I’ll be the first to admit that I spoil my son rotten, but raising an ingrate is a deep seeded fear of mine.
I rarely leave the house without bringing him home a treat of the edible or four-wheeled variety. Anymore it’s the only way I can get him to go to the super market with me. Thank goodness Matchbox cars are only $1.00, but as you and I both know, those dollars add up visit after visit and I’m the one left grumbling about picking up 75 cars throughout the day.
Lucas is no dummy and has grown to expect a “treat” for doing something I’ve asked of him, for keeping it together while I wander through Target, drag him into the bank, Starbucks, dry cleaners, etc.
We put up our Christmas tree on Friday night and I stayed up long after Lucas had gone to bed to decorate it. I wanted him to wake up in the morning and see it in all it’s glory.
This is Lucas’ first Christmas tree and I want having the tree to be special for him, a tradition in the making. I thought it would be fun for him to choose a couple of new ornaments, so off to Target we went with a list of a few other household items we needed.
We had a lot of fun picking out three new ornaments; a penguin, a ‘W’ for our surname and a Lightening McQueen (the boy has a thing for the movie Cars) and then he began badgering me to go down the toy aisle, which I was happy to oblige knowing full well I’d be buying him a car in order to get through the rest of my shopping.
He seemed happy with the bright orange car he selected and promptly ripped it from its packaging, making sure to hand me all the pieces (bar code included so that I could pay for it) and we carried on to get laundry detergent.
Somewhere between greeting cards and electronics, he spotted a Cars car set that he just had to have. I let him hold on to it for a while so that I could finish my shopping and explained to him that I wasn’t going to buy it, he had already gotten a car on this trip and that he had three of the six cars in the set at home. This information prompted a complete and utter melt down.
I then returned the set to it’s place on the shelf and asked him if we could compromise; put back the orange car and get a Cars car that he didn’t have. He liked that idea but when we found one that he wanted, he wanted it and the orange car, which was not part of the deal. Lucas is only two-and-a half, but he gets it. He wanted both and said so repeatedly and also, “buy it for me” at the top of his lungs.
In the past maybe I would have bought it just to shut him up, but I need to break that cycle in order to teach him how to be thankful for the toys he does have and not to expect something new every time we are in a store.
I kept my cool and calmly repeated that this was a hard lesson for us both, that was no way to talk to me and I was sorry but, you don’t always get what you want. Needless to say, screaming and wailing and carrying on in mortifying levels followed while standing in the check out that I almost walked away from my cart and right out of the store. No one needs to hear a tantrum.
As we left, an audacious customer said to me, “Seriously, can you not get your kid under control?” to which I replied, “Go to hell.”
Not my finest moment (or response), but WTF? This was none of her concern and her commentary was not only unnecessary, but rude, out of line and shocking to me.
Once we made it to the car, I called my husband in tears exclaiming that I didn’t want to raise an ungrateful child and I had just been called out/judged by a complete stranger.
As odd as it sounds, in the moment I could not tell what I was most upset about; the perception that I could not control my child’s behavior or the behavior itself.
Of course, I know now, without a doubt that it’s my son’s behavior that was most troubling. God knows Lucas did not need another car, so hopefully he will remember walking out of the store without one.
And that woman means nothing to me but teaching my child gratitude? Means everything.
Do you admittedly spoil your child(ren)? How do teach them about being grateful? What should I have said to that bitch?