Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tears in Target

Oh goodness, when will I learn to never go to the store with more than two of my children. I prefer 1. Or zero. Zero is good. I don't want to sound like a wimp. It seems that at one point I was able to manage three and sometimes even four children by myself in the store. It seems I have completely lost that ability.

We were in the candy aisle, which I usually avoid because 1. I am trying not to eat candy and 2. I don't want the kids asking for every single item they see. I grabbed some m & ms for a treat for the boys and Mark tells me "Mom, I found a big chocolate and it looked so good that I ate it." So I said "Ohhhhh, where did you find it," and he led me to the bulk candy section. Crap. I didn't even think to explain to him that those weren't there to just eat. I mean, I thought he would know. I calmly told him that we shouldn't eat those, and you are supposed to put it in bags to buy, and they aren't free. I was careful to be extra nice and not make him think I was mad or that I thought he was bad. About this time two things happened. Simultaneously Zack started running away from us and Mark got the saddest look in the whole wide world on his face. And a tear running down his cheek. I didn't know whether to talk to Mark or chase Zack down, so I tried to do both. I picked Mark up and tried to get him to tell me why he was so sad while walking as fast as I could pushing the shopping cart and hefting a 40 pound boy around. As usually happens when I attempt to multitask, I failed miserably. I put a still teary Mark down and held his hand and said "we'll talk in a minute, we have to chase Zack down real quick." He said okay and we followed the turn I saw Zack take. He was long gone. I couldn't find him anywhere. It was my turn to get teary. I called his name and alternated being scared, upset and really irritated at him for running away. Finally I heard his little voice over near the pharmacy, and then I called his name again. The pharmacist said "I have him" and I was able to calmy walk over and get the him. Sigh.

I put the runner in the cart and knelt down to talk to my still very sad Mark. I asked him why he cried, explained I wasn't mad and asked him "where you sad because you thought you did something bad?" He said yes. It broke my heart. I told him that he didn't know it was wrong before, but now he does. I reminded him that I wasn't upset with him. I reiterated that it was something he shouldn't do again, but that he wasn't in trouble. We shared a sweet moment and hugged and he kissed my cheek, and I told him he was a good boy and he told me I was a good mommy. The tears were all dried up, and we continued to shop.

I am actually glad that he was sad when he realized that he shouldn't have eaten the candy. It tells me he is learning right from wrong and it made his little heart sad to think that he had done something wrong. It was a big deal to him, and one more lesson he has learned. I guess sometimes the important lessons provoke tears for me too.


Kathy said...

You are dong a superb job. Caring is the key.

Sue said...

Those moments are so heartbreaking and yet so defining. How very sweet. And as for Zach... I have a running partner for him.

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