SHE TURNED TWO. Whoever coined the term "The Terrible Two's," wasn't lying. In fact, sometimes I think that "terrible" is an understatement. "Hurricane, tornado, pint-sized hormonal teenager" feel a bit more fitting. Just today, as I was dodging her mood swings in Target, I thought back to those days of endless peaceful drives and long bouts of shopping. It was a simple list in the back pocket of my designated mom jeans-we just needed to get four items. Sounds pretty manageable right? It would've been, had I not had a little strawberry-blonde hurricane swirling along beside me. Upon arrival, I fueled myself with a Starbucks, knowing full well what I was getting myself into. She sat in the big part of the cart and asked me sweet questions, like "What's that mommy?" as I poured milk into my coffee.
Just as I thought we were on the right track and we would make it out of the store alive and with the four items, she demanded to walk. And then it really started to go downhill when we entered the hygiene section of the store. That is when her sweet little storm began to pick up speed. It all started with a Dora the Explorer electric toothbrush. It was on an end cap and eye level with her. Great marketing on the store's part. "Tattoo Tattoo!" she yelled, racing to the display of toothbrushes. She calls Dora "tattoo," ever since my dad bought her a sheet of Dora the Explorer tattoos. Most people with manners would say "Mommy could you please buy me this delightful little toothbrush?" But, let's be honest-two-year olds don't behave like most people. Instead, she yelled "MINE!" I looked at the price tag of $5.99 and rationalized that "hey maybe it would be a fun way to get her to brush her teeth." Good timing, with Halloween right around the corner too. So I chose my battle, right then and there and said "Okay, honey...we can get the Dora Tattoo brush. Go ahead and put it in the cart." The problem was that good ole Dora had some competition and Emily didn't feel it right to leave Elsa, Elmo and Spider Man behind. She used her chubby little arms to pull all of the brushes off the shelf and proceeded to walk down the aisle, leaving me with a cart that didn't have a single one of my four items in it. I've learned not to chase her, as that only increases the thrill and gets her darting down the aisles in a game of hide and seek. So, instead I diverted her attention to a flashy bottle of Old Spice body wash-one of the items on the list. While she was enjoying that, I dropped off Elmo, Elsa and Spiderman, letting them go back to their home on the shelf. Score one for mommy!
Next came the Halloween aisle, where I was determined to get one of those massive bags of candy. On the way, we had to stop by the DVD end cap where she plucked two Veggie Tale DVD's off the shelf. Again...thanks Target for the colorful cartoony items that are eye level with toddlers. I get it...you need to make a buck, but isn't my sanity important too? Before we even made it to the candy section, she was clutching two pumpkin trick-or-treating buckets and trying to figure out how to hold a pumpkin carving kit in one of her hands. And all the while, the aisles were filled with people doing their last minute Halloween shopping, which just seemed to enhance the stress on my part. More eyes on me feeling like a failing parent-yay! After that, there was the bike aisle, where a fit was thrown over a Frozen scooter that she tried pulling off one of the shelfs, then there was the three different hats that she yanked off a display. All the while, I'm accumulating these items in my cart, not intending to purchase them. Because it was either that or have her throw a fall-down on the floor in the middle of the aisle temper tantrum, and let's be honest-that's just uncomfortable for everyone. So, Target...I apologize for some misplaced items on your shelves.
I know that one day I will look back on these days and laugh and miss them. In the meantime, I'll try to shop online. ;)