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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

5 Places NOT to Take a Toddler

I like to think of myself as a very active mom. Some of my favorite mom-friends love to have long, quiet days with their children…but I am the total opposite. An entire day stuck at home with my two young kids means one of us is puking or feverish or having potty issues (and by potty issues I mean, learning to use it appropriately and not as a hat).

I applaud any mom who can willingly spend 12 hours in the same four walls with her offspring. I'm honestly just too lazy to entertain them alone all day. When I’m forced to do that I get cabin fever and then I break out in hives.

Are any of you out there like me? Each day we have something going on—a playdate at a friend’s house, a tricycle ride around the park, a music class at the rec center, a playground trip, you name it. These are all delightful outings that the three of us very much enjoy. Now let me tell you about the five places you should avoid taking your toddler AT ALL COSTS.

1. The Pediatrician
Obviously, this one is a no-brainer. No one wants to go here voluntarily and 9 times out of 10 you’re there because you have to be. But once or twice a year I have to stop by to pick up a prescription refill or drop off an immunization form…and each time I forget that something ALWAYS goes wrong there. For example, three months ago my older child recognized the parking lot and started having a PTSD flashback of her flu shot with lots of whining and begging…and I was like, dude, chillax, we just need vitamins.

Or there was last week when my son tripped over his own sneaker and slammed his head into the coffee table in the waiting room. He did that silent fish-mouth cry for a count of 5 and then – WOW – the wailing started. All three receptionists’ heads popped out from behind the glass and two nurses came full-speed running from the back. They wanted to do a full examination and give him ice packs and I just Maude-faced them and said in a matter-of-fact voice, “He seriously smacks his head all the time. No big deal. Since you’re here can you guys fill out my form now?” Yeah, that sorta made me look like a huge dick, especially as the golf ball-sized welt was rising from this head. I’m awesome!

2. The Barber Shop
Maybe this outing isn’t a big deal for some kids…but my little guy H-A-T-E-S getting his hair cut. There is sobbing. There is thrashing. There is usually a long stream of baby/toddler curse words uttered from his mouth. I would do it myself at home but I have really low spatial intelligence and I’m pretty sure it would look worse than Lloyd Christmas. There just doesn’t seem to be anything that helps. Last time we gave him a lollipop to suck in order to reduce the crying and the cut hair got on the lolli (*gag*) and he kept sucking it and I had to dry heave into a smock.

3. Shoe Shopping
Holy crap, y’all. Have you EVER made it out of the shoe store without a tantrum?? What is it about that store? Is it the intimidating shelves of boxes or the forced fashion show? There is a children’s shoe outlet a few towns away and I swear every time I go there either one of my kids or someone else’s child is having a schmidt-fit. In fact, it’s so predictable that I now only go twice/year to minimize the trauma.

After stalling for a month, yesterday I finally took my kids for new spring sneakers and summer sandals and they were OK…but this poor woman had a 2 year-old girl who was screaming so hard and so loud that the girl almost passed out. And then the woman’s stroller fell over and the tower of shoe boxes on top went flying and it was just all so awful. And then I noticed the mom was very pregnant and trying to restrain her daughter and they were both crying. Siiiiiiigh.

So I picked up all her stuff and wheeled everything to the front of the store and she started telling me how embarrassed she was…and I just said, “Sweetie, it’s not you. It’s the shoe store. It makes children evil.” Then my son smacked some other kid in the eye with a foot measuring device and we had to leave with no shoes. EVIL.

4. The Library
I actually really love taking my kids to the library. It’s spacious and educational…warm on a cold day and cool on a hot day…really, it’s a SAHM’s heaven. *Unless* you are the only person there with two noisy kids under age 4. Typically the antics of my kids just blend in with the din of other visiting families. But sometimes we get there and it is pin quiet…a sound I’m no longer accustomed to. In fact, for the first 5 seconds I think I’ve gone deaf.

Then the dread sets in. When we’re the only visiting family then our clamor reverberates through the whole building. Last week my daughter got yelled at for running through the stacks while my son was simultaneously de-shelving every single DVD in the children’s section, wildly searching for Bob the Builder. Good times, good times. You can go suck it, library.

5. A Restaurant
When we had kids my husband and I stopped going out to dinner for about four years. For a long time it just didn’t seem worth it to go out and overpay for a meal while managing a fussy baby and getting mean glances from patrons who don’t like me breastfeeding in public. A few weeks ago he suggested we try going to our local place for a good, old-fashioned family pizza night! I was feeling bold so I thought, what the hell? Let’s try it!

