Five Easy Ways to Avoid Toddler Tantrums While Shopping

Five Easy Ways to Avoid Toddler Tantrums While Shopping | mrsmommymack.com

Let me start this blog by saying, my kids make me want to drink at 8 am at least 8 times a week. They are by no means runners-up to be named saints in the next century or two. However, I did notice that somehow, I accidentally got something right when raising them. There is a time of day that I want to scream less often and that’s when we go shopping.

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately and initially chalked their good behavior up to being little, but my son is three and I see kids half his age purple-faced and flopping in checkouts almost daily. So, I thought I would come up with some tips for those sweaty moms with the pleading eyes that are throwing bags of chocolate at their children in hopes to make it out of the store before leaving their child with the cashier.

1. Distraction is my best friend. While I don’t let the kids bring toys in and absolutely DO NOT give them a toy off the shelf to amuse them while I walk, I take this time to talk with them. They have a million questions and almost 75% of them is, “Mom, can I have that?!” Even though my kids have only had a handful of meltdowns while shopping in the past three years, it still makes me flinch like a beat dog every time. But, I always answer that the same way, “No, oh my goodness did you see this!?” Then I quickly point my finger and something or someone to get them very excited about the next thing and forget about the box of tampons they wanted five minutes ago.

2. We don’t promise rewards. We don’t do the, “If you can make it through the store without crying until you puke I will buy you a king’s ransom!” Don’t get me wrong, I have done it, but by giving them the option of public humiliation you are already setting the stage that this is a possibility. Good behavior is the expectation. You can’t walk into the store expecting shit to hit the fan. You got this. Deep breaths.

3. They get a reward if they don’t ask for it. If we can make it from walking through those automatic doors all the way back to the checkout without tears/begging/slapping of siblings, I will grab a treat for them. If they ask for it, the answer will be “No.” This gives you the control and they are rewarded for NOT asking for something.

4. We explain cost. One of the many conversations we have while shopping is about the cost of items. This comes in handy when things are asked for that are extravagant. We explain that this item costs money and when Daddy is gone all day that is what he is earning. In order for us to be able to get that toy/treat he would have to be gone a looong time. We don’t want that, do we? Make sure you only use this one when kids are well rested. Otherwise, Daddy might not like the answer to that question.

5. This is fun! Shopping for our family is a family outing. We really enjoy doing this together and get some quality time without electronics or television. We work together to pick out meals and it’s the time of week we look forward to. If going to the store is seen as hell fire and damnation, kids will act like Satan’s minions. Remember, deep breaths. You got this.

Family Cross-Country Move: The Shit You Don’t Think About

Family Cross-Country Move: The Shit You Don't Think About | mrsmommymack.com

Last week, my family made the trek from Northeastern Wisconsin to the Portland, Oregon area. This said family included: me, a husband, a two-year old, a one-year old, two cats and a dog. If you’re like everyone I have ever talked to, you’re thinking that I need a brain transplant to do something so masochistic. Truthfully, you might be right. However, I am here and everyone made it alive and relatively unscarred.

With that being said, there were a few bumps along the way. I did my best while planning to Google as many helpful checklists as possible and most stated the obvious like, “bring water for your dog.” If you need that kind of a tip, you have a long way to go before you’re ready to move. These tips are for those who want to expect the unexpected. You already know all of the living beings in your care need sustenance and sleep, yet you feel “underprepared.” That’s why I am here. But, take it from me, you’ll never be ready.

1. Sell Your Shit: I am serious. Throw it on Facebook, a rummage sale or the curb. Once you research the difference between a Uhaul trailer and a truck or moving company you’ll see what I mean. Moving across country does not give you the $19.99 trailer rates. Look at that drill team flag from high school and ask yourself, “Is this worth $1500?” The answer, hopefully, is fuck no.

Also, you will probably need the money. Whatever you think it’s going to cost during the move, double it. Triple it, even. Right now, your brain is clear and logical, but at 9 pm at the last town before the Rockies when your kids are pulling at their car seat restraints like hostages you WILL stop at Walmart to let them pick out anything from the store to shut their little pie holes. Tablet? Sure. Dollhouse? Sure. Electric can opener? Have at it.

2. The Cats:
Don’t be an absolute boob and carry the cats from the house to the kennel that is already packed in the car. For the love of God, please remember this. Otherwise, you will be bleeding from your eyeballs while wrenching your beloved Fluffy out of your bushes, in the dark, at 6 am.

Also, put them in a crate big enough to hold the litterbox. If you think for one hot second your cat is going to poop on a harness like your dog, you’ve got another thing coming.

You’ll want to find Motel 6 locations along the way for the dog, but if the weather permits, the cats will be just fine in the car for a few hours with food and water while you sleep. That is, unless you want to lug a giant kennel with a litterbox full of shit and two screaming cats into a hotel at 10 pm with two children and a lunatic dog at once. I didn’t think so…

3. PAY ATTENTION: You aren’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. What do I mean? Well, on day two of the journey, we stopped at the Painted Canyons rest area. I took loads of gorgeous pictures and was so ecstatic about the view that while carrying my two-year old to the restroom I almost walked right into the ass of a buffalo. Literally. It was just sitting there in line like a gentleman. It doesn’t end there either, at rest stop two I let my son run around in the grassy area to burn some energy off and didn’t notice until pulling out of the stop that there was “Rattlesnake Warning” sign posted about every three feet. Mother of the Year?

4. Entertainment: If you’re like me, you’ll think you deserve a Purple Heart for downloading Despicable Me 2 onto your newly purchased iPad as a treat for your toddler. Well, after three days of hearing the squeak of Minions incessantly until your ears burn, you’ll have wished you downloaded every animated film ever created in hopes for some variety. We both know that won’t matter, though. He’ll still pick the Minions every. fucking. time.

Side note: Don’t be an imbecile and leave your iPad off airplane mode. Otherwise, your head will explode when you realize he has somehow managed to be watching YouTube videos of Yo Gabba Gabba on the network simultaneously draining your data usage and bank account.

5. Cheer Up! Yes, this is going to be more stressful than the delivery room. But, there are so many amazing experiences along the way. When your kids see mountains for the first time in their short, precious lives and yell, “Mama, this is AMAZING!” It will be worth every hour of smelling the cats’ latest hot shit piles. Your heart will smile and you will know it was all worth it.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/130552842@N04/17265266842″>Garage and Moving Van</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

EASY WEIGHT WATCHERS VEGGIE DIP One single serving of plain Greek Yogurt Season with a packet of ranch seasoning to taste  3 Points Plus! | mrsmommymack.com
Weight Watchers Easy Veggie Dip
One single serving of plain Greek Yogurt
Season with a packet of ranch seasoning to taste
 Only 3 points for the whole container and oodles of veggies!
(Stole this from a friend. Thanks, Ang!)