A few weeks ago it finally happened; mommy needed to send herself to timeout. I went to the grocery store and knew I was pushing my limits with my son’s nap time. This had happened before, but it hadn’t mattered much since he was still in the baby car seat and could happily sleep away as my daughter and I went about the shopping. However, this particular outing occurred a few days after we had removed that seat and went to a convertible car seat.
When we got into the grocery store I let my daughter ride in the cart that has the car for kids in the front of it; since I figured that would keep her happy as I tried to entertain my sleepy son while he rode inside the cart. It did not work out the way I imagined. My son did not tolerate sitting in the cart at all, and as soon as I picked him up and started pushing the huge cart with one hand, he fell asleep. Great, this made pushing that thing so much easier. My daughter did not happily ride along “driving the cart”. Every time I stopped to get something off the shelf, she had to get out and get something off the shelf too. If something caught her eye while I was pushing with one hand, she tried to bail out.
When we got to the checkout line, I managed to unload the cart with a sleeping infant in my arms while trying to keep my daughter in the cart car as she was eyeing all those lovely candy bars and knick knacks that the product placement geniuses had decided should go there. The cashier rang up my items and when I reached into my pocket to grab the coupons I wanted to use, they were gone, even though I checked about fifteen times to see if they were still there throughout the store. Looking back, that was probably my tipping point with this shopping trip. While I was getting my credit card out to pay, I spotted my daughter climbing on the FRONT of the cart car and I lost it. I yelled at her to get back in the car. I didn’t even realize the tone in which it had come out, until after it was done and I looked at the cashier and the grocery bagger. I was embarrassed, not only for me but for my little lady as well. Was she misbehaving? Yes. Did she deserve to be yelled at like that in public? No.
It was time for mommy to have a timeout. I paid for the groceries, got the kids safely in the car, loaded the groceries, got myself in the car and cried. I didn’t say a word to my kids on the way home. When we got there, I fed them lunch and put them both down for a nap. During that time, I still didn’t say much. I’m sure my daughter took this as me being mad at her, and to tell the truth, I was still frustrated with her. However, it was mainly because I needed a mental break. As they slept, I did what we all ask our kids to do when we send them for timeout. I thought about what I had done and what I needed to do differently next time. I’m mommy and I should have known better than to put myself in that situation. Furthermore, if the situation cannot be avoided (which we all know is the case sometimes), I need to handle it in a more positive and thought out way. I should’ve worn the baby pack and put my daughter in the cart strapped in. Case closed.
When my daughter woke up, we talked. I told her I was sorry for yelling at her and I told her that she needed to listen to mommy when she was asked to do something or stay somewhere. I know, that at two years old, we will have this talk many times, but I was glad that I was able to give myself the much needed timeout and come back to her in a more positive and calm manner.