When you're a parent, there are some aspects of a very young child you like. For example, I liked that a few months ago I could make something "disappear" & Jules wouldn't even miss it.
Thing is, they grow out of that. And I'd been preparing myself for it, but it still sucks.
Today we went on one of our usual outings to Target. I've considered getting a job there because I spend so much time there. It's shameful really. Jules recognizes when we're around it before he can even see it & when I was in the hospital with Blair he told people "mommy & daddy are at Target." In my defense, I lived in an area without Target until 4 years ago, so it's a new & exciting thing for me.
Anyway, we do our usual popcorn & icee thing at the Target deli. It's a deli, not a concession place. They sell fucking hummus, therefore it's a deli. And yes, I feed my kid popcorn & icee. Choking hazards & artificial colors & sugars....yummmm! Once I pry his mouth off the shopping cart (what, your kid doesn't chew or suck on the cart handle from time to time?), we end up near a clearance rack. There he finds a ball. A 50% off ball, but a heavy filled up with water & oil "lava ball." Great.
I'm one of those awful people that will let my kid have something in the store to entertain him. I do usually buy things, but sometimes I just give them to him & eventually when he forgets about it I get rid of it. I guess that's where the "awful" thing comes in, I know that's a big no no to just leave things randomly to some folks out in the world. I'm very sorry. And by that, I mean not at all. I am sorry that I'm not sorry though. Feel better?
Last time we were at Target I let him pick out a little Toy Story flash light. He picked Hamm, the pig. When you squeeze him, he said a phrase. One of two phrases. For the next 45 minutes, I listened to those two phrases over & over & over. I sat Hamm out first chance I got, I was not going to listen to him anymore even though I'd planned to buy him.
Well, 5 minutes later Jules looks at me & says, "Where's Hamm?" I tell him "I don't know!" so well I thought I should win an Oscar. He believed me...then hit me with, "I worry bount Hamm" as he looked around sad.
Worried? He is worried about Hamm?
Damn me to hell. I went back to where I sat Hamm down & "rescued" Hamm. All was good.
This time, I didn't want this stupid ball. Not at all. I didn't know how much it was, but even on clearance I was sure it was too much. Plus...really? A ball? Because we don't have about 500 of them at the house? And one filled with blue water & oil? With my dog who has almost ate through one of my wooden dining room chairs (that's a whole other story), I'm sure that would be safe for about 15 minutes. I might as well throw shit on my own carpet & ruin it myself. Then track it through the house, obvious of the mess I was creating. It would save Jules & the pets the time & trouble.
But I decided this was not worth a fight. Let him hold it, I think. Eventually he'll put it down, leave it somewhere, etc. And eventually he got out of the cart, leaving his ball, & walked around with me. Right before we go check out I deposit it on a shelf away from the check out area. He'd never miss it, right? Right!
As we unload the cart, my smart & honest child looks in the seat, then to me, & says, "wheres my ball?" I was shocked he'd remembered it. He hadn't seen or touched it in like 30 minutes, usually this was enough time for him to be distracted. Plus, he had markers he'd been carrying around, shouldn't be be occupied with those?! Oh, how I miss the days where trickery was easy.
Again, I throw out my Oscar worthy line of, "I don't know where it went!" He was kinda disappointed, but wet on with life. As I finished with the unloading process, I hear him call out, "there's my ball!"
...what?! Your ball?
I look up, he must be confused. He must be.
There, at the register we'd picked to stand in line at, laid an identical ball. And he was pointing to it. Of course.
Shocked, I stare at this overpriced piece of crap, trying to not say exactly what I was thinking. Which was "What. The. Fuck."
You know, when I lay out the crap my kids want so I don't have to buy them, I'm at least considerate enough to not leave it at children eye level to make it some other mothers problem. Whoever left that ball near the register was not the same way.
I sighed in defeat & told him to go get his ball. And he did. Then he laid his markers & his ball on the belt. As the weird guy scanned our stuff, Jules blurted out, "Thank you!" as he scanned the ball, which was so nice it kept me from almost yelling out "What the fuck?!" when the $4-something price popped up. And as I paid, he said, "BYE!" with a wave.
My kid, he's spoiled rotten.
And there is the ball the prove it. But at least he's polite, right?
And there always time to make him work it off.
We went to Home Depot in the same parking lot after that. He wanted to take the ball in. We did. He had me carry it within 3 minutes of getting in the store. He's not touched it since.