Black Friday = shopping and with kids, shopping = tantrums. You know, that litany of loud sobbing protests lodged in frustration during a shopping spree. (Okay, that sound is me when my wife makes me wait outside the ladies dressing room holding her purse while she tries on every stitch of clothing in her size just to decide “nothing fits.” Go ahead and scoff, but I know I’m not the only guy that ever happens to.) Last weekend I was only one of several handbag-holding husbands hanging by the dressing room. It’s a great bonding opportunity, really. We took a vote and agreed among ourselves to the principle of equal pay–back. I spent the remainder of the evening with wife in tow looking at lawn tractors and power tools.
Where was I? Kids and shopping and tantrums, oh my. I saw one again just last night, in fact. A pair of poor, hapless parents wheeled the shopping cart just a tad too close to the toy department. “I WANT IT!” “I WA-A-A-A-NT IT!” “WUH-WUH-WA-A-A-ANT IT!” That was the child – not the father. Call that behavior what you will: a temper tantrum, having a meltdown, throwing a fit, pitching a fit. Any way you slice it, we’ve all been through it with our kids and it sure can it get embarrassing! I think the difference between pitching a fit and merely throwing a fit is the velocity at which the episode escalates. And my, oh my, could my boy pitch!
I had not believed in Santa Claus for a good number of years, but here dear friends, is why I did come to believe in the Baby Sitter (especially during this season of the year)…
‘Twas the season of Christmas, we went to the store
My wife and I shopping, with Gus only four;
The shelves were all stocked by the merchant with care,
In hopes that “cha-ching!” would soon fill the air;
Parents all hustled along every aisle,
While gifts in their carts had become quite a pile;
And mamma in her blazer, and I with her purse,
Had both just decided clothes-shopping’s a curse,
When down the next aisle there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away from the dressing room I flew like a flash,
My wife found no clothing, and I saved some cash.
The lights overhead so strongly did glow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear?
But the little truck Gus had asked for all year,
But my little Gus, so lively and quick,
When told ”not today,” he went into his schtick.
Like nails on a chalkboard his protests they came,
And he pouted, and shouted. Did he call me a name?
“I want it! I want it! I want it today!
Oh, come on I want it!” then Gus ran away!
To the end of the aisle, to near the front door,
And dramatically threw himself down to the floor.
As we tried to explain that Santa might bring it,
That’s IF HE BEHAVED – yep, we had to wing it.
He’d not listen to reason, nor logic, nor threat,
So how much worse could this little scene get?
Well then, in a panic, as he grasped at the toy,
He blared louder and louder that, “I’M NOT YOUR BOY!”
As I took his hand, and was turning around,
Store security appeared in my face with a bound.
He was dressed all in blue, except for his socks,
Which were white as my wife’s face from being in shock.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old slob,
And his nametag I think, read “My name is Bob”;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He asked Gus to behave in a Grandfatherly tone,
It seems that ol’ Bob had had kids of his own,
With an agreeable nod, from the floor Gus arose;
His mother then wiped all the tears and his nose.
As we sprang to our car, Bob let out a giggle,
Seems he liked seeing kids make their parents wriggle.
But I heard him exclaim, as we drove out of sight,
“Find a sitter to call, and you’ll be alright.”
And that, my friends is why I believe in the baby sitter. Happy shopping this holiday season!