I was pretty proud of myself today. I actually got everyone fed, dressed and some laundry done, and was on my way out the door, by ten am. That could be a record. I don't think I've been showered before ten am since I've been pregnant. The mornings are usually spent dragging around trying to figure out what to eat that will feel okay once swallowed.
It was even a nice day to be out- not super cold, not windy, the sun was out. My first stop was Kohls, where I had some Christmas gifts I still needed to return (are you seeing how unproductive I've been pretty much since the first of the year?) So that was kind of fun, because even though a shopping spree wasn't exactly in the cards, I could still poke around and look at all the new spring stuff (which I won't be wearing, because I'll be encased in a TENT instead of a sexy little tank top, but...) Then I found out that the store credit available for the item I was returning was one dollar. Yeah, that's what you get when you wait two months to return an item and lose the gift receipt. It goes on a giant clearance rack.
I was so mad, I went to said clearance section and looked around. If pajama pants were marked down to a buck apiece, surely there was some other good stuff to be had! And actually, I did find a really nice Dockers sweater for Jim that was originally like sixty bucks for ten dollars. Pretty good. So I consoled myself that the trip was not in vain. And maybe the present of this sweater will make up for the fact that in the past three years of our marriage I have ruined numerous of his work shirts by somehow shrinking just the sleeves. I still don't know how I manage this, but it is undeniable- the rest of the shirt will fit fine, but the sleeves are halfway to the elbows.
Then it was off to Penney's to return another Christmas gift. I actually did get some store credit there, and went to the housewares dept. to look for new bed pillows. (Did everyone see the Oprah show about the dangers of not replacing pillows and bedding? Ewww...) But on the way there, we got waylaid in the juvenile bedding section, where Addy found a bunch of giant hot pink pillows encased in crinkly plastic. She dragged them all to the disgusting floor, piled them into a nest, and wallowed in them decadently, happy as a clam. I indulged this for a moment, but I was meeting my mom for lunch in about fifteen minutes and needed to wrap up this particular errand, so I tried to help her up so we could go find the actual item I wanted to buy.
And that's when my happy little morning caved in around itself, like a fluffy but all too delicate French pastry. There was tantruming, and it wasn't appeased by distraction or exchange of items ("Here, play with Mommy's keys!") or sympathetic words. I mean, she was on the floor, flailing around, screaming her head off, red-faced, nose running... And of course there were all these nice old people looking at me curiously, but probably thinking in the back of their heads that she needed some good old-fashioned discipline (for more on that topic, check out Mommy Daisy's recent post at http://mommydaisy.blogspot.com/
I was sweating under my coat, panicking a little bit. None of the usual tricks were working. Finally I just gave up trying to be inconspicuous, picked up her wriggling, enraged little self, and tried to keep a hold of my little ball of fury while simultaneously grabbing the first two pillows I saw and heading for the register. I sat her on the floor while I paid (well, handed back over my store credit gift card) and tried to act like, "Oh, ha ha, she's having one of those days! Needs to eat lunch, I suppose." All cool and calm and collected. All while there is a wailing bundle of misery and despair and mucus writhing at my feet.
By the time we got to the car- slow going with a sobbing twenty-pound lump in one arm, and a bag full of oversized pillows in your other- she was calming down, and was looking only slightly miserable by the time I got her into the carseat.
"You were so sad, huh?" I chattered as we drove to the restaurant. "You really wanted to look at those other pillows! You didn't know why you couldn't stay and play." I do this thing that I heard is healthy, you know, where you acknowledge and give words for the emotions the kid was experiencing, help them get a handle on the situation and be able to process their own reactions. I don't know that it helps at this age, but I'm trying.
I'm just trying here. I can't control the way my child behaves, much as I might want to sometimes. I can control that I got us out of the house and into the outside world today, though, and in that I feel I succeeded. Also, I did five loads of laundry yesterday, and I have one more load to fold and put away before I can cross "laundry" off my list. As I also cross off, "Buy new pillows!" So, all in all a successful morning, I think.