Saturday, November 24, 2012

Beauty Acting Like the Beast

Tonight I had one those motherhood moments that you never forget. Not a warm, gushy, I-Love-My-Kid-So-Much-I-Will-Cherish-This-Forever moment. Not the feeling that overtakes you when your child acts like the amazing offspring you are training them to be. Not even the mom moment that makes you upset but in a 'aw shucks' kind of way. Like 'Aw shucks, it is okay that you put beautiful flower stickers all over your kitchen chair to make it pretty. Let's scrape them off.' Nope.

No, tonight I had an I-Want-To-Hide-Under-A-Rock Moment. I had an I-Am-Seeing-Red and I wanted to run away. From the grocery store. And leave you there.

Now I am the mother of five. I have had my share of crying babies in the grocery store. I have even had a child strip naked after he ran away from me and my lumbering then-pregnant belly. I found him distracted in the cereal aisle over by the 'toy in the box' cereals. I even once left an entire cart full of groceries by the dismayed bag boy and apologized, while dragging my red faced, screaming toddler out of the building and holding the wailing baby he had just smashed in the head with a can of green beans. No stitches needed, just a huge goose egg. At any rate, I have been embarrassed before. But, tonight I could not leave the store. Nor could I leave my groceries. I needed them for tomorrow!

My very beautiful Princess Petunia is two and a half. She has been strong-willed and a Mighty Presence  ever since we walked in the front door with her. I have wondered if it is because she is the youngest and she felt from the beginning that she would be vying for attention. She is smart as a whip, energetic, and very loving. However, she has been and is a force to be reckoned with when she has her mind set on something. How one, tiny, little person can be so obstinate is beyond my comprehension. I am already beginning to look into different ways to start working on an obedient heart because it is going to be where we locks horns. (Perhaps the apple falls too close to this tree?)

The rumblings of a battle begin upon us entering the store. We live in a small town so this is a small town grocer. There are 12 aisles and the traditional produce section, meat section, dairy, and frozen foods U shape on the borders. I have a plan based upon my List. We have fellowship meal the last Sunday of the month at church and I am plum out of what I need. So my List is specific. I tell the two kidlets with me, Sir Bean and Princess Petunia, that we are on a Mission to find our goods and vacate the building. Sir Bean really likes a Mission, just like Spy Kids. Petunia is unimpressed and throws her mittens on the ground. 

After a discussion on the merits of leaving our mittens in our pockets we move on to find some red potatoes. She has agreed to walk next to the cart, until she sees the apples. And she is off! The theme song for the old show Speedracer starts on a loop in my head. 

Go Speedracer! Go Speedracer! Go Speedracer, Goooo!

No! Not the apples. We put all the apples back. One by One.

On to the coffee aisle. Not for fellowship, but a definite need in my world. Sir Bean is searching for hidden cameras while Petunia decides she is not entering the coffee aisle. She would like to go down the cereal aisle. (What is it with the cereal aisle?) She stomps her feet. She plants herself. I make like I am leaving to go without her. She is unfazed.  I move out of her line of sight but can still see her, arms crossed, pouty faced. All 21 pounds of her is ready to do anything to get what she wants. The Battle officially begins.

I pick her up and she begins to flail. Arms swinging and legs kicking. She almost swings right into a nice man who starts laughing and asks nicely "Bad day, huh?" I apologize and with a yes flung over my shoulder I scamper down to the cart and my Super Spy, Sir Bean. He takes one look at Petunia and with his six year old enthusiasm says "MOM! How about the Dunkin' Donuts coffee!?" He is anxious to get us out. I attempt to wrestle my naughty left hooking daughter into her cart seat whilst she screams at the top of her very loud lungs. (Seriously, do grocery stores have crazy good acoustics on purpose?) I have to physically bend her knee to place her in the cart and then buckle her. She then, still screaming mind you, turns herself sideways in the seat and kicks her legs at me over the push handle.

Who is this child? Did I somehow give my very lifeblood for this child that is manhandling me over the push handle and won't listen to me. Oh how angry I became. I saw red. Really. Hot faced, shamefully warm, sweaty anger. I restrained and tried to pray but over the screaming I could only half smile at the dairy case manager and mumble another 'I'm sorry.' as I searched for the whipping cream.

Sir Bean and I managed to get through the List with his amazing Super Spy glasses. I only had to fend off 20 different people coming by to just peek down the aisle at the screaming, sobbing baby and frazzled mother. 
Yes, she is tired! Yep, she is hungry! No, she doesn't need a snack. >:/
Yes, She is a bit high strung. Oh me? Yes, I am a bit high strung. 
Yes, the secret invisible Spy Kid is mine. Umm, No, he is just hiding behind your cart. No,he doesn't want your Milky Ways, he just wants to see if they might make their way to the List

They even opened up a whole new checkout lane for us! Wow, talk about service. ;o)

When I got home it occurred to me after a visit with my sister that I was more infuriated with my inability to control her then I was with her. 
            I mean, she embarrassed me!
                       She didn't listen to me!
                                  She was rude and hateful!
                                       She made me look like I wasn't doing my job well!
                                                                           My beauty was acting like a beast!
                                                                           But was I acting like a beast?
                                   Was I demanding too much from her?
                   Was I letting what others thought get to me?
            Was I more focused on getting my
           job done then giving grace and a hug to my little one?
Was my pride in my mom abilities on the chopping
block just because my kid had a temper tantrum?

Yes, she was wrong. But she was hungry. And tired. And acting like a two year old.
I was so caught up in what she was doing to me I missed an opportunity to show her some grace and love. I am ashamed. Sinful Pride comes in so many forms.

We came home and made a pie and some Crockpot Potatoes for the fellowship meal. She doesn't hate me anymore. :} I love her more. And props to Sir Bean, because he acted appropriately. I must be doing something right.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9

Always Blessed, 


  1. Oh girl I can totally relate. I too have a strong-willed little gal who I honestly can see doing the exact same things your daughter did. You are doing a great job! Just remember how well your Sir Bean acted. Give yourself a break though. We all have those moments when embarrassment gives way to anger. When we should love on our kids but all we want to do is punt them.

    Thanks for this post. It made me laugh and reminded me to be realistic in my expectations of my learning kids. They are a work in progress! Like me!

    Blessings to you,
    Keri @ Growing in His

    1. Keri~ I have been blessed by your writings over at Growing In His Glory! It is good to hear that other moms have been fighting those same battles!
      And yes we are work in progress aren't we? :)Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Dear Gretchen,
    I can also relate, too. We started retiring to the car and administering a spanking and short discussion with appropriate Bible verse. It worked because we were so darned consistent, but we HAD to win! "Pay now or pay later", I always say! Thank you, dear mama, for sharing this story at Deep Roots At Home!! Blessings to you :)

    1. You are so welcome, Jacqueline! Thank you for hosting. I have been following you for some time and actually just posted a comment for the first time yesterday! Thank you for the encouragement. We have also, on occasion, used a spanking. It isn't popular but it is correct for discipline when tempered with love.

      Blessings, Gretch :)


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