Big. Mistake.

Where do I begin? My two year-old didn’t want to sit in a high chair so he ended up standing on me in the booth. Five minutes into the meal my daughter spilled chocolate milk on my husband’s pants so it looked like he just had a diarrhea accident. My son has food allergies and couldn’t eat anything on the menu and so he alternated between howling, pouting, and throwing the back-up homemade food I brought for him on the floor. And then my daughter was gesturing and telling a story in an animated way and accidentally punched a waiter in the nuts as he was passing by with a tray of drinks.

Check please!

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

100 comments:

  1. Gotta say I loved this bit " accidentally punched a waiter in the nuts as he was passing by with a tray of drinks."

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    1. This made me snort up my coffee. It reminds me of an unfortunate incident in high school. My sophomore year high school teacher (who was HOT, by the way) was walking up the aisle, just as I reached back with the stack of papers to pass to the person sitting behind me. Yup, definitely whacked him in the nuts. I think he gave me an A just so he didn't have to talk to me/look me in the eye for the rest of the year.

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    2. I admit, I snorted at that one. :-p

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    3. I laughed out loud at that one. Hopefully I muffled it enough so my co-worker doesn't look over and realize I'm not working. Hilarious!

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  2. Before I had kids I used to love getting those little cards from the mailman saying I needed to collect a package from the post office. Now they fill me with dread. There is never any easy parking so I have to bring the kids with me. That means a chatty, touchy, opinionated five year old, a sulky, touchy two year old and a new baby in her clunky car carrier thingo.

    Our post office doubles as a pharmacy and gift shop, and they helpfully have all the kids toys and gifts about two feet off the ground. Right next to their chocolate displays and brightly coloured drugs that look like lollies.

    Naturally the more children you have with you on any given day, the bigger the package you have to collect (husband has been buying bike parts online again). This makes carrying the baby and the package at the same time a physical impossibility.

    And the worst part is that usually 90% of the volume is packaging anyway, so by the time you get home, you have three kids and a car covered in polystyrene balls.

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    1. The post office and the bank turn my daughter into a demon. I don't know why. One time she actually broke a key in the door of a po box. And there is nothing else for everybody to do so they all just stare! I have resorted to sending almost everything priority mail so they will pickup from my house. But I have to go there today to get the special UK stamps, sigh...wish me luck.

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    2. And our post office does. not. have. a . public. bathroom. Seriously, my 3-yr old has a public bathroom fetish, but she also pees constantly so if I call her bluff there is pee EVERYWHERE. The closest bathroom is either a pawn shop (hell, no) or the Arby's across a busy street. Yea! Joy! Kill me now, please.

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  3. Hi,

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    Thanks and have a great day!

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  4. Also, the bookstore. My local Barnes and Noble has a great area for kids with a big box of Lego's, a Thomas the Train table, kid sized tables and chairs for silent reading....it's really quite lovely. Until you have to leave and your kids start to howl like direwolves.

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  5. I am SO with you on the gagging at the barber. Try being the hairstylist who has to control that gag reflex while cutting some poor lolli- licking-hair-sticking crying child's hair while simultaniously trying desperately to not nick said child's tiny ear due to the thrashing.
    Too bad we weren't allowed to drink between clients.
    I'm not a hairstylist anymore, for the last 24 yrs, I've been a childcare worker. On purpose!lol. But even that didn't stop me from nicking my great nephew's ear while he was thrashing in his nana's kitchen while trying to trim his hair. His parents now make a joke/threat out of it. He's 6 . It happened when he was 2. If he acts out, sometimes the response is "Do you want Aunt Kathy to cut your hair?" He looks at me, mocks a shocked scared look, grabs his ear and yells "NOOOOOOOO". thanks family. love you too.

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    1. I am a hairstylist (10 yrs!) and I had the same thought. I beg my clients to use the lollis as bribes instead of pacifiers, otherwise that is exactly what happens. Now I work in a salon next door to a bakery. Wow, that is all it takes to get them to sit still! "want to go pick out a cupcake? Don't move. Don't look around, do NOT lick the cape." :D

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  6. LMAO...I am so glad to be past the toddler stage. Granted we are in a whole new set of issues but I don't miss those issues....

