Friday, April 04, 2008

Naughty Children

I am raising a pack of unruly hyenas. Seriously, just getting my kids through a grocery store requires the skills of a drill sergeant and a logistics expert combined. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

I used to be all smug about my children. When other people's children had screaming tantrums in the shampoo aisle of Target, I could point to my sweet little cherubs with genius-level IQ's and good hair as proof that this parenting thing was not as difficult as people made it out to be. Just start with a loving relationship, use consistent discipline, keep expectations age appropriate, and be calm. There, now, isn't that simple?

Now I watch screaming brats on Super Nanny and think, "That's nothing. My kids act that way in church. With God watching."

And sometimes, they do.

My children have good hearts. It's just that being naughty is, well, fun. It has great shock value with adults and wins instant respect from peers. It requires no effort whatsoever. It's hard to stay by Mommy in the grocery store. It's fun to run in circles knocking peoples' grocery carts into each other and clearing entire shelves. Rice-a-Roni makes a fun sound when it hits the floor. And once one kid figures this out, another is sure to join them.

There is no naughty chair in Target. That's why you never see Super Nanny taking four kids on a shopping trip. She knows her limits.

If you've been through this, please PLEASE tell me how to dig my way out. And if you haven't, well, get off your high horse. This could be you, as soon as tomorrow.


Joyce said...

We got "invited to leave" a grocery store when my three boys were 5, 3, and 1. The 5 year old was being fine, but the three year old was encouraging the 1 year old to throw things out of the cart (he was the only one sitting in the cart). Finally, the 1 year old winged a container of yogurt at the three year old and when it hit the floor, it burst and made a big spattered mess. The manager swooped down with his mop and bucket, and said, "Lady, just pay for the groceries you have and go home!" Needless to say, I was mortified. And those little guys did not get to go to the store with me for quite a while after that! I left them home with their dad in the evening, and just took the five year old. That was just torture to the three year old!

They all grew up to be perfectly nice people, and yours will too.

NH Yocal said...

Oh goodness, I have been there girl. I can't say much for advice except to grin and bear it. It just comes with the territory of being a parent...along with being puked on and enduring many many sleepless nights. One day we can get them back by being a real pain in the rear when their friends come over to hang out.

rosie said...

ha ha today my 3 1/2 year old pointed to the checkout operator and said "I don't want to go to that lady. She's FAT". Mortified, I told her to be quiet and not to say mean things. Confused she replied "but i'm not saying mean things, I just said that THAT (pointing!) lady is FAT". At which point the 18 month old started chanting "lady fat lady fat lady fat".
Having said that, I do feel that supermarkets and places like Target only have themselves to blame if kids run a bit wild because there are so many tempting things (toys, junk food etc) deliberately left at their level.