Holy potatoes, Farm People. I'm insane. You'd think after yesterday, I'd have learned my lesson, but no.
Today I inflicted the same torture on myself, except this time I decided to skip the stroller. Because obviously, that's easier, right? I figured the kids would enjoy the chance to ride the mall "alligator" up to the second floor. I was right, they did enjoy it. I did not enjoy chasing down my two-year-old as she barreled headlong toward the down-escalator. (Shouldn't the down escalator be a de-escalator or something?)
I ended up bribing my children. The deal was, if they were good, we could get a treat on our way out. We bought some jewelry to go with my new dress (the one I bought yesterday after Dad came on duty) and then we proceeded to check out a couple shoe stores. When I sensed the kids were done, I told them how brilliant they'd been and how I'd appreciated their good behavior. Then I gave The Boy a choice and it all went downhill like a de-escalator on steroids.
I asked if he'd like a treat from the candy store or from the ice cream store. (You Idaho people would not BELIEVE the malls here. They have entire stores dedicated to sugar. It's amazing.) Here is our conversation. You can trust that this is a verbatim exchange because I brought along my stenographer, Ethel. Or it's an argument we have on a regular basis. One of those.
"Boy, would you like a treat from the candy store or from the ice cream store?"
"Um...I choose BOTH!"
"You cannot have both. You need to choose one."
"I want THREE choices."
"OK. You can choose candy, you can choose ice cream or you can choose nothing and we'll just go home."
"But MOM!!!!! I just really want BOTH!"
"That's OK. You can want both. However you can only choose one."
Massive amounts of gut-wrenching sobbing commences. Mom and sweet little girl get on the de-escaltor. Pouting boy follows. At the bottom of the de-escalator the conversation resumes.
"Mom! I really want a treat!"
"I'd love to get you a treat. Would you like candy or ice cream?"
"MOM! I WANT BOTH!" Hysteria sets in.
"Son, I'd love to get you a treat, but now you've lost the privilege."
Mom walks through the entirety of JC Penney holding a toddler and towing a preschooler who has somehow managed to attach himself to Mom's leg. Occasionally he tries to get in front of Mom to halt her progress and otherwise makes a scene. Old people who should by rights be dead or moved back to Indiana by now look on with sympathy and amusement.
One would think getting to the parking lot might end such a poor display of mall manners, but oh no. Not for my child. I was forced to carry two children to the car. Once there, I tried again to reason with my son-turned-Banshee, to no avail.
Then he had the nerve to keep unbuckling his seatbelt and opening the car door. That would never do, strictly from a safety standpoint, so I did want any other hick from the backwater would do when pushed beyond limits and worried for the safety of her offspring: I spanked him. Oh, don't look at me like that. I didn't spank him because I was mad. I wasn't mad at all! In fact, I was happy to help him with this learning experience. I just wish I'd gotten a pair of shoes out of it, is all. I honestly could not think of another way to keep him safe on the way home that didn't involve candy AND ice cream. Or CPS.
The Boy is having a TERRIBLE time making choices. When he has to choose between two good things, he just can't. He chooses both. He can't have both. He needs to learn. Can you imagine if we just kept giving him two good things? He'd have to move to Boulder City, CO so he could have two wives.
The fit continued until 45 minutes after we got home. He had to spend that time in his room, because by then, I had a headache.
I'm kind of at a loss here, so I'm turning to you, Blogghers (and hims). How do you teach your child to make a choice?
Smoky Lemon Pizza
6 days ago