Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Meanest Mom

Sorry, Jana, apparently my son thinks I should hold the title of The Meanest Mom.

You may remember a little while back when I sent Roo to school when he said he had a tummy ache and I ended up having to go get him from school. He's had this same issue last night, and when he was saying how much his tummy hurt and had yet another episode, I decided to keep him home.

SugarPea was at Rachel's house so I could go shopping alone. Now I had a kid to take. Oy. I told him before we went that he wasn't getting any toys so he had better not ask. But the second we went in, it was "I want, I want, I want". I picked up some red grapes, he wanted green ones too. Seemed reasonable, so I said okay. I got green apples, he wanted yellow. I said no on that one because no one else likes the yellow ones. Then I was getting yogurt and he wanted the expensive kind and I said no.

For the next 30 minutes as I was going through the store I heard a constant "You are the meanest mom in the world! You get everything and I get nothing! How could you be so mean to your only 5 yr old kid?" complete with big fat, heaving tears.

Thankfully I have been able to attend an incredible parenting class taught by none other than the amazing Gina Dale. I dug into my head and thought about what I had learned in her class. Obviously there was no way I could give in to Roo at this point. If I gave in now, he'd just think the bigger/longer the fit, the faster to get what he wants. I went with one of her teachings, "ignore junk behavior." It saved my sanity. I completely ignored Roo through the entire store. He wailed, he cried, he threatened, he pleaded, he begged, he whined and got precisely no reaction from me.

Let me tell you why this was so good for me. Under normal circumstances, I would have been wracking my brain trying to find ways to get him to behave, trying to find threats I could make and actually follow through, trying to stay calm and figure out an effective discipline method. I probably would have left stressed out and crying. Instead, I got to look for good deals, re-check my shopping list, AND absorb the reactions of the shocked and sometimes distraught shoppers as my son continued his rant. It was lovely. I didn't have to fret about how to discipline him. I was getting my point across without doing anything. I ignored him as he took the can of corn and grapes out of the cart. He put them back without me saying a word. I ignored him when he tried to push the cart the wrong way. I ignored him as he wrapped himself around my legs and took off my shoe. Yes, I walked around without a shoe on one foot. When he play hit me, I told him "Absolutely not!" but that was the biggest reaction he got out of me.

I'm sure many of those shoppers thought I was an absolute loon with no parenting skills. I'm okay with that. If I had tried any real discipline with him, it would probably just end up with both of us in hysterics. I know there are behaviors that can't be ignored, but he wasn't hurting anyone and it kept me from losing my mind. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. And it totally reminded me, yet again, why I don't take my kids shopping. Thankfully, SugarPea was playing with her friend or my patience might have been spread too thin. She can be a handful at the store.

Just thought I'd share a parenting moment with you all. :o)

7 chocolate lovers:

Trisha said...

I wish I could have seen that... especially the shoe thing. I try to do the same thing and can't help but laugh to myself how funny the situation (my child) looks.

Rachel said...

Awww... I'm sorry you had a kiddo with you still. Next time that happens, just let me know... he could of at least come to watch a movie while you were shopping.

But good job on the ignoring! That's impressive that you continued without a shoe. Oh the parenting memories that we will look back and laugh at!

coxandroberts said...

You have more patience then I do. Great job!

nicole said...

Wow! Nice work. That's a toughie... but it sounds like you did the right thing! Way to go!

Jill said...

Good for you. Ignorance is bliss. Or ignoring is bliss. ;o)

elg said...

Nice work! Next time draw courage from the fact that we too are probably ignoring our kid(s) in the store.

Missy said...

You rock! That is seriously THE hardest piece of advice for me to follow from her class. Way to go Mean Mommy. And, your kids crack me up!