Toy Wars Part 1

Went to the mall on Saturday. While daddy was buying his new shiny ‘toy’, we went to Claire’s so I could find a hair accessory for my out-of-control hair. toywars1b.jpgWhile in there, you asked for everything that caught your eye. You ask, I refuse, we move on. This is just how it’s always been with you and I. So what makes yesterday any different?

Let’s see. You asked, I refused, we moved on. You asked again, I refused again, we moved on… again. You asked.. well, you get the picture, right? Except, at one point you asked, I refused, and then a fit began. When this happens, it reminds me why I hesitate to go anywhere with you and your sister without someone else there to help me out. Walking into a minefield would be the equivalent to that sort of suicide mission.

It starts with the whine. Just thinking about it makes me shudder, that’s how much I can’t stand it. I know what comes after it and there are only two options. The first and easiest option is to give in, get you the damned stuffed animal and it’s over. The other should have stuck my face on a mine option was to stand my ground, refuse, talk it out, and rush the hell out of the store and to the car as fast as possible. Being the masochist that I am, I chose to test my luck with those mines.

Nothing I said was working. The more I spoke, the louder you cried and the harder you planted your feet to the floor. There was no talking to you at that moment because we were both explosive. It got to the point where I had to pick you up and CARRY YOU out of the store. Problem was, you decided to stiffen up and arch yourself back. The only way to keep you from flipping upside down and slipping out of my hands head first into the floor was to hold your head and push in the opposite direction as you were pushing.

toywars1a.jpgI headed straight for the restroom where, even though people can still hear us, I could talk you down. You started screaming “I don’t want to go there! I DON’T WANT TO GOOOOO THERE!!!” over and over while squirming as much as possible.

While still walking I said through my clenched teeth, “You either go with me to the restroom so we could talk, or I spank your butt right here in front of everyone. It’s your choice.” You stopped squirming but the crying kept going. It didn’t matter because I’d take whatever you give me just as long as there was some progress. I felt confident enough that you weren’t going to make things any more difficult for me, so I put you down and let you walk with me.

We got to the restroom and headed for the big stall. Perfect timing because my bladder was feeling full. While I emptied it, I said nothing and let you cry a bit longer. Maybe, just maybe, you’d chill out and we could talk calmly. No such luck this time. Hey. A mother can wish, right?

You cry as loud as you could.

Me: “Listen. We’re not getting out of here until you calm down and we talk about it.”

You continue with the crying.

Me: “Okay. Listen. Here’s what we’re going to do.”

Your crying gets lower and slower.

Me: “Okay. Here’s what we’re going to do. Are you listening?”

You nod.

Me: “Remember the money you’ve been saving? All the change you found? All the change Mommy and Daddy gave you?”

More nodding.

Me:“You need to save up enough money to buy the toy yourself, okay? I’ll help you count your money to make sure you have enough. When you do, we’ll come back and get it, okay?”



(Come on people, you all knew that was coming, right?)

Me: “You’ll have to get some of your other toys and give them away to kids that can’t afford toys, okay?”

You stop crying and a teeny tiny little “Yes” escapes your quivering lips.

Me: “Good. Can we do that? Can we donate some of your other toys, then save up enough money to buy that cute little animal?”

You: “Yes.” End crying.

We washed our hands and faces and headed back out. toywars1c.jpgEverything was fine after that, although it felt weird.

That was tough, wasn’t it? That sort of thing doesn’t happen to us very often, but when it does, neither of us knows what to do. It could have gotten ugly in there, but it didn’t. We made it out with only our feelings slightly hurt. Mommy didn’t scream, Niki didn’t get spanked or dragged out of the mall. Things I’m pretty sure we were both imagining. I’m learning. We’re learning. This is going to take some time, but as long as you’re willing, we can beat this rough patch like we always do.