The Choices Meltdown
Sometimes giving choices sucks. And now for my story:
We had a bit of shopping to do at the local Target. I had Alistair in the bjorn and Noble was riding in the cart. One of the items we needed to get was a pair of pajamas for Noble. He has been wearing a full body winter pajama suit (see picture – these pj’s are called the “snowmansies”). Living in Southern California, these winter pajamas have a very short life span of practicality. Unfortunately, 4 year old kids don’t give a damn about practicality. They just want what their little hearts want. So we needed to get another pair of pj’s more suitable to the climate. This shouldn’t have been difficult. New pajamas! He was excited about it; I was excited that he was excited; Alistair was dangling in the bjorn contently. This should have gone smoothly.
We got to the pajama rack at the local Target. They had 4 choices that seemed to work for Noble’s size: Spidermansies, Iron Mansies, Star Warsies, and a Carsies. Noble did his usual lengthy deliberation, but before it got annoying, he picked the Spidermansies. Well wouldn’t you know it, the Spidermansies actually didn’t fit. Here I thought Noble was a 4, and he’s actually a 6! Have you ever given your child something and then said, sorry you can’t have that anymore? Oh man, you should try it! It’s so much fun *sarcastic* watching their hearts snap in two from your cruelty.
In reassessing the rack, it appeared that because of size availability or because some of the pj parts were missing , only two types of Iron Mansies were viable options. I gave Noble his new choice: this Iron Mansie, or that Iron Mansie. He didn’t like the choice and kept picking the Spidermansies. At this point, in my head, I am calling myself an idiot for even presenting a choice in the first place. After a few minutes of indecision, I became agitated, and I could feel myself turning into the Robocop: “Pick one! You have 20 seconds to comply!”
The downhill slide of this found dad (me) grabbing one of the Iron Mansies, chucking it into the grocery cart, and Noble assuming a buddha meditation sitting position (which was so very not peaceful) in the middle of the store and causing a bit of a cry scene in the store. I ended that situation quickly by using “The Bulging Eye” maneuver.
A couple minutes goes by and we are all on good terms again. I try really hard to not stay mad in these situations. Once I get my point across, I try to bounce back to happy-go-fun-pants daddy. Noble tends to hold a grudge for about 2 minutes, but then if you have a metaphorical shiny object to dangle in front of him, then he becomes happy-go-fun-pants Noble.
And if I was ever wondering from which side of the family comes Noble’s ability to completely forget a behavior lesson, that was answered by what happened next. We entered the toothpaste aisle. I pulled Noble out of the cart, set him in front of the kid toothpaste section and said, “Which toothpaste do you want?”