After working in retail for a number of years, I swore, if I ever had a child he would not behave the way a majority of children do when they enter a store.
Of course, when you aren’t a parent, you also know everything there is to parenting and can accurately pinpoint the errors the parents are making. But I don’t think you need to be Dr. Spock to know dragging a hungry child out to a store two hours after their missed nap time is not wise. Nor is it wise to think because you are missing work because the child is home sick it’s a good excuse to go get a makeover with the child in tow.
No, I swore, if and when, I had a child, they would not act like that. And if they did, they would get their taters tore up.
With the exception of maybe two occasions, Cole has been well-behaved when we have gone shopping. Even when we go to Walmart, which seems to bring out the worst in children for some odd reason. Mama swears they pipe in some kind of subliminal messaging to make the children go wild in there. Maybe they do. I have seen children do a complete 180 as soon as they were greeted.
In fact, one of the occasions was in the big box store. A 2-year old Cole strapped in the buggy seat, proceeded to grab at everything his hands could reach. He had his first warning; the second was weighed with: “You do it again and I will take you home to your father and come back by myself. Do you understand?”
He nodded, but saw the buggy loaded down with laundry detergent, fabric softener and other much needed things and thought I was bluffing. The hands went out again. I yanked my bag up to my shoulder and grabbed him in the universal “mama hauling tater” position and tried to hoist him out of the seat.
“No! No! I be good! I be good! No go!”
More than anything, that child was not going to stay home with his father when Mama was out in some store buying who knew what – there may be chocolate or donuts involved.
So we stayed. And he was good, asking me throughout the remainder of the trip, “I good?”
I would give him a stern look before affirming he was behaving.
The other offense that comes to mind was when he almost didn’t get Piggie.
He had been dragged out of the grocery store, literally kicking and screaming by his father over the plush pig. I told the cashier some people needed to learn how to control their children better but at least that man had the common sense to drag the child out of the store. Of course, when I heard why he was having the fit, we had to get the pig. I can understand a fit over a pig.
Now that I am a parent I have a little more wisdom and don’t get quite as irritated over a child- fit in a store. They do shock Cole though.
“Mama, did you see that?” he asked as he witnessed a child have a colossal fit one day. It was epic.
I mean, seriously – that child needed an award for the biggest fit thrown in a public place ever. I think her mama wanted the floor to open up and swallow her into the abyss.
Surely, even if it was a dark and dank abyss it wouldn’t be as bad as the stares she was receiving while her daughter had her epic breakdown, tater in the air.
“What is wrong with her?” he asked.
I didn’t know.
“Did I ever act like that?” he wanted to know.
Oh heavens no, I told him.
He was relieved, eyes about to pop out of his head at the display.
“Is that how Honey Boo Boo acts?”
I wasn’t sure.
Then Friday, as my groceries were wrung up, Cole ran up to me, asking me for a quarter. I dug into my bag, not sure if I had any quarters. I found one but it was a state quarter.
“It’s Montana,” I showed him.
“Oh, that’s too neat to use,” he said, placing it back in my bag. “If you don’t have another one, it’s OK.”
I dug a little deeper to find one and while on my expedition, the young man who was bagging the groceries struck up a conversation with Cole. I found one.
“Oh, thank you, Mama!” he squealed and gave me a hug to go get his gumball.
“He is awesome,” the young man said to me. “Seriously. He is just awesome.”
I smiled and said thank you – he was just being Cole.
The cashier nodded.
“Yes, ma’am, he is. You’ve done a great job. He was so polite.”
“I think he’s a good kid,” I agreed.
“You have no idea how many children we have come in here that pitch fits and God forbid if they are told no,” the young man explained. “We don’t get a lot of kids like him in here. I guess they think they need to act like they are on reality T.V. or something.”
The cashier nodded.
“He was a joy. So thank you. And you must have been raised right yourself, so thank your mama too.”
In our Honey Boo Boo world, a well-behaved child is truly a rarity these days.