Monday, September 27, 2010

What Would Supernanny Do?

“When we get in the store, you are not to run around like a maniac. Do you understand?” I asked Natalie.

“I won’t,” Tommy chimed in.

“I won’t,” Natalie repeated.

I parked the car in front of Once Upon a Child. I had a plastic bin of stuff to sell so I grabbed that and once again told Natalie to behave.

It’s harder to go out with Tom gone. When Tom is around, she’s on her best behavior because she hates upsetting her father. But with me? Well. She doesn’t take me quite as seriously.

I pulled open the front door.

“TOYS!” Natalie shouted and ran for them. Her vow to behave was gone in an instant and I watched in horror as she raced past customers and hopped on a rocking horse.

“Is Natalie being good?” Tommy wondered. Tommy, it should be noted, was standing beside me dutifully.

“No,” I said distractedly as I set the plastic bin on the counter.

“We’ll be done going through this in twenty minutes,” the store worker said.

We could wait for twenty minutes. I hurried over to Natalie and reminded her that we don’t run around a store.

“I’m not,” Natalie said and then scurried to the book section.

Was I not speaking English?

What part of DON’T RUN did she not comprehend?

Okay. Don’t panic. WWSD? (What would Supernanny do?)

She’d probably tell me to remove Natalie from the store. But…then I’d have to drive all the way back and gas wasn’t exactly cheap.

She’d say I was making excuses, that if I didn’t want Natalie behaving like this then I’d have to put a stop to it RIGHT AWAY and remove her from the store.

Well, I wasn’t leaving the store. But I would tell Natalie that her behavior was unacceptable.

“Natalie,” I said in my best Scary Mom and weirdly British-like-Supernanny voice. “What did I just say? We don’t run around a store, it’s rude.”

Natalie had the nerve to run to the clothes and I had the urge to use inappropriate language.

I was all set to march over to her when Tommy stuck something in front of my face.

“I found a Transformer. A big Optimus Prime. Can I get it?” Tommy asked. “I’m being good.”

“Fine, fine,” I said and went over and picked Natalie up. She did not like this and screamed into my ear and called me mean.

“If anyone is being mean, it’s you. You LIED to me and said you were going to be good,” I answered as she tugged on my hair.

Another mother frowned in my direction as her son, who looked to be around Natalie’s age, waited calmly beside her. I wanted to say, “Well I’m sorry, we can’t all have angels. Just you wait when he goes through a Goth stage and wants to wear long dark skirts to school. It happens. I went to high school with a guy like that.”

“PUT ME DOWN!” Natalie screeched. “PUT ME DOWN!”

“We’re done going through your stuff,” a store worker said. She could probably see that I was close to losing it.

Natalie managed to slide down my body and then planted herself in the middle of the store, arms crossed over her chest.

“I’m MAD!” Natalie informed me. “I’m MAD at you,” she added to make sure I was clear.

“Is Natalie being good?” Tommy asked again.

“Tommy! No! Can you not see her?” I snapped and then I felt bad. I mean, Tommy was the one being good.

I went up to the counter to get my money for the stuff I brought in.

“I’m MAD!” Natalie yelled.

“You just wait till I tell your father about this,” I threatened.

The worker tilted her head sympathetically. “Rough day? Well, at least you can pass her off to Daddy.”

A lump formed in my throat. “Daddy isn’t here.”

The worker looked horrified. She probably figured that he had left us or something and she might have even thought, “And who can blame the guy, that little girl has a set of lungs.”

“I mean,” I corrected, “he’s in Korea. Until next year. So I’m alone. And I’m sorry about my daughter. She’s....well, maybe I should have read more parenting books, and I did try but they bored me to tears so I decided to wing it which is probably a mistake seeing as she’s acted like a crazy person the entire time we’ve been here.”

Yup, I had a case of verbal diarrhea.

And now I think the store worker was debating calling security.

“Um, well,” the store worker stuttered. “Well.” She punched a few buttons on the cash register and practically threw my money at me. “Good luck.”

“Thanks.” I pocketed the money and then grabbed Natalie and threw her over my shoulder like she was a bag of sand.

“STILL MAD!” Natalie bellowed. “STILL VERY VERY MAD!”

It was a struggle to get her into the car. When I managed to get her strapped in I felt like I had just finished a long workout.

When we got home Tom was on Skype so I told him how she behaved. He lectured her, of course, but then she went, “I love my Daddy,” and he was all, “Awww, Daddy loves you too,” and I was left going, “The crap kind of lecture was that?”

