Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kicking and Screaming

Yesterday, we celebrated Eliza's birthday (yes, the celebrating was a day late). Nathan and I had originally planned to have a small party on Eliza's actual birthday, but a myriad of problems arose. First, our entire family was jet lagged and still recovering from traveling four thousand miles. Due to the flights, time differences, and Eliza's refusal to sleep, Nathan was awake for over 24 hours straight. Of course, this made him sick. He was in bed with a headache and fever on Eliza's birthday. Secondly, I had an appointment in the Tri-Cities, which took up most of the afternoon. And lastly, there was a Walmart incident. By incident, I mean I gathered the energy and willpower to go to Walmart alone with Eliza...and it didn't turn out very well.

Yes. I said I went somewhere alone. I haven't driven in three months, so this was a big deal. Fortunately, Walmart is less than a mile away from our house, and Eliza managed to get in and out of the car seat by herself. Unfortunately, she decided to have a major freak out in the middle of the store.

After struggling to lift her and place her in the cart (it is so hard not to say buggy), I assumed the hardest part of the trip was over. All we needed was cake mix, icing, and presents. What two year old doesn't love picking out presents? I decided to get the gifts first. That way, Eliza would be entertained while I finished the rest of the shopping. We found an Elmo backpack, and she was in love. We then saw Elmo pajamas, and she wouldn't let them out of her sight. The Elmo merchandise stayed with Eliza.

I thought: "Well, this has been easy! I can do hard things without Nathan. Maybe I don't need him to help me with everything." I felt proud of myself. My husband was finally getting a much needed break.

We then approached the toy section. Eliza's great-grandmother had given us money to purchase a toy or two. She had shown interest in dolls earlier in the week, so I went to the baby doll aisle. Eliza then saw a doll stroller, an item she already owns and loves. She starting screaming, "Stroller, stroller!" She then launched herself out of the cart and started screaming hysterically for the stroller. I kept telling her, "You already have one, Eliza. Let's get a doll for the stroller."

It didn't work. A toddler wants what she wants. Eliza became frantic, and it wasn't like I could take a stroller out of the box for her to play with. Eventually, five minutes went by. No soothing words would calm her, she wouldn't let me touch her, and people just stared at me as if I were a horrible parent/person for allowing my child to scream in Walmart.

I suddenly had a flashback to my childhood and a similar incident that occurred in Toys R Us. My little brother, Hudson, was around 6 or 7 at the time. He had seen (of all things) an Elvis Barbie doll and had to have it. This Elvis doll was a collector's item, which meant it was around 70 dollars or so. Translation: there was no way Hudson was going to get Elvis. I remember my mother and grandmother repeatedly telling him "no" and encouraging him to pick out something else. Hudson wasn't having it. He had a full out tantrum in the store and proceeded to lay on the floor and scream for minutes. Finally, my mother picked him up and carried him out of the store as he continued to scream.

So, I did just that. I abandoned the gifts we had already collected and picked up my screaming child. Because I cannot lean over (one of the reasons I am not supposed to pick up Eliza), I am sure I looked ridiculous as I squatted down, using my legs to lift my daughter, and held her kicking, screaming body against my pregnant belly.

I felt defeated. We came home with no cake and no presents, and my appointment was going to take up the rest of the day. I failed to give my daughter presents and cake on her birthday, and I failed at going out alone and not bothering my husband. I called my sister crying. She, being more practical and logical than I am, was the voice of reason. She said, "Just do it tomorrow! She will never remember her party was a day late."

We took her advice, and we had a great time. The next day, Nathan went back to Walmart and found my abandoned shopping cart and purchased the cake mix and icing. As it turns out, I do need him for just about everything. However, he is okay with that and so am I. We're a team, and right now, I really need the help.


  1. First of all, HOORAY for driving by yourself and even attempting to take Eliza on your own. That right there is some serious accomplishments lady! I'm sorry the trip ended up a little sour, but glad that it all turned out well in the end. However, I must say that the fact that he found your abandoned cart is evidence in the lack of awesomeness of the Othello Walmart. Just sayin'.

  2. Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry! Ugh, we've all been there. That is no fun at all. I'm so glad Nathan is so helpful. You guys are a good team. Just keep trying to go out and it will get easier eventually. You CAN do hard things; you handled a tough situation really well. I think I would have cried. A lot. :)


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