I suppose you could call me crazy. Now that Greg works on Saturdays (he had nine clients in a row), I have the kids by myself all day. There are still, however, errands to run. Both boys needed shoes, and Henry was pretty much out of pants that fit his chubby man thighs. I wasn't planning on going shopping, but I had a momentary lapse of sanity. I made quite a rash and, in retrospect, mildly ill advised decision. I took both boys to the outlet mall by myself for a five-hour shopping expedition.
I fortified myself with a latte and headed off to Aurora with a ball of dread in the pit of my stomach. I thought about the epic tantrums Nick has had in the past when shopping with me. I pictured how embarrassed I was the last time I had to leave a store, pushing the stroller in one hand and carrying Nick thrown over my shoulder, shrieking at the top of his lungs. But. . .
Nick had not one tantrum. It was a March Miracle. Despite the way this blurry picture of Nick dancing frantically in the Baby Gap looks, Nick behaved very, very well. When we were in the Baby Gap, which wasn't very crowded, Nick actually asked permission to dance. "Mommy, can I please dance on the floor?" He even danced quietly.
Henry was a good boy, too. I don't feel like I did anything differently this time. Was this my good luck for the month (or the year)? I went to nine different stores, got both boys fitted at Stride Rite for shoes, and gave my debit card quite the workout. Check out these adorable Robeez I bought for Henry. They even have little tails at the heels.
All of the tantrum-reducing strategies that are usually ineffective with Nick worked this time. We took breaks frequently. After two stores, we stopped for lunch. Nick actually sat in a chair and ate Chinese food happily. He didn't throw anything. He stood or sat next to me and played with his toy train quietly. Henry napped and looked around, people-watching. Then, after a few more stores, we got a cookie treat. I gave Nick lots of praise. Henry absolutely loved his snickerdoodle.
Nick rode on the little rides several times, but each time, when the ride was over, he simply got off and held my hand. No crying, no screaming, no flinging himself to the floor. He was a little scared on the "rocket ship" ride. Can you tell?
Can you see Nick's fancy new shoes? He actually sat still and let the clerk measure his feet and put on the new shoes. It was a BOGO day, so I bought one pair for now and one in the next size up for both boys. I kept telling Nick how I loved his behavior. "Nick, I love how you held my hand right away when I asked. Good job!" (I normally do this, but it actually worked today!)
After our successful shopping trip, I took the kids to the park for some serious running and swinging. Henry is new to swings, but is an enthusiastic beginner.
Nick wanted me to swing him "up to the sky." This is the best I could do.
Would you believe I took the boys to Babies R Us and then met Greg for dinner, even after all that? It was a really busy day. I keep going over and over everything in my mind. What did I do right? Was this truly a March Miracle? Or is this what it is like if we ever get past the tantrum stage? (I am fervently hoping for the latter.)