Today, I did some early Christmas shopping for the Pig circle at a local craft fair. While I was there, I ran into a number of friends and acquaintances, including two women I know who were there with their toddlers. As their mothers were shopping, one toddler sat peaceably in his stroller, gumming some crackers, while the other gazed happily about from her perch in her mother's arms.
What. The. Funk?????
When my rug monkeys were that age, I would no more have brought them to a craft fair than I would have brought a bull into a china shop, and for much the same reasons. In fact, after I started thinking about it, I realized I could list a lot of the behaviors they would have displayed. To wit,
Behaviors My Children Would Have Demonstrated At A Craft Fair:
screaming AND crying
begging to be picked up
begging to be put down
clutching at tables loaded with precariously balanced craftware
yanking on displays of expensive fabric handicrafts
experiencing inconveniently-timed diaper containment failures
developing unhealthy obsessions with expensive/hideous/not-child-appropriate objects
demanding to leave
Shoot, with only a few exceptions to that list, they still act that way when we're out. Just taking my kids to the grocery store sucks out loud, never mind shopping for big-ticket items. This is not to say that I blame them for this; thanks to the twin miracles of internet shopping and consignment stores, I don't ever have to take these kids shopping and so I choose not to. When I first had girls, I had this mental image of us together on leisurely mommy-daughter outings to pick out darling ensembles with lunch and a stroll in between. Then I got a high-strung, easily overwhelmed kiddo who has a meltdown if her blood sugar dips more than 1% below normal, and suddenly that image was replaced with the reality of us dashing frantically through whatever store was most likely to have what we needed before her limited patience and good will wore out. The next kid probably has the patience and temperament to enjoy shopping excursions, but since she's inundated with hand-me-downs already, there's no need to take her shopping. The first kid can't stand clothes that are itchy, binding, stiff, or uncomfortable, and the second kid has no problem wearing florals, prints, and plaids all in one go, so all I have to do is make sure we have a steady supply of yoga pants and t-shirts and we are all set. But that is not my point. My point (and I do have one) is that everyone else's kids are far easier than mine and I deserve a lot of sympathy and support you have absolutely no way of knowing what your kids come hard-wired to tolerate and what they won't. It's all a toss-up...kinda like everything else about child raising.