It all started when Bryce asked for a piece of toast after he had already eaten a bowl of cereal for breakfast. I denied him his request at first, but quickly relented because I realized that he is probably going through a growth spurt and is genuinely still hungry. When he asked for another piece, I gave in again for the same reason.
When he asked for another one, however, I decided to turn him down. I offered him a banana, an apple, a yogurt, salad, or carrots as alternative choices. He didn’t care for any of those options and had a screaming fit.
I put him in his room for a little time out session. I don’t necessarily like the fact that his designated time out spot is in his room, but it’s the easiest place for me right now. There is a child lock on the inside of his door and he is trapped inside. He hates being restrained anywhere, including his room full of toys, so it works out for us for the time being.
A few minutes later he stopped screaming and was ready to talk with me in a rational manner. I told him that he wasn’t allowed more toast, but he could have any of the other options that I had mentioned previously. He still denied any of the other options but he didn’t throw a fit this time. Thankfully.
Anyway, I had a few errands that I needed to run in town that day and I was ready to get moving. Mason was taking a nap in his crib (hallelujah!) and I had a few minutes to get myself ready. I wanted to quickly rinse off in the shower. Well, while I was rinsing off, Bryce managed to grab our large container of honey, unscrew the lid, and pour it all over the counter. Luckily, a large portion of it landed on his plate that he had just used for his toast. It was a sticky mess. I was beyond frustrated. But I blamed myself. I was the one that left the honey on the counter in an easily accessible spot. I know better than that.
I should have known at that moment that it just wasn’t a good day to take the kids out shopping. But my husband and I were just talking the night before about how well behaved our kids are when we go shopping. I should have knocked on wood.
We went to Target. Bryce was sitting in the back of the shopping cart and Mason was in his car seat at the front of the cart. We entered the store and I stopped at the dollar section first, as I usually do, to see if anything sparked my interest. I didn’t see anything worth spending money on, but Bryce managed to grab a package of mini Oreo cookies. He grabbed them before I could stop him and said “I got it!”. I told Bryce that we could buy the Oreos if he behaved well during the shopping trip. He agreed.
We began shopping. I was taking a lot more time than necessary, I’m sure, to pick out the gifts that I needed to buy for an upcoming birthday party and baby shower. I noticed that Bryce was trying to open up the package of Oreos and so I took it away from him. I told him that I would hold it until the end of the shopping trip because I didn’t want him to eat any before we bought it. He started having a tantrum. I just looked at him and told him that if he was going to choose to act like that, than he didn’t deserve the cookies. He didn’t change his behavior and so I placed the cookies on a shelf and began to walk away from them.
He completely snapped.
It was a nightmare, I tell you.
He started screaming at the top of his lungs and he just wouldn’t stop! He tried to jump out of the back of the cart. To prevent him from hurting himself I grabbed him and told him that he needed to walk next to me.
He took off at full speed, still screaming at the top of his lungs. Lizzie began chasing him and yelling “Brycie, you have to stay by Mommy!”. Mason was crying his “I need to be picked up right now” cry and I was at a complete loss as to how I should appropriately and gracefully handle the situation. The quickest option would be to leave the cart and go sprinting after Bryce before some stranger decided to quiet him themselves. But I couldn’t do that because Mason was in the cart and I wasn’t about to sacrifice him for his brothers sake.
So I did the next best thing and completely dropped the thought of looking sophisticated at all. Besides, I’m the crazy woman who decided to have three kids so close together (and chose to take them all shopping at the same time), I should look and act the part.
Following the sounds of the scream, I took off as fast as I could. I wasn’t exactly running, but close. Bryce had gone in the clothes section and was running in, out, and around every little clothes rack. Those Target carts are too big. I was chasing him to the best of my ability and the cart kept getting stuck in those narrow pathways. In my struggle to catch Bryce I happened to notice an elderly woman staring at me. She had a half smile on her face and she was twitching. Unfortunately, I think I caught a glimpse of my future self in her.
I finally grabbed him. He continued to scream and although I thought it impossible at the time, he managed to scream even louder. By this time people were wondering if I had abused my child, I’m sure. They were probably contemplating whether or not to call social services. But I didn’t care. I was completely innocent. I was wondering, however, what number I could call to report parental abuse. His tantrum was undoubtedly top-notch.
I gave up on attempting to purchase anything. I placed the objects in my cart on the nearest shelf (hey, don’t judge…it’s something called “job security” for the target employers). My new objective was to simply get the kids to the car in one piece. I may as well have been running the last leg of a marathon. Needless to say, it is extremely difficult trying to push a heavy shopping cart with one hand while concurrently carrying a kicking and screaming 2-year-old.
To make matters worse, other people in the store somehow neglected to realize my struggles and kept getting in my way, almost as if their only goal in life was to get run over by my cart. At one point, I took too narrow of a turn and the wheels of my cart got stuck on a clothing rack. I couldn’t wiggle it free for the life of me. I was sweating bullets.
By this time, my sweet baby Bryce had morphed into a monster that I had never seen before. He was pulling my hair, slapping my face, and kicking so uncontrollably that I had to keep putting him down. His face was soaked with tears and snot.
We finally exited the store after what seemed like a lifetime. The parking lot suddenly looked gigantic and our van seemed so very far away. But after struggling and pushing and sweating some more, the kids were eventually trapped in their car seats. Hallelujah.
Bryce spent quite a bit of time in his room when we got home. I needed to calm myself down before I ended up doing something that would actually validate calling social services!
It is truly amazing to think that simply taking away a package of Oreo cookies could cause such a reaction. I should write the Oreo Cookie company. Perhaps Bryce could earn his millions by reenacting this scene for a commercial or something.
He had better give me at least half of the profit though.
I earned it!