Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Great Expectations

Ok, go into a store. Stay by my side. Don't touch, fiddle and/or play with everything in your eye line and/or reach. Are these unclear or difficult rules to follow? Am I setting my expectations too high? I'm not talking about my 2 year old. No, I strapped him into a shopping cart because he would make a break that would put Jessie Owens and an escaping convict to shame. No, I'm talking about a 7 year old. I explain the rules in the car on the way to the store. I repeat them walking into the store. She goes selectively deaf and feels the need to dance for the in-store surveillance monitors and examine every product in arm's reach. Repeated warnings and reminders didn't accomplish much. Losing privileges got the message across. So, with a glimmer of hope of better behavior I decide to brave another errand. Both children swear to me that they will be model citizens and make me proud. We march boldly into Home Depot's garden center. They both make a beeline for an active garden water fountain. Under threats of dismemberment, they reluctantly walk away. Briefly. While I explain to the clerk what I'm looking for, they both zero in on a display of watering cans. Apparently, my kids have never seen one. I have never witnessed 2 children so enthralled with an empty watering can. One more order for hands in pockets goes unheeded. Another privilege is lost. Good behavior is restored. We leave without further incident. But, I have to ask. Why is it so hard for a 7 year old to walk through a store without handling all the merchandise? Stay by my side so you don't get snatched by some Amish family who will put you to work from sun up to sun down. Why do I have to resort to threats? Are my expectations for behavior so unrealistic? To set the record straight, when we threaten a loss of privilege, we carry through 100% of the time. No excuses, no exceptions. So, why do we have to go through the whole process every time we go to a store? Better behave, Sara. Because tomorrow is grocery shopping day.

1 comment:

  1. hmmm... my answer to your question is "just because!" Funny enough that is the best way to learn about things in our environment. Thank goodness your 7 year old is 7... and not a baby because babies explore their world by putting everything into their mouths!

    Personally, I start singing songs in the store while shopping with my children. They get so embarrassed they won't dare touch anything I have told them to stay away from... but then again, they are teenagers!