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Friday, March 7, 2008

Perseverance in the face of (attempted) defeat.

The tempest was brewing. For whatever reason, maybe the wind blew west instead of east, she was oh so dreadful. The tantrum commenced with a little whining and escalated at a rate faster than the lead car at the Indy 500. Before I could even figure out what ignited the whole thing, there were tears. There was screaming. Kicking and flailing. It was not pretty.

Struggling to deal with the situation, I at first attempted to ignore it. After all, don't give attention or else it may elevate the problem. That didn't work or perhaps I didn't ignore long enough. The mission was obvious though. No matter who was upset or why, I had to get to the store. Diapers had to be purchased. If not, the day could have been catastrophic. The fate of a child's bum lay in my hands.

In hindsight, I should have remembered that I had an extra stash of diapers for just this type of emergency. Nonetheless, I was bewildered by the storm that had become full blown in such a short amount of time.

Trying to calm the child down did nothing. Today, I actually didn't resort to bribery. I stuck to my guns. Piled the children in the shopping cart and saddled up to the storefront. I figured by walking a little slowly the screaming banshee of a child would have cooled off a little. No such luck.

Onlookers were gawking. Siblings were getting restless. My patience wearing thing, I explained that I would not enter the store until she composed herself. To this her reply was simple--more screaming. A normal person might have turned that cart around put the kids in the car and driven home avoiding all sorts of embarrassment and stares. Not me. I must be a glutton for punishment. The doors open and in we walked. The screaming increased.

Women with their own children, elderly folks, store workers just looked on in shock and disbelief. I don't know if they were annoyed or perplexed. On any given day I would have shot them back a look or even made a comment about how they could perhaps parent this situation, but I just acted as if things were normal. As long I retained composure the enemy....errr child...would see I hadn't conceded defeat. My sights were set, the target was in short range. Still, it seemed as though it took an hour to get there.

This is a very abbreviated version of all the drama that ensued, but I will say upon reaching the checkout with the box of diapers and still one over-the-top melting down child and two seemingly happy children I just smiled. I smiled and almost giggled. The people at this point who were staring either thought I was just an evil mom or had lost my marbles.

We left the store and I had victory. I had diapers and I didn't cave into the tempest's demands for attention. Check one for mom. Phew. It's not every day I can accomplish a task without losing my cool in a situation like this.

Gosh I hope the day is better tomorrow. There is no guarantee that I won't go AWOL -- I'm getting too old for this.

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