I really wish I had a tape recorder with me at all times. I don’t think everyone believes that my kids say the things they do and that we have the dialogue that we do.
A few weeks ago I had to go to Target and since I was without any other option I took Sawyer and Greta with me. I gave them a long talk on the way there about how we were NOT going to buy any toys, I didn’t even want to hear a request to go down a toy aisle. And if they behaved I would buy them each a lollipop. They agreed and I could tell I was going to have to remind them of that treasure at the end of the rainbow frequently through my shopping trip. Target always gets me right when I walk in the door, their clothes are great for me because they are really cheap, cute, and I don’t care if my kids throw up on them since they were cheap to begin with.
As I grabbed an adorable sweater dress off the rack I had to think twice, do I really want to take these two into a dressing room? Should I waste valuable good behavior time on a dress instead of getting my list of items and heading out the door as quickly as humanly possible? The dress won. And so the bickering began. As I am deciding in the mirror between the gray and black dress and the black and white dress, it starts.
Greta: I am going to have a red lollipop.
Sawyer: No! I am going to have a red lollipop.
Greta: NO! Red is mine. You have green.
Me: How about both of you have red and stop fighting? Or neither of you will get anything.
Sawyer: (in a quieter voice) you will have greeeeen.
Greta: (voice getting louder with each syllable) I AM HAV-ING RED, SO SO.
Me: Enough. If I hear you say another color lollipop one more time that’s it.
We are now back in the cart and heading to the diaper section. The kids are surprisingly very well behaved, I think they knew I was serious. We walk down every single Halloween candy aisle in the entire store, no lollipops. Sure, I could get a ginormous bag of Blow Pops, but then that would mean gum in the middle and neither one is ready for gum. So I talk the kids into little baggies of M&Ms. They were easily persuaded and we are making our way to checkout.
Since Greta is in the cart she is holding onto the bag. This is very bothersome for Sawyer since holding the bag most definitely means that she will gobble all 3,792 M&Ms herself, and he will be left with nothing. So he reaches his hand out just to rest on the bag, it’s asserting his ownership that he is most surely entitled to a baggie in there. Greta slowly pushes his hand away and she whispers just loud enough that I can catch her saying,
Greta: Soso. You get none. They are all for me.
Sawyer: No! That’s not fair. I get to have one.
Me: Greta, they are not all yours. You are going to share them.
Sawyer: See, I told you! (placing his hand back on the bag of M&Ms)
Greta: (even quieter now) Don’t touch my bag.
Sawyer: (hysteria takes over) MAMA! She is going to eat them all! I won’t have any M&Ms. None.
Me: (ripping the bag from their hands and throwing it into the back of the cart, causing both children to now scream with fits due to fear that neither of them will get a lick of chocolate) That is enough. Don’t talk to each other, don’t even look at each other.
This works for most of the checkout line as they see I haven’t put the candy back on the shelf yet and they still have a glimmer of hope that they will get some chocolate. We make it through checkout and get to the car. After they are buckled I give them the choice of having their baggie of M&Ms now or saving some for after their lunch. Greta of course chooses to eat them now, all of them, with nothing left over for later, or even 5 minutes from now. Sawyer of course chooses to eat one of each color M&M and then save the rest for after lunch.
In the car, driving home it goes like this,
Sawyer: You ate ALL of yours and now you will have none for later.
Greta: No. You don’t talk to me!
Sawyer: It’s true, Mama said you can’t have any more after lunch.
Greta: No. Don’t say THAT!
Sawyer: (starting to cry) Yes, it is true and I CAN say that! You ate them all.
Greta: I will get more.
Sawyer: NO! That is not fair. MAMA!
Me: Greta, Sawyer is right. You chose to eat all your M&Ms and that was it, you get no more. But Sawyer, we don’t really need to remind her of that okay? Trust me, I promise she will not get any more M&Ms.
Greta: (looking at her brother) I will eat MORE M&Ms!
Me: Sawyer, don’t you see she is only trying to frustrate you and make you cry? And it works, that’s why she keeps saying things like that. Don’t listen to her, don’t worry about what she says.
Greta: (in a very calm, low voice) Soso, you have to listen to what I say.
Me: Greta, enough. No more. That’s really rude how you are acting.
Greta: I am rude?
Me: Yes, it’s called teasing, that’s mean.
Sawyer: Yeah, you’re mean.
Me: Now, what do you guys want for lunch? Sliced turkey? Chicken shumai? Mac ‘n Cheese?
Sawyer: Chicken shumai! Chicken shumai!
Me: Okay, Greta?
Greta: I want purple M&Ms.
And in case you are still reading this, the sweater dress in black and gray won out, and it was worth it.