A week or so ago, Elia and I were on our weekly grocery trip. I usually have my grocery list on the iphone, but this time I had a few late additions that I scribbled down on a piece of paper. As I was pushing her around the store, it occurred to her that she wanted my grocery list. In her mouth. I held it low and outside of her line of vision and started singing to her. “Out of sight, out of mind” has worked like a charm so far. But today, she poked her head over the edge of the cart and lunged for it. Damn developmental milestones.
However, I’ve read a lot of parenting blogs, so I knew just what to do – distract that baby! I had just picked up a bag of marshmallows for a dessert we were making, so I handed that to her, and she happily proceeded to squish and squeeze the hell out of it. I clenched my jaw and willed myself not to think of that bag sitting on dust-coated warehouse shelves, getting pooped on by rats, or manhandled by a thousand holiday shoppers. I can deal with this. A little rat poop builds character. The important thing is that she stopped going after my grocery list. Man, this parenting stuff is easy.
Then I got to the checkout lane and unloaded the cart, including the bag of marshmallows. For what it’s worth, I asked her very politely first, but that did not stop the squawking and extremely vocal protests that ensued. Pulling faces didn’t work, singing didn’t work, bouncing didn’t work, people were starting to swivel their heads to see what was happening. My face started to turn as red as hers. And why was it suddenly so hot?
Check out clerk: “You done made that baby real mad.” Me: “Yes ma’am. Now, can I please have those marshmallows back?”
And there it was. Her first grocery store meltdown over sugary treats. 7 months, 2 weeks, 2 days.