Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Not-As-Possible Ideas

I read the Parenting magazine religiously. And when I find something that sounds smart, I dog-ear the page so that I can review it and memorize the plan for later.

Sometimes, though, when later comes around I wonder why I even thought the advice was sound. Or possible.

Take this one for example. I recently read about the cure for cranky kids at the grocery store. The author wrote all sorts of sensible things like "don't go shopping when your kids are tired," and "make a list so you aren't walking around aimlessly."

Both sound. Both possible.

But then the author went on to describe her transforming shopping experience with her in-need-of-reform toddler. She brought a snack with her. She warned him that meltdowns would not be tolerated. She was calm and firm and perfectly not stressed. She followed her organized-by-aisles list. And when she arrived at the snack aisle with a nearly full cart and Junior started to scream about the treat that he wanted, she calmly took him out of the store and with her her perfectly not stressed voice she told him that shopping was over until he was ready to behave appropriately.

I closed my eyes and imagined how that could be translated into my own life.

1. Snack would be finished before we got to the store.

2. Walking through the aisles would remind me of all the food that we need and I would want to buy it on account of we need it.

3. I would probably get yelled at for leaving a nearly full cart in the store.

4. I would probably be shopping with both kids, in which case one of them would definitely need the bathroom at the time the other one started The Tantrum.

5. Reflecting upon the earlier issue of needing the food in my house (incidentally, the original motivation for shopping with my kids) I would not be able to leave the food behind in my cart in the store because if I did I wouldn't be able to get the food into my house.

6. I would go back in the store, get a new cart (since an annoyed employee would have already emptied mine), and start over at the snack aisle, in which I would buy my kid a snack. And then run through the rest of the aisles like I was in a marathon. And I would plan not to bring a snack to the store next time. And I would instead buy a snack for my kid at the start of the shopping experience. Because unless I missed something here, the original plan was to have the child eat during shopping (no judgement, I get hungry when I shop, too) and the food that the child would be eating would be food that I had purchased at a previous time. So what's the harm in buying food at the store at the actual time that I'm in the store to buy food?

7. Most likely, however, I would buy a snack for all of us.

And so, my friends, if you find that pages of the magazines in my house are missing corners, it's because I couldn't smooth out the dog-ear crease.

And know that those are the pages with not-as-possible ideas.

Here's my advice: it IS okay to let her shop in a princess costume.