It was a windy Monday afternoon and we had sought refuge at Target, our safe place. My iPhone note app displayed a list of 18 items, almost all of which were urgent. We hustled up and down the aisles grabbing hand soap and birthday cards, batteries and hairspray. He smiled at me and I smiled at him and everyone smiled at us.
Halfway through the trip he got hungry and I had to do that awkward thing where you grab a box of mum mums and immediately rip open the box to fish one out, desperately trying to convey with your eyes to the stranger standing next to you that you are going to pay for it. I made a dramatic show of placing the opened box in the shopping cart to relieve her curiosity.
The rice crackers bought me four minutes of time, which was not enough to locate the baby registry items I was searching for. Everett began whining and fussing and trying to escape the shopping cart safety belt to turn around backwards. I sighed and turned him back around, grabbed his hands firmly, looked him in the eyes, and said, "No, Ev. You cannot sit backwards in the shopping cart. That's not safe."
And then the screaming began. Shrieking, really. At first I thought only dogs could hear it but then I realized people were staring at me. We could all hear it. His little face turned bright red and he started flapping his arms and kicking his legs.
Oh, really? A tantrum? In the middle of Target?
I ignored it. Completely. I almost laughed but practiced self control. People were staring. I didn't care. Thirty seconds later, it was over. He realized I was not going to let him sit backwards in the shopping cart and gave up. The white flag had been raised; he surrendered.
We made our way to the checkout stand and the lady commented on his bright blue eyes and told me how handsome he was. He gave her one of his signature smiles. What a charmer, that kid.
I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have witnessed tantrums in the middle of Target. Babies, toddlers, 8 year-olds, you name it. I never thought I would be one of those moms.
And so I press onward and upward with my motherhood mantra: never say never.
When was your last "never say never" moment, motherhood or otherwise?