs of cracking. In fact, he seemed thrilled by my departure. This is what a power struggle looks like, mom edition 2.0. But then I had an idea. Sure, it wasn’t one I’d disclose on my Mom of the Year application, but look! The Sweet Factory! “Do you want a treat?” I asked Dylan as I walked back to him (Son 1, Mom 0). “Yes.” aka permission to pick him up GRANTED.
I dashed to candy land, bought 13 yogurt raisins for $98 bucks (WTF), stuffed them in my purse and set Dylan down. “If you want a treat you’ll have to be a good boy. Are you going to be a good boy?” “Yes.”
1 yogurt raisin unlocked. I began walking to Sephora and guess who was walking right next to me? Only the best behaved 2ish year old you ever did see! “Mmm…yummy.” Damn right it is son. And then he upped the ante. Boyfriend grabbed my hand. Yes, he went from textbook tyrant to catalog toddler with 1 yogurt raisin, it was amazing. As we strolled on, hand in hand, I began noticing looks from all directions. Looks that I’m not used to. Instead of the scathing glares, bleak expressions, and typical sympathy faces from fellow mothers, I was getting nods of approval, smiles, and oogly googley eyes. I could almost hear other parents asking their kids why the hell they can’t behave like my baby.
It was remarkable. I wanted to high five all persons of the world and spin around like the hills were alive with the sound of music. I continued feeding Dylan like a goat at a petting zoo and within fifteen minutes our trip was successfully complete. And I know this power won't last forever, and that raisins won't always be considered candy, that treats won’t always be as inaccessible to him…so for me, right now, I'm working it. And to all the onlookers colored impressed by my well-behaved tot, thank you. But for $12.99 per pound, you too can have this type of power.
I may not win Mom of the Year, but a tantrum-free-sans-stroller shopping trip a week before Christmas is win enough for me!
|Oh come on, you didn't expect me to actually take a picture in the midst of all the chaos, did you?|