    That said, our library did the smartest thing ever when they expanded. The children's section (with small play area) is on the south end of the building. The adult section is on the north end of the building. In between is the TEEN section (because they are oblivious to life outside their IPODs) and the check out desk. So brilliant I am amazed it is not a standard library format. Yay CPLD!

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  7. diarrhea accident, ha.

    I don't even go to a shoestore. We grab whatever looks like it might possibly fit from Target or something and hope for the best. My youngest actually LOVES shoes so his shoe store fit would probably be that we weren't getting them a.l.l.

    Little kid haircuts? Yeah, we've had our share of hair covered suckers. I don't understnad why every hair place offers suckers to kids. How bout a candy that STAYS IN the mouth!?!

    ps-sorry for typos and crap. toddler has ripped off 5 keys from my keyboard and i have to guess at some letters.

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  8. I've always kind of thought the foot measurer thingie resembled the worst.speculum.ever.

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    1. Oh my gosh, that's funny! Thanks for the visual. :)

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  9. I can't tell if I wrote this, or if you're watching me. Either way thanks for the laugh.
    The barber shop has become a daddy, grandpa and son outing and now he loves it (I think they might let him look at the nudie mags and I dont care because he comes home with short hair) of course I got to go for all the meltdown haircuts (awesome). I bet that little girl in the shoe store saw a shiny light up pair that cost twice as much as nikes and will fall apart after one wear and she wanted them so bad she couldn't take it and then cried til she puked (that's a true story).

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  10. Okay yes, what is it about the shoe store? I thought it was just my toddler. He inevitably wants some random pair of shoes that don't fit or are ugly or something and I end up having to carry him out while he's screaming. I now order all his shoes online.

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  11. While my older 2 (ages 3 and 6) LOVE getting their hair cut, I have to freely admit that thus far I have avoided taking my 2 1/2 year old BOY to the barber. He has never in his life had a hair cut :) The one time we went he sobbed uncontrollably on the floor in that toddler dead weight thing that only kids can do. So far his hair is past his shoulder blades and I don't even care. We'll get it cut by kindergarten. We have to make too many trips to the pediatrician to add hair cutting drama to the mix.

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  12. Add one more...the bank! Even for a "quick-just-fill-out-these-forms" visit. My 2 1/2 year old, who has decided time outs are funny and that listening is highly overrated, would not stay confined to our meeting cubicle and tried to crawl under the furniture past me to roam around the bank. The 44th time I physically restrained him, he protested and thrashed and smahed his forehead into the chair leg and then of course, screamed. It was a total nightmare and I was into the Malibu and coke nefore my husband got gome from work at 6 that night.

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    1. Oh my gosh, I totally laughed out loud, because I've been there too! I just hope my burst of laughter DIDN'T wake up my two (finally) napping toddler boys!

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  13. Oh even yesser - how about the dentist? I said the word Pinterest the other day in conversation and my 2 and 4 year olds started screaming and crying and pleading for their lives; it finally dawned on me that they THOUGHT I'd said Dentist....our current dentist is in a neighboring city, and so any time we even think about driving that direction the teary/snotty hysteria begins...and heaven forbid we actually have to go to the dentist and they actually have to have their tiny teeth cleaned. Last time I asked my 4 year old - "what did the dentist say?" - "Stop biting me" was the reply...sheesh....

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  14. The dollar store. Something in the air there makes my kids act like ferrule cats on crack. Motherjumper it's bad! They start out sweet "mama can we pick a toy " sure honey just one each. Then starts the endless questions "how bout this? Or this? Huh huh how bout this one?!" Um no sweetie that's glass. "Ooohh. Ok how bout this? " That's a scrubrush you don't want that. "Ughhh yes I dooooo " um ok if you want it. "No wait. I choose this." You got one of those last week and it broke right away. ""Noooo I loved it " (getting louder and there's hopping and flapping involved) que the little ones to start grabbing every glass candle and chachki they can. Add squeeling and running in circles and it usually gets interesting from there til the old lady behind the counter gets that "all those kids need is a.." look. Yup time to go!

