Let me tell you about the time I (foolishly) let my toddler walk alongside the cart in Target when she spotted a training potty, pulled it off the shelf, dropped her undies and *almost* made a deposit before I grabbed her.
Or another Target trip when I (incomprehensibly) let her walk alongside the cart again and she spied the tackiest princess t-shirt in all the land, stripped her princess dress off, and ran two full aisles naked before I caught her.
I'm an idiot.
I laughed my ass off both times.
It was just too funny not to, and so so typical of our life these days. I make rookie mom mistakes (over and over and over) and she takes advantage. I'm learning, just not quickly enough it seems sometimes.
What I have learned is that bribery is my friend. I have a drawer in my bedroom stuffed full of dollar aisle princess junk to reward potty training successes, uneventful trips to the grocery store, and moments of silence when she allows me to pee alone.
I've also learned the value of distraction during a tantrum. Oh you're flipping out because we have that same cup at home and you want to put your mouth all over it and I said no? Here, want a snack? Problem solved (usually).
I've learned that counting to ten really works. For adults anyway.
I'm slowly learning that my friends will not stop being our friends because my child has meltdown after meltdown in public (an actual fear of mine) and that the sound of another child's scream in a store is like music to my ears. It's a reminder that I'm not alone.
I've learned that finding their currency is critical. O's is currently her dress up (or "tutus" as she likes to call them). They're all she'll wear and one threat to take the tutus away usually snaps her into line and I keep a change of clothes in my bag so I'm prepared to follow through (and prepared for a potty training accident - two birds, one stone).I've also learned that trying to get her to wear anything else is futile, not a big deal, and I kinda dig the crazy cat lady look she's got going on.
I've learned that toddlers are like sour patch kids. Sour one moment and sweet the next, like an open mouth kiss on the lips after a kick in the neck. They'll pee on your stairs because you put them in time out and then say "Wub you, Mama. I bwush you hair". Or say "I haffa pee!" the second you mention nap time and give you the most devilish little shark tooth grin. It's pretty awesome and makes my head spin.
I only wish this kid knew how to relax.
And yes. I'm done letting her out of the cart.