My favourite cousin came to Toronto today. And because I’m a glutton for punishment I volunteered to go to Ikea with her and her 2 children, aged 3.75 yrs and 4 months.
Ikea on any day is a hot mess. To go on a Saturday with one strong-willed child is a recipe for disaster.
We were doing well until we got into the store. LOL The almost 4 decided to try to test the almost … well way more that 4 yr old me. 😉
When we got to the store Lil Miss was happy to sit in the cart with the Ikea catalogue. Once we got to the kitchen stuff area someone wanted to get out. On a good day this little girl is a handful. She already had 2 instances where she needed a strong talking to. I was not looking to get into a war with this small child. Her mother said not to let her out as she would touch everything. So I told her no.
Well that seemed to be the word that started the meltdown.
At first she was determined to touch the cooking utensils we were in front of. Even promising me that she wouldn’t touch. Then trying to pick one up less than a minute later as if I wouldn’t catch her.
Unfortunately for her I was on my mean lady game and shut her down every time she tried to touch. In the beginning it was a game but after a while she was not happy with me.
At this point my cousin was ready to pack it up and go. I told her since we are here to make sure she get everything that she wants as Ikea is not a close store for her to visit.
She went to pick up some plastic dishes for children while I stayed with Lil Miss who was getting increasingly louder. We actually stood in cart pick up area and this little girl was still trying to reach for anything that wasn’t in the cart. Three times she almost fell out of the cart as she was just that determined.
Once we got everything and then some off the list, we were ready to go. I put her in the child seat part of the cart and she took this as a new opportunity for a bigger fight and kept trying to stand up even though I put the seat belt on her. I think that she may have some bruising on her right knee as I was holding on to it to prevent her from standing up.
On the way to the checkout I got a taste of what it’s like to be the parent of a melting down child. The looks I got from the other shoppers was horrible. I am not sure what was worst, the pity or the “can’t you shut that kid up lady” looks.
At the cashier Lil Miss requested to go to the car. Since my cousin could not manage her 4 months old and all the purchases by herself, I told Lil Miss she would have to wait.
We went to the self check out and I asked Lil Miss if she wanted to scan the items. It was like a switch went off. All weeping and wailing stopped. It was odd how quickly she could turn it off.
After that she was perfectly agreeable. She even got back into the child seat in the cart without a sound or an attempt to escape.
When we got to the car, my cousin remarked that she was exhausted even though I was the one fighting with the child.
It was a battle of wills which I am happy to say I won. 🙂
When they dropped me off Lil Miss seemed to be at peace with me. She said good-bye to me like we had not just battled it out.
I feel for my cousin as I can completely see how exhausting it is to parent her daughter. Although truth be told she brings it on herself as after a long enough fight she will give in to the wants of this child. Lil Miss is a smart girl. She knows eventually she will get what she wants so she keeps going. I hope they can find a way to get through to Lil Miss before this becomes a bigger issue.
Parenting truly is the hardest job in the world, especially when it’s done “right”.