This weekend, Mom and I took Carson with us on a shopping excursion. Our first stop was at Books-A-Million so I could pick up Dad’s father’s day gift. Carson couldn’t believe how many books there were with fun pictures–he wanted to pick up each one. And, he loved the Thomas the Train section. Maybe a train set for Christmas this year? But, I think he had the most fun while we were waiting in line to check out. He kept handing me Burt’s Bees hand cream…was he trying to tell me something?
Our second stop was at the mall. I needed to return the disastrous tan-in-a-can and exchange it for something that didn’t turn me Oompa Loompa orange. Poor Carson, who had just gone from car seat to stroller, just wanted to get down in the floor and pull all the different bottles off the shelves. He also wanted attention and lots of it. Lately he’s been shrieking like a trapped monkey at the zoo. I guess it’s a phase they all go through, but it’s one I wish we could skip altogether. I rounded up my purchases as quickly as possible, giving Carson various items to amuse him: sippy cup (thrown in the floor after a quick drink), waterless shampoo aerosol can (also thrown in the floor), and an empty sunglasses keeper (which kept him entertained until I was nearly finished checking out). As he threw the sunglasses box down in the floor for the third time, I noticed the look on the cashier’s face. It was a mixture of incredulity and terror. Honestly, he wasn’t being bad–just tired of being stuck in immobility. The poor kid just wanted to get down and walk (or crawl). I asked, “do you have any kids?” knowing full well what her answer would be. When she replied no and that she wasn’t sure she’d ever be ready, but “I guess you get nine months to get ready, right?” I laughed and said, “Nah, the nine months doesn’t really prepare you. You sort of learn as you go, and some days are better than others, but they’re totally worth it.” I remembered that not very long ago, I would have been the one giving the look of incredulity as I watched a mother pick up something her child had thrown in the floor for the umpteenth time and ignore his shrieking. Why didn’t she make him stop?? Ha ha, now I know. And, that’s not to say he gets away with being naughty, but there’s a difference between naughty and frustration. Until you’re a parent, you don’t understand it. Funny how you can learn so much from someone so young.
After a full afternoon of shopping, we stopped to eat at Colton’s in Cabot on our way home. Thankfully we were seated in the back part of the restaurant away from the main dining area, because Carson was really on a roll. At one point, a server looked out from the kitchen at us and said, “Did that noise come from that kid?” “Yes,” I replied. “Is it okay?” It?? You’re calling my child an it?! “Yes, I said, he’s fine. It’s just a phase they go through.” Finally, his macaroni and cheese arrived. That quieted him down for a bit, but then as our food arrived, he started shrieking more frequently and grew anxious. Mom and I chalked it up to exhaustion, and I tried holding him while I finished eating. Mom finished her meal before me, and she decided to change his diaper, as “he might be wet.” Turns out, that was an understatement. This now marks the second time he’s had a major blowout at a Colton’s restaurant. We both felt rather guilty about getting onto him–turns out he was just trying to tell us he needed a clean diaper! Another lesson learned from my child. I’ve heard of children learning sign language before they can speak. How do you say, “I pooped my pants” in sign language?