Saturday, April 17, 2010

Toddlerhood: A play in two parts

The Set:
Posh neighborhood pharmacy
The actors: Heavily pregnant me, my squirmy independence–seeking toddler, sales person A, Sales person B, Other customer


The Setup: Madden and I enter pharmacy. Doors are propped open onto busy street.
Note to self: Madden likes to run, she will run in street if left on her own, I am not a fast runner these days, probably best to hold daughter tightly.
Sales people who are usually quick to offer help are busy chatting at counter with another customer. I seek out product on my own.

Action: Product is on glass shelf, Madden’s kicking legs not conducive to product retrieval from high shelf. In amount of time it takes me to get product, daughter has managed to grab two shampoo bottles, topple over a small display of makeup and has bolted with stolen shampoo towards the open door.

Action continues: Pregnant woman run/waddles to door and grabs shampoo stealing toddler. Toddler unhappy to be stopped begins protesting loudly. Door buzzer is activated as to signal customer is entering/exiting store. BZZZZ sound of buzzer as we stand in doorway trying to get ourselves sorted. Buzzer continues to go off incessantly as pregnant self scoops unhappy shampoo throwing daughter into arms. Retrieval of shampoo bottles that are now rolling down sidewalk ensues.

Action continues: Eventually things are returned to their place and desired product purchase is brought to counter. Daughter placed on counter while I try to get wallet from bag.
Customer B is being helped by makeup counter with Sales person B. They are doing their best to ignore the commotion.
Sales person A has been hiding in pharmacy area but appears at last to ring up my order.


Sales person A; “Oh, I see that you are buying the Clarins product….blah, blah, blah….”

Madden: “Arrghhh, waahhh”

Sales person A: “Did you know that Clarins is running a special if you buy two products from their line, you get a FREE gift with purchase.”

Me: (thinking to myself) Well, it’s not really free if I have to buy two things to get it…but hey, I use this stuff so I’ll get two and get the ‘free’ item. “Yeah, OK, I’ll take two of this same product.”

Wiggling and now climbing off counter. Arm twisted. Protesting loudly.

Sales person A: “The free gift comes in three types – dry skin, normal skin, oily skin…”

Me: (thinking again). Oh, for crying out loud, just give me the damn ‘free’ gift. “Dry skin please, thank you.”


Action: Sales person A goes to retrieve ‘free’ gift while toddler wiggles free and again makes a line for the front door. I take off in pursuit but she deceptively darts down a different aisle where she throws herself onto a pile of cosmetic bags. Laughing hysterically, she grabs a bag and again rounds a bend toward the door. I intercept her with skill and precision in a mighty fine swoop and scoop that leaves her stunned and amazed by her big mommy’s fortitude. “Ah, hah” I give her a little tickle and we return to the counter.

Sales person A is now helping customer B. In fact, both sales people are now with customer B. Apparently there is a bit of drama about whether something comes in powder or liquid. Certainly this crisis of makeup is far more important than getting a frantic pregnant lady and her unhappy toddler out of the store.

We have approximately 3 minutes before Madden is going to go ballistic.
Minute 1, Sales people are still gathered for liquid vs. powder summit.

Minute 2, Sales person A sees me at counter and shows signs
of nervousness.

Minute 3, Sales person A breaks away to find “Dry skin” free gift.
(Me, thinking again: “WTF lady, get over here and finish this…don’t you see
we are approaching take off???!!!)

Minute 4, It is over. We have lost. There is no control. Screaming
is happening. Madden wants out. She demands freedom. Sales person is
too late. A monster has been created and there will be no containment.

I can’t hear myself. I have no idea what the total amount is. There is a receipt to sign and I manage something illegible. The sales person takes forever to verify my signature. This is ridiculous. Madden twists free of my hold and bolts again towards door and around pharmacy. Nothing is safe. The toothpaste aisle is freed from its precision stacking and the colgate is laid out without pattern upon the carpet. I try to contain and restack but cannot manage it all. Madden again captured and once again lifted and placed onto counter. Sales person looks irritated. I explain that if I put her down, she will bolt out door. Why are the doors open anyway???? Sales person again looks irritated and as I fumble around, she says kindly that she will watch Madden on the ground if I would like to put my things into my take away bag. (Clearly the counter is no place to set one’s child.)

Me: (thinking)You are ON lady. What, you don’t think my kid will run from you too? Ha! Just you wait and see.

