In the last few years I have been lulled into a sense of peaceful tranquility when it comes to taking the children out in public. The boy has long past outgrown the days of screaming in outrage when he doesn’t get his way and playing chase up and down aisles at the grocery store. We have learned to walk together side by side holding hands casually and having meaningful conversations about Transformers and what he did at school that day. It’s calm, peaceful and quite enjoyable to go out and about running errands.
The days of dashing in and out at the Chester library had become leisurely Saturday excursions to the Children’s section where we would check out the “Earthquake” DVD every other week (this boy loves his geology). We would nonchalantly browse up and down the aisles and my darling boy would even hold our library bag for me while I picked out books for myself. Aaahhh... the sweet life of having an older child; enter child number two and the whirlwind begins once more.
Until recently our lovely little flower has been quite content to sit happily in her stroller while the family is grocery shopping or at the library or anywhere for that matter that requires us to walk. However, now she prefers to walk as well, or might I say demands it. “WALK!” she says or rather shouts. As I patiently explain that she must hold Mommy’s hand, and anxiously take her out of the stroller, there she goes, off like a shot. Stupid, stupid Mommy, have I really forgotten over the last four years how quickly they turn on you? Apparently the answer is yes as was proven to me in the Chester library last Saturday.
The minute she hits the ground she is running as fast as her tiny little legs will take her, and giggling the entire time. As we all remember, I have done this dance with the little guy before and it never ended well, usually with a lot of tears, snot and embarrassment. Not going to happen this time, I would not allow it, I am a seasoned veteran and should have known better than to have let her out of the cage otherwise known as the stroller. So, off she goes and being the veteran that I am I do remember not to chase her. As with all wild animals, they don’t do well when cornered, so I gently do what all mother’s do, coax her back to me with my cell phone. After all she is a girl and loves her phone so she daintily skips back with a huge grin and as she reaches for the phone (you have to calculate this very precisely or you lose them!) I grab her chubby little arm and scoop her up; Victory is mine!
Or so I thought. The minute I have her she begins the limp noodle bit that, combined with the arched back and the beginning of the whine, lets me know that it was time to get the heck out of dodge. Poor Buddy, his quiet play time in the children’s section was over before it even began because of little sister (even though I would be lying if I didn’t secretly think that this was pay back for his awful behavior when he was the same age, ha!). So much for me getting the books on the upcoming kindergartner’s reading list, blame being under-prepared in school, in future therapy sessions on your sister. It will be one of many things you can attribute to your sibling. As I was trying to lock her into her stroller and she was being possessed, screaming, crying, snorting and kicking; I looked around and found that, yes, I was still embarrassed.
It seemed like time had turned back and I was back with Ben when he was little again; it was the exact same experience in the exact same place, the library of course where you have to be quiet, which makes it so much worse when they are not. But I did get a laugh out of it when we got home, because it reminded me that this was just the beginning with her, and that there was so much more to come.