Yesterday T and me, we went shopping. I had not been in awhile and although the freezer selection of meat was fine, I had run low on lunch supplies. Side dishes. And I needed some more fish. And the Top Sirloin Roasts and Steaks, they were on for a great price. So I had to. But this is not about my shopping trip or the fact I overspent once more but got a ton of Air Miles, not this, this is about T.
On the way to the store, T found the old wipers I had taken off of the car and replaced last weekend. He was pretending that one was a gun. Our drive is approximately 5 minutes. During that time he killed I do not know how many bad guys, all the while with a running commentary so that I was kept safe.
No problemo. Get to the store and there is a small rule I have. This is where I work. Please do not run amok and act like a moron. In other words, for the 20 minutes it will take us to shop, please pretend that you are an alien who is inhabiting my child’s body; who watched Miss Manners while trying to learn our culture. Alas, it was not meant to be. There were bad guys everywhere.
I stopped to grab vitamins. Requested that T stay with the cart. Turn around and who is behind be? Sans cart? T! I roll my eyes and ask where the heck the cart is. Here mom, I moved it two rows over, it is safe here. The logic of a 9 year old boy.
My eyes got a great workout while we were shopping. I was rolling them. Hissing his name every 30 seconds it felt like as he whipped around corners. I get gargling my threats, as I silently shrieked watch out at him. He was immune to my silent glares. I apologized to so many customers that he almost sideswiped.
In T’s defense, he was using the cart as a shield and attacking the bad guys. He was keeping the shopping world safe.
Realized that I forgotten butter. Made him promise not to move from the bakery section. Came back to find him in the meat department visiting with the lobsters.
I explained to him that despite his apparent dislike for grocery shopping that the more he misbehaved the more times he was going to have to come with me. He stared at me like I had grown three heads and I could suddenly see the hamsters achurnin’. How much worse would he have to be before I would stop making him come? I quickly shut those hamsters up by explaining that until such time as he can act like a human being, he will be continuing to shop with me.
This goes against everything T has been taught. Behave badly and get what you want. Yell and scream, mom or dad will let me go out. Not now. Mom and dad are on the same page. No more bad behaviour. And it is my responsibility not to beat a dead issue, to ensure that when I release him into the world, that he knows how to behave as a member of society.
We got to the till and T takes off with the bags while I am unloading. I stand up and wth? Where did he go? My supervisor found him and I am again hissing at him. I must have sounded like a snake half the time. Get over here with the bags please. Sent him off to get me a flyer. Turn around and he is sitting down with two bags and the flyer.
My supervisor bagging is chortling to herself. She is newly married. I looked at her with a raised eyebrow and gave her my best advice ‘avoid children at all costs.’
We finally got out of there and home. T helped by carrying in the two lightest bags on his windshield wiper bow. Than he was off. I was texting with a friend and grumbling to him about the behaviour in the store when he stopped me dead in my tracks:
‘Jay he is a 9 year old boy being a 9 year old boy. Hopped up on sugar and grocery shopping with his mom. Of course he was obnoxious.’
And there you have it. Sudden shift of perception. He is not even a human being at the moment. He is a 9 year old boy who sees bad guys and guns everywhere. Trucks and cars and loud noises are his forte. Fart jokes and things like ‘why did the girl fall off the swing? ‘Cause she was dead!’ sends him into spasms of laughter.
No matter how often I cringe, the words balls, nuts, etc are now a part of the lexicon in my household. And not by choice.
Yes it is my job to make him that alien who can go shopping, but it is also my job to let him be this alien who is a rambunctious child filled with joy and innocence for as long as I am able.