Not so long ago, Prince, Duke, and I were vacationing in Las Vegas. It was my (and Duke's) first trip and I have to say that overall we had a ball. Duke loved to point out all the water (did you know there are a few fountains in Vegas?) and I liked the part where I only donated $20 to the economy of Las Vegas. Anyway, as you my not realize, Duke is the exciting age of two and a half. Which makes him a child of extremes -- when we are happy the world smiles, there are birds singing, and life is pretty wonderful. However, when we are ticked, block clouds gloom, nothing is right, and there is a fit of such proportions that innocent bystanders feel the need to take cover.
Anyway, while in Vegas, we made the horrible, parent mistake of taking Duke to a little buffet for dinner. Ok, this was not going to go well, the minute we saw that the entrance was an escalator (which is a 2 and half year old's idea of heaven on earth with a side of roller coaster thrown in). He immediately forgot about dinner and wanted to spend the evening riding. Now, being the stricter than strict parents that we are (being all demanding for you know, civil behavior), we took him to the table and explained how we are going to act in this eating establishment. Well, this (hopefully) well-meaning, but highly nosy gentleman at the table next to us, kept commenting on Duke's poor behavior TO US. We took turns staying with Duke, allowing him to sit in laps, play with sugar, walk laps around the buffet picking out options. Nothing was making him happy.
Once I finished inhaling my dinner, I grabbed the child and walked out to the lobby. Being horribly mean and nasty, and knowing that the ride down the escalator was what he wanted, I sat him down on the bench for a Time Out. Well, within seconds (and with a line of cheap, hungry, senior citizens watching) the same nosy man walks over hands my son a dollar and says, "I'll give you this dollar if you just SHUT UP." I was horrified. Too horrified to speak. Too horrified to offer to shove the dollar where the sun don't shine. I grabbed Duke, told Prince where we were going and took us back to our room for a serious Time Out (including grounding from TV) and a good cry.
Fast forward, I had almost put this behind me and move on. We got home, life calmed down a bit and suddenly, Duke had fallen into a bit of a groove. Yippie. So, this weekend, we are focusing on potty training. Duke has the idea, but needs to have a real consistent experience and I'm finding out that cloth training pants are working really well. SO, I only had 3 pair (so, not enough for what I've termed potty boot camp) and needed a Target run. In addition, Duke needed summer shorts, more shoes (as he has almost worn out his one pair) and a few other minor things. So, I took the Target tour -- checking all the clearance aisles out. Duke had no desire to ride in the cart; so I let him wander a bit as he's good to check in. He knew we were shoe shopping and kept pushing me to the shoe department. Ok, so we went and looked. He instantly found a pair (sandals in a size 12) that he had to try on. He took off his own shoes and carried the size 12's around while he was sock footed.
Ok, then he got adventurous -- he walked farther than I was comfortable and I went to get him. He threw one mother of a fit. I told him, "you stay with me, or you go in the cart." He screamed, cried, was totally mad. I put him in the cart. I thought nothing of staying put and not leaving the store -- since a) it was early and there were few people to offend; b) He would have gotten his way because he wanted to move from that spot and I believe that parents need to win when they are right c) I needed to get the child some shoes. I'd ask him, "do you like this pair?" Crying, tears pouring down his face, he'd say, "Yes." I'd go to try them on him he'd kick them off. I said calmly, "Target has a good return policy. Let's pick two and if they don't work, we will return." We pick out two pair and Duke has calmed a little and we are moving again.
Then it happens:
This older lady, who has no business in the children's show area, turns her cart down my aisle. I think, "oh, no, not again." I brace myself for the comment or nastiness. She kindly and gently puts her hand on my arm (I so prickle) and says to me, "I just had to come and tell you. You are doing a wonderful job. I heard you talk to him calmly and rationally. You are doing great." I think you could have pushed me over with a feather. I love her. She must have had an effect on Duke too -- he stopped whimpering and perked up with happiness for the rest of the Target tour. I'm not sure, she had nothing in her cart and I didn't see her again on my tour, but I think she might have been an angel telling me I was on the right track.
Duke, the angel, is now sleeping and I'm going to run out to the car and grab the bags from Target. The shoes were in the beginning of the trip -- after his episode, I was able to pick out a huge number of shorts, some tee, 9 more pairs of training pants (yes, I bought them out), socks, and the afore mentioned two pairs of shoes (one of which is light up shoes). What I didn't find were long sleeve tees for me or a new pair of jeans, since they didn't have my size.