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  15. OMG! thank you so much for a much needed chuckle! there are so many gems in this post! add to the list "the bulk barn". not sure if you have these in the states. it's a chain where you can buy all sorts of food items in bulk...great for baking ingredients etc. well there's also rows of chocolate, gummies, jube jubes etc. i really needed to grab a few items but had my daughter with me. i thought "no problem. we'll just have a nice chat before going in about staying with mommy and not eating anything and just getting one treat!" HA! yeah right! tantrum ensued in about 5 seconds and multiple items were sampled as i tried my best to get through the store as fast as possible. retreat! retreat! imagine the looks of horror on others shoppers faces as a snotty-nosed three year old kept sneaking her hands into the boxes!

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  16. So true, so true. And for us, the worst part of the library is the Story Time, where all the cute, well-behaved kids sit in a circle...and all my baby boy wants to do is try and take the books away from the kid sitting next to us...followed by howling and a quick exit out the back door. Super fun.

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    1. Yes! My mother keeps asking me why we don't go to storytime in her town. Um, because it's Stepford's Child Story Hour? I actually double checked that it was indeed toddler story time for ages 18months-3 years.

      My daughter is actually quite nice and we take her in public willingly and successfully, but she does not want to sit in a circle and listen to finger plays for 45 minutes. All the other children are sitting with their hands in their laps and she's running to the back to line the chairs up.

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  17. Honestly, I'm not one to laugh out loud, but every time I read your posts I do. Thank you for having that sense of humor that I truly appreciate.
    I'm so glad I'm not the only one that has become desensitized by the accidents. I just roll my eyes when my sister insists on standing behind him (he's 4), arms ready, as he's climbing up the barstool to get into the cookie jar. She refuses to accept that the breach of personal space is what sends him into orbit. Although I did feel somewhat bad the other day when I was the last to react to him letting go of the swing in mid-flight. (He's a sensory-seeker, big time, and the bigger the rush - the louder the squeal.) In our defense, we, mothers of the adrenaline junkie, have to somewhat desensitize ourselves to it or we'd all be twitching and blowing raspberries in the corner.

    Haircuts? What a nightmare! Even though my mother is a hairdresser, it wasn't until this year and with the help of his AMAZING ESE teacher that he got a haircut without shredding the rest of us. Now my mother goes to his class about once a month and gives haircuts to the boys (no girls in his class this year) for free.

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  18. Anon @ 5:56 - the lollipops are the best bribery ever for good behavior at the bank. I told my boys that banks will only give out the lollipops to the boys with best behaviors - and THANK MAUDE the teller played along. My two (3 and 5 at the time - and to this day!) sit quietly in the chairs waiting to win the lollipops. :D I don't know what I'd do without that teller!

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    1. Last time I was in the bank, trying to get some forms signed (yeah, right!), the teller whispered that she had the suckers. My two boys (2 & 3) wanted one, so I told them they had to be still and listent to me, or she wouldn't give them one. *SIGH* Yep. I got to be Mean Mommy, but I had to make a point! No listening, no suckers! And the teller (had to be a mom) agreed with me!

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  19. Thanks for this! We had an excruciating trip to get a haircut this weekend. Maybe it was better than last time because there was more crying and less screaming? We just let my daughter's hair grow until she begins to look like a wild hill child....and then a few months later finally get it cut.
    I don't even consider going into the shoe store anymore. After 2 consecutive tantrum filled trips, I just print out a foot measuring thing and order from zappos.

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  20. This is awesome. I'm so thankful that I'm past those stages, but still compassionate enough to remember them. My heart goes out to those still in the midst of the tantrums and inconsolable illogical arguments. Wait, I still get the argument thing, my daughter is 13! :p

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  21. My grandmother still loves to tell the story about the time I (a "perfect" child) threw a mega-tantrum in the shoe section of a department store. Because I didn't want to leave. Go figure. They bring out the evil fashionista in us all.

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  22. Oh dear. "Stop biting me" cracked me up!

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  23. Agree with all of them but what about the grocery store?!? Bane of my existence! I have 3 year old twins and a six month old, and recently announced that I would no longer take them food shopping. Head a series of terrible, tantrum filled trips (all of which centered around those giant plastic cars attached to to front of the cart...you know, the ones that are supposed to be fun?) culminating in a check out line incident in which my twins were singing together and everyone in a 20 foot radius was smiling and commenting on how adorable they are. Life was good, Mommy was thinking about how blessed she is, when my daughter suddenly decided that her brother was singing wrong and decided that attempting to rip his ear off would be the best solution. Talk about mortifying! I am now too embarrassed to go back to that store, and we get groceries delivered through Peapod.

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    1. Hate those car carts. Hate them, hate them, hate them!

