So...apparently it's feast or famine around this blog. 5 posts in one week and no posts the next. Oh well...
We've had a lot of company lately...The Boyd Gang, Kristin & Madison, and Eva all came to see us. Then last week, I decided on Wednesday evening that I would go to my mom's for the weekend, so Eli, Landon, and I left Thursday and got back Sunday. Yesterday, we were all sick so we didn't make it out of our pajamas, much less leave the house.
So today it was imperative that we visit the grocery store. I was feeling pretty good about this outing. As soon as the boys woke up from their nap, I got them dressed and we headed out the door. We hit the McDonald's drive through for a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait off the dollar menu, ate it in the grocery store parking lot, and headed on in...full and happy. Note: Pride goes before a fall (Prov. 16:18).
As soon as the boys were settled into the basket (Landon in front, Eli in the back), it became very obvious that this trip was going to be a challenge. Eli would not stay seated in the back of the cart (quite shallow compared to your standard shopping cart.) After reminding Eli to sit down no less than 15 times, the boys switched places. Landon immediately unzipped my purse and started dumping the contents, but at least Eli was strapped down and immobile.
We were only about 5 feet into the store at this point in time and had already caught the attention of a couple of nosy, middle-aged women who are obviously so far removed from child-rearing that they have forgotten the challenges it brings. It took an obscene amount of self-control for me to not verbalize the comments that were popping into my head in response to their loud sighs and disgusted glares. I only mention this because I feel like the self-control I exercised in that situation was my one victory today.
I very quickly gathered the produce I needed and we were about to move on when a sign for strawberries caught my eye. I was weighing the benefits of buying two pounds instead of one when it was brought to my attention that I had pulled the cart a little too close to the stacked containers of strawberries. Eli had reached out and knocked two containers to the ground. One of them came open and strawberries rolled everywhere. As I'm trying to contain the mess and gather the fruit, Landon is now climbing out of the back of the cart. I scold him, which sends him into a screaming fit. I put all of the strawberries back in, throw the container up on the stand, and get out of there. Note: if you are buying strawberries in Snyder, I suggest getting from the bottom of the stack.
Moving on to the baking aisle, I grab a bag of sugar, but by the time I had made it to the next aisle, I feel something grainy between my toes. Eli has chewed a hole through the paper sugar bag and a steady stream of sugar is pouring out. I scold Eli which sends him into a screaming fit, I throw the bag of sugar on the nearest shelf. Landon starts screaming just for the fun of it and we officially have an audience.
I finally make it to the back, right corner of the store. I just need a few more items and we're home free. I am reaching for a tub of yogurt when I see, as if in slow-motion, a jar of spaghetti sauce being hurled from my shopping cart. To my horror, I don't catch it, it crashes on the ground, the glass breaks, and spaghetti sauce is everywhere. Everyone in the store stops what they are doing for the chance to stare at the freak show that is me and my children.
And that's when it happened. That's when I had a total and complete meltdown. The screaming, the crying, the crawling out of the cart, the disgusted stares of strangers, the strawberries, the sugar, and now the spaghetti sauce...it was all too much to take. Right there in the middle of the dairy section, with at least 20 strangers (I hope, but I'm forced to conclude that we knew some of them...it is Snyder after all) staring at me, I started to cry. I called Dustin and told him that I didn't care what he was doing or how important it was...he HAD to come to the grocery store or all three of us might not make it out alive.
It's a helpless feeling...being outnumbered by 18 month olds. And as mad as I am at them for the way they acted, I'm really just mad at myself.
I taught them that it's okay not to listen to me. At some point in time over these last few months that are so crucial in discipline, they got the message that it's okay to disobey, to throw fits, and to be defiant. It's never the child's fault - they are just conditioned to act a certain way. And I would be over-reacting if this were just about today's trip to the grocery store. But it's more than that... it's about behavior that I've been observing for a few weeks now.
I know I haven't been as consistent as I should be with them. It's really hard to be consistent. It's exhausting to be consistent. It takes a lot of self-discipline to be consistent. But, they deserve better than what I've been for them and I'm sure it's worth it. I can't be a prisoner to Eli and Landon's behavior. I have to get it back under control now because it only gets harder from here.
In case you're wondering...this story has a happy ending. Dustin arrived in record time, took Eli and Landon to the car while I checked out. We had grilled vegetables, pork chops, and potatoes for dinner along with homemade ice cream for dessert. Dustin and the boys "worked" outside right up until dark and I got a good two hour break from them with some therapeutic cleaning.
I do believe I'll be going solo to the grocery store for a while. I certainly need to go back and pay for two pounds of strawberries, one bag of sugar, and one jar of spaghetti sauce. And then purchase those items all over again as I did not make it home with any of them.