My husband had to work a few hours Saturday morning and I needed to get some errands taken care of. Against my better judgment I decided to not wait until he got home and just take the kids to the mall myself. I wanted to look in three stores for a couple of dresses for my daughter. It should not have been a very long trip.
Now, I don't mean to bag on my son. He's really a wonderful kid. But he's two and he's a boy and all he wants to do is run around, hide, and be loud. Shopping with him is something I dread, but considering my husband works ALL THE TIME I end up shopping with him 99.9 percent of the time. If I waited to shop until my husband was home I would never go shopping.
I gave up long ago on a stroller because my son would Houdini himself out or else throw himself violently from side to side until the stroller tipped. It became more hassle than if I just carried him or let him walk next to me. So, as I am looking through the racks today he starts wandering off. I try to hold him and he dives out of my arms, flailing. Then he starts hiding in the racks which, in a crowded mall, makes me a little panicked. He was just non-stop. He then takes clothes off the racks, even managed to rip a few tags off the clothes, and was just into everything. I was about to come unglued.
The thing is, to everyone else, things probably looked fine. He wasn't being loud or running wildly throughout the store. He wasn't being a nuisance to anyone else but me. Still I was frustrated and really couldn't look through the racks I needed to look through. After about 30 minutes (probably even less) I just gave up and took them to the play area.
When my husband came home I left the kids with him and returned alone to finish what I had started earlier. It was then that two kids, left pretty unattended by their mother, were SPRINTING throughout the store, yelling at the top of their lungs, hiding in the clothes and pulling them down on top of themselves as they lay on the floor. Just out of control wild. And they were around seven, eight, or nine years of age. Way too old to act like that. As much work as my two year old was this morning, his behavior paled in comparison.
It was at that point I realized things were not as bad as they seemed. I also realized that I am a much better parent than I oftentimes give myself credit for.