I’m so excited to be on the Huffington Post today! This is a rework of “The Stamp Incident” that I published in December.
It all started to go wrong while grocery shopping.
This was because I decided to let my 2-year-old, Nora, push her own cart and every time I turned around, she had put another frozen chicken or other random food item into it. These were things like cartons of plain yogurt (no, thank you), or roasted chestnuts (festive, but I don’t think I would know what to do with them), or Raisin Bran, which she called “meatballs.” She also proceeded to freak out when I took the random food item out. Each time I took something out, she screamed at me, “my shopping!” And I could hear her really saying, Step off, lady, I am trying to feed this family and my bubba (her brother) likes chicken and yogurt and meatballs!
Finally, because I wanted to appear as if I had some semblance of control over the small human I was shopping with, I got down to her level and said,”OK, sister, here’s how it’s going to go down. You can only put what I give you in your cart or we can just put that cart away.”
Boo-yah, little girl.
In retrospect, Love and Logic would have told me to say, “You can continue to choose to be a crazy person and have your cart put away or you can choose to be normal and continue to push that thing around like a pretend grown-up.” But, sometimes my Love and Logic training slips from my brain and all I can think of is my threats and bribes training.
But, amazingly, she took the ultimatum in stride and said in a surprised tone, “Oh!”
As in: Like, that is a huge surprise to me. Why didn’t you just say so to start with? Then I wouldn’t have had to scream at you for the past 15 minutes.
We got the shopping done. Nora, of course, had to put all of her items from her cart onto the counter. That was challenging, especially when trying to lift the heavy milk over her head and the breakable eggs, but I didn’t make the mistake of trying to help her twice. Everyone around me most likely was thinking she was being a cute “helper,” but both her and I knew that she was not there to help me.
What she was actually doing was attempting to assert her dominance over me via a gradual wearing-down process, one vegetable at a time. It’s possible that she was winning.
We then went to the post office and I bought stamps and I was also handed five boxes with the idea that I would attempt to carry them out to my car. A nice person asked me if I needed help, but I am part Norwegian and the other part is German, so I basically have to do everything by myself. Huh. Sounds familiar, somehow…
At that point, I realized that I didn’t have any way to carry my stamps. That was when my dormant Love and Logic skills kicked in and I got a brilliant idea.