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  24. Hey, as a Children's Librarian, I had to wonder if the library would be on this list, and there it was! Seriously, wailing kids don't bug me, and I never shh anyone unless they are swearing in my room ... kids are noisy lil buggers. And I also have a door to block noise. Worse for ME than noise is smelling that your kid needs a fresh butt than noise. Air pollution, ppl.

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    1. The parents who bring little kids in strollers and then spend all afternoon on the computers playing on facebook while the kid shrieks drive me nuts though... the little kid excited about books who's a little shrieky... cute, unless it's mine... sigh

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    2. I am a children's librarian and don't even mind kids chatting during story time. It's the roaming up to the front and standing in front of the book blocking the view for the other kids, or trying to grab the flannel pieces that bothers me. Roam all you want in the back of the room, but roaming in the front ruins it for everyone else.

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  25. Ladies, ladies!! Don't you insist that your children sit quietly at the dinner table, or in your lap for reading? I'm talking about at home. You can't expect them to just know how to act properly without that training starting in your home, from day one. Is it easy? Heck no! Is it worth the effort and perseverance? Yes, yes, YES it is worth it! I have seen the fruit of it many times over in my girls who are now 20, 18 and 16. You have to live like you're on the Survivor show--you have to outwit, outplay and outlast your kids! In the end, you're the winner...maybe I should say your kids are the winners. They'll thank you for it later. :)

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    1. Seriously? What makes you think we don't work hard on getting our little buggers to learn to sit quietly or act appropriately? You may be too far removed from the toddler years to remember this but kids have bad days and misbehave at the worst times IN PUBLIC, no matter what we "train" them to do at home .... if you can't laugh about it now and again with other moms who can commiserate you will go nuts!

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  26. I am with you, having to stay home all day with my 2 & 3 year old is enough to make me crazy! today is one of those days, we had a playdate arrange but it was cancelled due to their sickness, no we are stuck inside on a cold rainy day! aaaaahhh!!

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  27. I find I'm the opposite - I'm honestly to lazy to take my kids to all those places. Far easier to stay home. And that doesn't mean I entertain them all day. A two year old is perfectly capable of entertaining himself. But I also have a small house, so I can easily be in the kitchen or living room, and hear what's going on in the kids' bedrooms or any where else.
    I agree with the library - I hate taking my kids to the library. The whole trying to keep them quiet and not pulling every single book off the shelf. And taking library books home - I have to find how many books to take back in 3 weeks? Do you know how many places there are to lose a book? And grocery stores should be on the list too. One kid at the store is okay. Two is awful. All four is torture.

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    1. Get a basket for "borrowed" things, whether they're library books or friends' DVDs or toys, and then make the rule that your kids can only have one thing out of the basket at a time. Saves hunting for books when they're due. Limiting how many books each kid can choose and going to the library more often if necessary works too.

      -- and yes, I'm a children's librarian.

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    2. My third child is 4 1/2 months and I have yet to take all 3 of them to the grocery store alone. I'm too scared! And on top of that, with 3 kids 4 and under, I don't even know where I'll put all my groceries once I corral all the kids in the cart!

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  28. Smarties are the very best friend to a haircut. They don't get sticky and they stay in the mouth. My dentist "checks to see what color your mouth is" as he uses neon food coloring on their tongues. Lily is always excited to have a purple or blue mouth. And the grocery store definitely deserves a place on this list!

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  29. Ok, I seriuosly laughed out loud at EVERY one of these!! I don't know what it is about the library, but one of my kids always seem to have a temper trantrum there.

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  30. What IS it about the shoe store anyways? Mine has just now decided to like the shoe store, as long as they are for her!!

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  31. Complete silence of any kind also makes me think I've gone deaf - or perhaps to heaven. Either way, I get sucked back into reality. And I agree with the commenter above - the grocery store. OR EVEN WORSE - the post office!

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    1. Don't forget the complete silence where you realize the kids can't possibly be up to any good...the kind where you have to to the Flight of the Bumblebee through the house to find what their destroying! ;)

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  32. I recently took my 22-month-old to one of those cute, expensive children's boutiques to look for sandals for Easter. We were the only ones in the tiny store and my son was super excited to try on a pair of shoes. Luckily the first ones he tried on were the ones I wanted to get because there was NO prying them off his feet once they were on. I tried reasoning with him (why did I think that would magically work this time?), telling him we had to take them off to buy them and he needed to put his sneakers back on. He pitched an enormous shrieky fit, and I finally just had to carry the empty box to the checkout counter to pay for them. Luckily the shop owner thought he was funny...