Oh man. It’s going to be a long year, isn’t it?


  1. I always have verbal diarrhea in situations like that. It probably gave her something funny to tell people, right?

  2. oh mama i feel your pain. I sat in the airport with sophie screaming at me that I dont love her because I wont take her casts off. and she doesnt want to DIE so I better take her casts off. and where IS my toy! I want it NOW! and I want my casts OFF! I DONT NEED THEM! for hours. people came and sat nearby. then they left probably thinking I was not mother of the year as I spoke on my cell phone ignoring her nonsense completely, even turned her the other way and turned myself a bit so as not to be looking directly at her. Meanwhile Benjamin smiled and played with his frog and was generally just as good as could be, and HE has casts too. so yes I feel your pain. we may not be mother of the year but we deserve it more than any flibbity gibbet who hovers over her child saying "oh my darling, you mustn't cry! it will muss your lovely dress!"

  3. I can only offer sympathy. I'm sure years ago we went through a few episodes like that with kids. And I really don't know how we handled/responded to it.

  4. oh gosh, I tend to want to have verbal diarrhea in situations like that too. I don't know that I would have handed it any better either.. so I offer you my sympathy.

  5. Ugh, I feel ya. Most of the time my daughter's behavior is apalling at best. Good luck to ya... Maybe you could send her to live with Glen for the year?

  6. I think you should just leave her in the car and crack the window. I mean, what could possibly go wrong wtih that?

  7. I like the part about the goth wearing a skirt to school...haha! I went to school with a guy like that too! Sorry it was a bad trip to the store!

  8. It must be a daddy / daughter thing. My husband and I "plan" to discipline the same way, but no matter what I say, she only listens to him. Which of course, makes him coo with Daddy delight.

  9. Oh no! I hated days like that when I would have to throw Son over my shoulder to get him out. I'm sorry you had such a rough day out.

  10. I HATE how my kids act better for my husband. It drives me insane.

  11. I am so sorry.

    When I have a short trip like that I bribe my oldest with a Sonic to sit in the car and entertain them. Maybe you can borrow a neighbor's kid.

    Good luck!

  12. Ok so the guy wearing the goth skirt brought back high school, as I also went to school with several guys like that and it made me laugh. Sorry it was a tough trip to the store and i do hope it gets easier for you.

  13. ruh-roh!!
    but ya know.. i always think to myself.. super nanny SEEMS to have it ALL together.. but guess what.. she has NO kids of her own.. she might think and do things differently if so.. just saying!

  14. "Still very very mad" - I know she was driving you crazy but oh my gosh is she cute. haha.

    I'm sure the other mom was just thankful her kids weren't acting up that day - because you know they do.

  15. aaannnnnndddd reason #47 that I am NOT ready for children...In my mind, I would have hauled off and whacked my child in that situation...probably another reason I'm in no position to be parenting lol
    It sounds like you're a trooper and Daddy is wrapped around his little girl's finger lol =)

  16. There's some unwritten rule that says every time your child has a tantrum, someone else is around with a perfect little same-aged angel that makes yours look that much worse in comparison. Just happened to me yesterday. How annoying!

  17. Once again, you should probably stop worrying about what other people think. My motto is as long as there are no policeman, ambulances, or fire trucks called, it's not as bad as you think.

    Only like 311 days or something like that? Right?


  18. My daughter is going through a defiant stage too. Her behaviorist wants me to set up a reward chart. She gets a sticker a day if she's not defiant. After a period of time, she gets rewards (e.g. after a week of no stickerless days, etc.). You might want to try something like that with Natalie.

  19. I'm guessing this was even worse than it sounds. Wishing you a better today.

  20. Its not too early for Santa threats!

  21. I feel sorry for you. Tommy was good. And he DID get rewarded. Did Natalie get anything?

  22. Why do dads always get the easy way!?

  23. My daughter Sheila would throw herself on the ground, scream and kick, then continue to kick as she held her breath and turned blue. She was awesome in her fury. Natalie is a lightweight.

  24. Dads always have it easy..

  25. I am so sorry but I'm laughing so hard. It's my second child and I decided to wing it on the parenting. bwahahahaahahah! *breath* bwaahahahaa Honey, you are fine. Natalie sounds like a handful, but I'm with ya on them behaving better for dads.

  26. This weekend my husband was gone, and I thought over and over how hard it must be for parents of deployed spouses. I work in a military population so that is frequently on my mind. The patience it takes! You just do the best you can and then thank god you didn't kill the kids at the end of the day, right?

