When I say “You need to listen to me and stay close by me while we’re in the store or you will get some bad consequences” I always, always forget that actually following through on those consequences is more of a punishment for me than it is for her.

I’m the one who has to hear “But I want it!!” at however many decibels it takes to melt corneas. I’m the one who has to wipe toddler tears and snot away with my hand because I don’t have tissues handy and we’re in the goddamned store and please stop crying now.

I’m the one who either has to say “No” every five seconds in response to “Can I have it now? Can I have it now? Can I have it now?” or ignore the question at the peril of getting a “Daddy! Can I have it now I said!”

All of her problems can be easily solved with a little self-examination and reprioritizing of wants and needs. If she were only more in tune with her rational nature and critical thinking. There are classes.

My problems, on the other hand, are hard to deal with. There are no earplugs that will block out whiny three year olds.

9 thoughts on “Consistency”

  1. I don't know if this will help you, but when my son started doing it, I told him that we would leave the store if he threw a fit, he did, I abandoned my cart apologized to the nice target employee who would have to put away my laundry soap and cereal and walked out with a kicking/screaming toddler..he was hysterical when we got to the car, but I drove him home. He has NEVER done it to me again. I also started making a point before we went into a store, that we were not buying him anything.. to the extent where he would be the kid in the toy isle saying "I know we are not going to buy anything but I think I would like XYZ for my next b-day" people would chuckle… the other day, my Aunt and Mom took the kids out because a cousin was in town, they went to wal-mart to buy each child a small toy, my son (who is now 5) told them no, he couldn't have one because it was not his birthday or christmas… they insisted he could have one for special occasions and they told me he was the most grateful child. My daughter is 28 months old and I have just started doing the reminders when we go to the store, and she hasn't yet had her big meltdown but if she does.. my plans are the same

  2. Powerful indeed. My most poignant toddler moment in the store was when my daugher (then 6 months old) was screaming her head off and her brother (then 3) walked over to a rather large woman leaning over a frozen food coffer and PATTED HER BEHIND and said, "Look Mommy, she gots a big ol' bumper!!".

    Sadly, I don't believe there are classes for that situation, nor will I ever be able to unsee it.

  3. As I watch friends & family raise their kids, I take notes for myself about what things I want to do the same and what I want to do different.
    My mom's advise to me is always make sure you are not punishing yourself when you are punishing your kid.
    She always use to ask my brother and me what we think our punishment should be and what we said was usually more harsh than what she had in mind.

  4. Uggggh…the whining and the demands. About everything. It's hard to listen to hour after hour, day after day. When shopping, I try to placate 2-year-old by telling her "We have lots of x at home." She usually doesn't agree. BTW I wipe the tears and snot on my pants, because I too have no tissues. I'm lucky if I remembered to bring my wallet.

  5. Oh, I hear you! I've learned that after just yelling a few times I only need to raise my eyebrows and look sternly at him so he usually stops asking for something right away. Of course, it doesn't always work and he then usually bursts into tears in the middle of a store and then I get the evil looks because I'm obviously a horribly mean mom who makes her absolutely adorably cute little boy cry like I just crushed his favorite puppy in a garbage truck. Just sayin'.

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