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  33. I have 3 y.o. twin boys who are remarkably well behaved on outings....EXCEPT the stinking shoe store! The last time we were there, both boys went screaming-in-the-floor, totally-lost-my-schmidt crazy because I wouldn't by the Dora umbrella and matching purse. You. Are. A. Boy. Dora is for girls. And that $14 umbrella won't last the ride home....geesh ....

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    1. As my six year old nephew said when his mother wanted him to choose the Diego backpack for school instead of the Dora backpack, "Mom! I like *girls*!"

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  34. My #1 hated place to take my kids is public restrooms--anywhere. The auto-flush toilets enthusiastically WHOOSH pee-mist into the air, right at the level of my toddler's face. Who doesn't love hoisting a too-short toddler up against the sink to wash hands, especially when it's one of those that turns off automatically and you have to keep pushing the buttons to keep the water on? Then there's the challenge of talking a paranoid toddler into using a roaring blow dryer. Then finally deciding to use toilet paper to dry hands instead, which disintegrates as soon as a drop of water touches it. But most awesome of all is when a toddler picks the time in the restroom to use the slippery fish technique (in which she escapes your grip by throwing her arms up and going limp) and/or throw a tantrum, and winds up lying down in the disgusting floor. Yeah. We keep a travel potty and hand sanitizer in our van.

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  35. OMG the post office. I hate it because I usually just have to take a package in and put it in a bin. Why I can't just put it in the bin outside is beyond my understanding. So this means I have to load the kids in the car, drive to the PO, unload the kids, go inside for 5 seconds, load the kids back in the car, drive home, unload the kids. I spend 30 minutes strapping and unstrapping kids from carseats just to drop off a package. Even worse is when we have to stand in line to ship something. That line is easily 30 minutes long. And my 3 year old insists I hold her the entire time.

    Trader Joe's. It's tiny, there's no parking, and the place is packed all but one hour a day (the hour before closing). I can't go in there with the kids because I end up in tears from the stress of that trip.

    The library. Every time we go there's some obviously direly sick kid coughing and snotting up the place. I can't get us out of there fast enough.

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  36. O.M.G. You are all WAY too hilarious! Of course, there had to be ONE (anonymous of course) post about expectations and rule enforcing. Um, yeah lady, we get that, thanks for nothing.

    I love Target. My boys love Target. I do NOT love Target when my boys are there. Toy aisle. Nuff' said.

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    1. OMG yes. The Target toy aisle turns a 15 minute quick trip into a soul-sucking 1 hour plea to look at just one more toy. I hate the toy aisle.

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  37. YES! I'm a librarian and I keep beating myself up for NOT taking my 5 yr old to the library! Our local library is great, except for the train table. Whuck is up with the train table in the library! I can't get her to pick out books and the kids section is blocked off with doors from the rest of the library so I can't get my own books while she plays... so I spend all day in a library and then, if we go, we'll spend all evening... while she plays. with. trains. Sigh.

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  38. Yeah, about a year ago we took our then almost-two-year-old out to eat for breakfast. My two-year-old son didn't want to sit in the high chair, then proceeded to blow out of his diaper and onto what he was sitting on...my lap. Our food hadn't even arrived yet. I took him into the bathroom (a small bathroom with no changing table, I might add). I had to clean up messy poo from him and changing his diaper while he stood because I was terrified of the nasty floor. I tried to clean up the mess on my jeans and ended up soaking them with water. Then, as we were walking back to the table, my ex walked by and smiled at me. We ended up getting our food to go and haven't ventured out to a restaurant since. Indeed, "check please"! And hurry the hell up!

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  39. My solution to the shoe store evil is;

    I go to Walmart and quickly grab at least three pairs in my daughters size that look like they might be what I'm looking for. I then quickly purchase all of them, and take them home to try on. I return whichever don't work. I've occasionally had to do this twice in order to get one good pair of shoes, but it's worth avoiding the madness and meltdowns in the shoe aisle.

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  40. 1. I once scheduled my two kids' well checks at the same time at the suggestion of the evil receptionist. Hooker. Never. Again. They are fairly evil by themselves, but you put the kids together in the same room and take their clothes off for the exam (it is a proven fact that the less clothes a kid is wearing is inversely proportional to their level of evil and fastness) and it was MAYHEM. Mayhem, I tell you.

