A leisurely Saturday afternoon at the mall and shoe store provided me with endless mental entertainment...I am having a conversation with you in my head if you are out and about while I am.
(disclaimer...I do not have a 2-year-old child, so it's easy for me to make assessments about what I would do. I realize that I am "judging" with little knowledge of the challenges of reining in the equivalent of a hurricane-force of energy.)
In Rack Room Shoes, Rock Hill:
Mom: "Caden, sit down."
Stacy: "Caden, stay right beside me."
Caden: full-force running around the chairs in the opposite direction of Aunt Stacy.
Caden proceeds to bounce back and forth between mommy and auntie for a full ten minutes. They were looking in separate aisles. I am in the clearance section trying to determine if it's unwise to purchase wedge shoes that do not bend on the bottom. "Will these hurt my feet if they don't bend?" I think.
"Mooooommmmy, NO!" thoughts interrupted by Caden.
"Aunt Staaaaaccccccyyyyyyyy!" Caden yells, full voice.
"Let's use our inside voice, Caden." I think. "I should leave the unbendy shoes here. Sounds good now...but my flat feet will suffer later..."
I notice that now neither Aunt Stacy nor Mommy has an eye on the two year old. But his four year old sister is trying to take over the duty. That's not working out well.
"Caden, SIT IN THAT CHAIR!" says Mommy.
"Stacy!!!!!!!!!!" Caden cries, trying to play one off the other. This ploy must have worked for him in the past.
Five more minutes of back-and-forth...pleas to sit still, or stay beside me, or not to touch, etc. I am pondering a really sweet pair of beige wedges that DO bend on the bottom, determining whether I should pay so much for sandals...
Caden is coming toward me pushing a chair in front of him down the aisle at a high velocity. There isn't a Mommy or Auntie in sight. Oooh. Busted. He is found out!! Just before he runs over my foot.
"Maybe two-year-old boys cannot 'behave' in shoe stores when it's 75 degrees and sunny out. Maybe he should be in a field running out all that energy," I think. "Can I justify bronze sandals that are the sexiest things I've ever seen and look like they were made for my feet? How many brown-ish sandals are too many brown-ish sandals? What can brown do for me?"
Caden is still pitting Mommy against Stacy...big, big sister is getting their opinions on a fetching pair of white sandals. She obviously can keep pace with the shopping sisters. Middle sister and Caden are dangerously close to a large pile of Croc knock-offs on an end-cap.
"I bet those look like those cardboard bricks to him..." I think, still pondering my sexy brown wedges that kind-of bend on the bottom.
They DO look like something to be knocked over, as he and middle sister successfully topple the entire stack of probably 25 boxes of croc wannabes.
It takes Mommy a minute to figure out what the collosal crash is.
"CADEN. SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW!" She nearly yells.
"Why should he?" I think, "You haven't enforced the sitting or the staying close for at least the last fifteen minutes that I've been here. You have merely asked, and when he doesn't respond, you let him go to Aunt Stacy. He's smart, lady, this is working in his favor." I think piously. "And I don't need brown sandals today, sexy or not...maybe they'll go on sale in a few weeks."
Mommy proceeds to command Caden and middle sister to the chairs that they were only recently pushing around the store like shopping carts. She then squats down to set up all the boxes again and restore them to their former end-stack glory.
"What a deal for those kids...they smash over the boxes, which HAD to be fun...and Mommy cleans up the mess. Why aren't the kids cleaning up the mess with her?" I wonder.
Middle sister is quick to make sure Mommy knows it's ALL Caden's fault. Caden might finally be realizing that he should do something that Mommy says to do...
Nope. By the time I decide that all the Rack Room sandals can stay at Rack Room today, he is running down another aisle, unsupervised, with Mommy yelling after him..."CADEN! Come back here."
I am tired for her. Shoe shopping is hard enough without unruly 2-year-olds. But I also wonder if she isn't making life hard on herself. I guess maybe one day I'll find out if my pious musings about two-year-olds will come back to bite me on my sore toe that I earned from wearing wedges that don't bend.
Then there's the one about the two teen-age sisters who fight in the dressing room next to me... The short version is this:
"You're a brat."
"You better listen to me. I'm in charge."
"No you're not. Linda is..."
"Well, Linda isn't in here. I am."
"I am not. I'm prettier than you."
Now, girls, you're both being ugly...
"At least I have a boyfriend and I'm allowed to have a boyfriend."
"You look stupid in that shirt."
"You look stupid in everything. I'm going back out."
"Go find Linda."
"You can't tell me what to do."
Man, this is a cute shirt...I bet it doesn't need ironing. I totally need this...
"Can not. I'm going to find Linda."
"'Cause I told you to."
They walk out fighting. I'm hoping they look back on these days fondly and don't say anything to each other that causes permanent damage. I think boys break each other's noses, and girls fight in dressing rooms (I fought with my mom, who of course had NO TASTE when I was 14 - 17 years old). They will end up sharing everything they bought yesterday...
Shopping is fun!