As a parent, I have these grandiose ideas of how things will turn out in my head. It’s always bigger, happier and calmer when I craft a vision in my mind than the reality of what actually happens. Take Christmas shopping with my 5-year old for example…
Miss E had requested some mommy-daughter time, so one Friday when I had wrapped things up at the job, I thought today is the day! I worked out with Hubby to pick up Miss A, so I went into daycare mom-ninja-like and grabbed Miss E and whisked her off to Fargo. I told her that we were going to go shopping so she can pick out a Christmas present for Hubby, Miss A and maybe her Godparents. Doesn’t this sound super fun?!?!? Miss E’s glazed end-of-the-week eyes looked at me lackluster and said “sure mom.” They had “Polar Express Day” in Kindergarten, and the epic energy toll to watch the movie in pajamas must have been immense. I told myself the awesomeness of mommy-daughter time would get her jazzed up, it just hadn’t sunk in yet. She’ll come around.
As we drove into town(less than a 20 minute drive), Miss E asked to watch TV. I said no as it was only a short trip. She started to get whiny, so I tried using some of that super-cool mom redirection by asking her what store she wanted to go to first. She didn’t know. I threw out a couple of options and she still didn’t know. It’s okay! This is still going to be some fun mom-daughter bonding time!
As we approached town, my little angel declared that she was hungry. It is around 3:30…not really a meal time, but I’m just rolling with it in the name of bonding! When I asked if she wanted to eat before of after we went to the store, so said before. Okay…
Where do you want to go to eat? We can go wherever you want.
No honey, where do you want to go eat?
Liiiiiike you want to go try samples?
No. I want to go get pizza at Costco.
Are you sure?
Mom I want to go to Costco.
Alrighty, so as we sat at the bright red picnic table, under the red and white umbrella shielding us from the fluorescent lights of Costco, Miss E is having dinner at 3:37pm. Miss E gets almost halfway through her giant slice of pepperoni and lets me know that I can half of her half-chewed slice. Oh goodie. Oddly enough, she wasn’t as hungry as she thought.
Okay on to shopping. Miss E wants to go around the store now and look at items, maybe she can find something for her dad or little sister. As we walk the aisles of Costco, she insists on pushing the cart which is huge compared to her. She has to look through the cart as she isn’t tall enough to see over. As she zig zags down the corridor trying to control the cart and getting upset with me when I act crazy by preventing crashes and damage, I can almost feel the eyerolls from other patrons trying to get their shopping done. LEAVE ME ALONE PEOPLE-we are friggin bonding!
As Miss E carefully chooses to explore every aisle that has NO possible chance of having something she can give as a gift, I try to direct, suggest and steer, to her just getting annoyed. Then at the end cap, she sees them! She sees the most magnificent gift of all dad-gifts that she knows is the PERFECT gift for her dad!
Mom! I want to get those for dad.
You think dad wants AA batteries?
No. I KNOW he wants those batteries.
I think we should keep looking.
Dad REALLY wants these.
Maybe we should look over-
I want to get him THESE! Or maybe (she picks up a package of C batteries)
No, you’re right. These are perfect (toss an econo-pack of AA batteries in the cart).
It turns out her dad REALLY wanted a copy of the Polar Express movie also(so strange) and then we went through the next hour of her pointing out things that she wanted to get herself, with the crescendo of a meltdown in Kohl’s. We went into Kohl’s and found her new winter boots, that she REALLY liked, but her mood changed because she didn’t understand why I wouldn’t buy her the $139 PJ Masks playset.
To try to bring this bonding trip back to the good side of crazy, we finished our mom-daughter night with a trip to Tutti Frutti. At the yogurt bar, she decided to get a cup of just toppings separate from the cup of just yogurt, okay fine. Then she proceeded to eat all of the toppings, none of the yogurt, and tossed her still full cup of yogurt in the garbage declaring that she was “full”…that was until we got in the car when she immediately asked if we had any snacks. When I said we didn’t, she immediately remembered the trauma of not getting the ridiculously high-priced PJ Masks playset and she sobbed the entire way home telling me things like “You never let me have anything.” “We never do anything.”“We don’t do fun things.”etc, etc, etc.
If you’re wondering, the Rumchatta was extra tasty that night and I’ll be shopping alone for the next 4-46 years.