  27. Oh wow, I can imagine being quite similar to your little tire-biter at one point. Glad you made it out of the store okay.

    Btw, I gave you an award on my blog:

  28. Why do daughters DO THAT to you. I swear that could be an exchange with me and Boo Boo.

    Hugs and here's to better days!

  29. But with a fantastic sense of humor like that, you'll all make it.

    How wonderful you are at maintaining perspective and a light heart.

  30. What crap kind of lecture was that? It was pretty bad.

  31. I don't think I have ever gotten rid of my verbal's a chronic condition for me :o)

    Let's hope Natalie is just acting out during this transition time (which I hope is almost over). If I come across the secret to perfect parenting, I'll be sure to pass it along!

  32. oh no. G is gonna be "that kid" too.

  33. I totally sympathize. My kids act like that occasionally. I'm always mortified. Hope she is behaving today.

  34. Poor you, poor Natalie (missing her pushover dad) and poor Tommy, trying so hard to do the right thing and not getting the attention his misbehaving sister is getting. Bless all your hearts.

  35. I'm telling you that woman who you said was staring - she was thinking, "Man, I dealt with that just yesterday! Poor woman." Kids have their moments - they just do. And unfortunately for mine - it just depended on what frame of mind I was in when I had to deal with it. Some days I dealt with it far better than others.

    But yeah, Tom should have stepped up on the whole lecture thing.

  36. I have literally grabbed my kids and spoke to them in a gritted teeth scary voice....even have resorted to grabbing the back of the arm and then they yell...."stop pinching me"!!! Kids have a way of driving us to the edge but you gotta love em! They do grow up fast though...enjoy them while they are young!! I miss it.

  37. All I can say, is until we've been there,done that, we cannot judge where someone else is at.

    Although I raised 5 children as a divorced mom, I can not imagine the trials and challenges that show up on your doorstep.

    Find time for yourself.
    No, MAKE time for yourself if at all possible.
    Easier said than done I know....

    You are the one holding up the Castle.
    It needs a strong foundation.
    A 'cracked one' isn't as sturdy.

    Give yourself a pat on the back, better yet a hug!

    You have the most important job on Earth.
    Keep up the great work!

  38. We've all been there. Don't feel bad. My kids beat the crap out of each other in stores sometimes. So you're one up on me.

  39. I pretty much think you are a motherhood saint at this point. Seems like you kept it together pretty well, even if it didn't feel like it. We've all been there. Well, I have anyway. :-)


  40. Worst lecture ever.

    And that angel child poops in her shoes. She just doesn't know it yet.

  41. I'll bust my boys asses in a heartbeat, but the girl has me wrapped around her finger.

  42. Oh what a day!! So sorry. The worst part is getting the "stare" from others especially when they're other Moms who should understand and be more empathetic.

    My daughter was on the verge of a meltdown at Target and I couldn't figure out what in the world she was trying to tell (yell) at me...I was loudly asking her "what, what do you want...the belt?" What I meant was, the seatbelt on the cart...she wanted to do it herself. But...a couple of people stared, probably thinking I was threatening my child.

    I hope you got to relax and recover. Those days can be extremely taxing.

  43. I commend you for not going insane!

  44. Trust me she doesn't sound that bad. I could tell you some horror stories about shopping with my eldest son and he's turned out alright. There was the one time he crawled UNDER the supermarket shelves and refused to come out... and the other time he tipped the trolley on its side with his baby brother in it... and the time...

  45. So...I can relate to this. My husband was in the military and he was a flight engineer. He was always gone. Now, one thing you have over me is that you can contact Tom. We went 9 months once with only letters to keep me sane. I'm not sure talking to him is helping you though...somehow the 'Dad' always comes out on top and the 'Mom' that stays behind is always the bad guy. I can only tell you that 'This too shall pass!" Hang in there. This is an awfully long tour for both of you. I truly enjoy your is one of the highlights to my day. 8-)

  46. I do feel for you. But I did get a big grin out of the goth daydream part!

  47. I pictured this whole event in my mind like a movie and laughed out loud! I'm sure you didn't and still don't feel like laughing about it. I like your what would supernanny do mantra.

  48. Mail her to Daddy in Korea while she's still small enough to fit in the envelope. It's what Super Nanny would do if she had kids. ;D

  49. I think SuperNanny would pull out the gray duct tape...


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