Action continues:
I carefully place Madden on floor and begin to place my purchases into my diaper/handbag. Like the little bullet that she is, Madden takes off for another fun game of squealing and chasing. Sales person (in high heels) runs after her and fails to catch her. Madden does a full circle and ends up running wildly into the pharmacy back room. Sales person A is running about 10 feet behind her and clearly wishes she had just let me keep my kid on the counter. I have finished placing my purchases into my bag. Another customer appears near the register. Sales person A stops her pursuit and saunters up to thecounter to eagerly wait on other customer. She shrugs in my direction and I go behind the pharmacy counter to find my toddler gathering containers from shelf and beginning early career as a pharmacist.


Amanda said...

Fellow mommy blogger here. Found your blog totally randomly but I thought this post was brilliant and I just had to tell you how much I enjoyed it! I can only imagine what my little girl (now 9 months) will be like as a feisty toddler! Thanks for the chuckle!

Jenni said...

Hahaha! Sometimes they just cannot be contained.

Amy said...

Do you want to know what I noticed the most after my second child was born...particularly because I had similar anxieties to yours about having two? Its how EASY it is to go someplace with one kid (especially when you're no longer pregnant and not waddling.) Great story.

Livia said...

So you can't control your child, make a game out of chasing her (Tickling? Really? How about saying "No!") and feel the world should cater to your needs (Why should they close the doors just for you?)

I think you're gonna need your sense of humour to get through the next 15 years or so.

Oh, and buy a stroller...

Anonymous said...

Your post is copied at etiquette hell and there are 6 pages of comments. You are very entitled and need parenting help.

AKS said...

WOW - you claim that my friend, my good friend, is in need of parenting help? Well, I'm not sure who made you the God of all things parenting, but maybe you could lighten up and laugh a little at a situation (or one similar thereto) that most mothers and fathers have been in. Bravo to those parents who are brave enough, like Elizabeth, to share the moments of parenthood that are not pretty, but are instead very hard and trying. Maybe some have enough time in the day to read through 6 pages of commentary, but I'm not going to waste anymore time reading comments from those who obviously take themselves way too seriously.

Anonymous said...

Wow “Livia” you really do have way too much time on your hands. I love reading this blog so freely provided by Elizabeth (who I don’t even know) and I worry that you have spoiled the liberating experience of blogging for her. You should be ashamed that you display such arrogance and ignorance when you assume you can judge another person based on their anecdotal and humorous slant on their life. Get a stroller – I feel that when you have a toddler they should be encouraged to be up and about using their legs, rather than being pushed around and not engaged with as much. Now I am judging you.

Sadly I feel that I should comment anonymously rather than invite your poison into my blog.

Try to keep up the good writing E & E.

Anonymous said...

That is so funny.....I can just picture it. Thanks for the good laugh!!! Cute story.

Anonymous said...

Feel the need to leave a comment as annonymous too in case that awful woman follows me!

We have all had situations like this, there is not a parent alive that hasn't had an experience like this and those who say they haven't are lying!! you can either laugh about it, or cry and when you are heavily pregnant it isn't exactly easy to 'control' a toddler.

my question to you annonymous commenter- why do you care so much? why did you feel the need to copy and paste a post belonging to someone else? if it bothered you so much there must be some underlying reason for that?

I once heard a saying that if you find yourself saying something bad abot somebody you don't know- it's usually because your jealous.

I think it was just nasty to copy and paste somebody elses blog to another site- not to mention a violation of privacy- the blog maybe albe to be viewed by the world, but it isn't yours to share around to other sad and bitter people to comment on.

If you want to comment on somebody elses parenting skills- look at your own first- you probably don't even have kids- and I'd like to add- I was a very strict parent too before I had kids!!!!

then I had two and realised that sometimes they have meltdowns in shops, and there's always that higher than high holier than thou big mouth who thinks they can comment-

Mind your own business and if you don't like what you read there's a whole big button at the top with an x on it- if you press it then the page vanishes!! and you can leave the trauma behind!!!!

E&E look to the humour in your childs toddler years- my mother said I was the wildest loudest most hard to handle toddler on this planet and I turned out ok- my brothers were wild and crazy and now have very successful careers- don't listen to those that take your words as gospel- all you need to know and care about- is my child happy? do I feel like I'm doing a good job?

then screw the rest of them- there kids usually end up as the ones who grow up to be emotionally stunted who go around leaving bitter comments on random people blogs....

good luck and god bless...

Lou xx

Oh and ps buy a stroller?? have you ever tried to get a stroller out and put a toddler in it when you're heavily pregnant????? if you think you're only popping into a shop for a second.... more like buy a crystal ball- cos nobody can tell when their toddler is going to go off on one till oh 2 minutes before it happens!!!!

you are doing fine E KEEP BLOGGING and keep your chin up.... xxxxx