    2. I load up on candy before we go for haircuts. My oldest is okay. The youngest - pure drama. End of the world. Lots of hairy lollipops and M&Ms.

    3. Shoe shopping. My oldest is okay. Now. When he was younger, it was torture. My youngest wants the prettiest, pinkest, sparkliest, light-uppiest, tackiest shoes ever. Have I mentioned that he is a boy? It is a battle every dang time.

    4. My kids can learn about libraries when they go to school.

    5. We pretty much don't go out to eat anymore unless it is a place with a playground so we can threaten them with no playground time. If for some reason we have a total lapse in judgement and go to a sit down type restaurant, we order the kids' food before our hineys actually hit the chair in an attempt to minimize the mayhem.

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  41. Hahahaha! Hate the shoe store!

    My solution? Trace the kids' feet the night before, then go shopping without the kids. Measure the outline in the sizing thingy. Buy shoes. Buy the same shoes one size bigger. Done, and done for next time too.

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  42. I'm probably going to sound like a complete weirdo here, but honestly, the thought of any kind of playground still makes me throw up a little in my mouth. It's getting better now that my youngest is now 2 1/2 and mostly steady on her feet, but there was a time when I had 4 kids 5 and under. For reasons I will never understand they had to go on 4 different things (in 4 opposite directions) at exactly the same time. My kids are overachievers so they always seemed to choose stuff that was a little out of their league which meant I lived in a constant state of panic the entire time we were there. It also meant I was completely exhausted after 10 minutes of running from one death trap, I mean piece of playground equiptment to the other trying to prevent a trip to the e.r. with broken limbs or cracked heads.... it still makes me tired just thinking about it.

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  43. I have one. dont take the to a nursing home. I dont care that the 90 year birthday party is for their great grandma. Toddlers dont belong anywhere near oxygen tanks, IV stands, etc...for hours and hours on end because MIL decides they need to be there. I almost had to be committed after that day

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  44. snorting as usual. hilarious!

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  45. I remember one specific meltdown in the library when my son (now 17) was about 2 years old.. 15 years ago and it is still fresh in my mind!

    Here's a solution for the store- especially the toy aisle. I still can't believe it worked. My son and my daughter used to love the toy aisle is Target, Walmart, etc.. any store with toys. It would be an awful thing to get them out of the aisle, they would be grumpy and such-- well you know. One day in a fit of delirium- they wanted to go to the toy section- instead of hysterics and crying out of my NO-- I said "you can't the toys are sleeping. They have to take a nap."

    Yes, horrible lying mom.. but guess what it worked! It worked for about 2 years.. not months or weeks but YEARS! The toys sleeping must have made an impression because for a very very long time we would go into whatever store (mostly Target and Walmart) they would say to each other "Shhh... we have to be quiet, the toys are sleeping!"

    I always had rules as well. Before we left the carseat to the store.. I had rules that they had to repeat. I think they were something like "Listen to Mommy. Stay with Mommy. One hand on the cart." They had to say them back to me before we even left the car.

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  46. I don't know if it helps but my son still doesn't like haircuts and he's almost 18! Yes, he still hates it.. but when he was younger he REALLY hated it. I had to learn how to do a home cut (thank god for curly hair, it doesn't show mess ups) for about 5 years- until he grew out of his fear.

    My daughter (14) still hates the orthodontist/dentist/doctor. She will ask 45,029 questions when they are working on her. What is that tool? What will you do? Will it hurt? Do I need a shot? What is in the shot? How long will it hurt? Why this? Why that? I know its a tool to mask nervousness, but she will ask a million questions and then some when she is there. Now at least she can do some by herself (ortho) so it isn't as bad.

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  47. Are you guys following me and my kids around? Seriously... this is my life...

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  48. Just about died laughing. I really really identify with not taking children to restaurants. I do have some sort of restaurant related shellshock due to this: my second son, who is generally a sweet boy and a great eater has thrown up ONTO the table at the last three restaurants we took him to. Oh wait, it isn't just him. In fact, in the last 5 years we have taken the children to about 6 restaurants and someone has thrown up in one Every Single Time except the last time. The worst part is that my husband does not drive, so I can't even drink at restaurants to stop the shaking hands. I swear, I sit there waiting for someone to throw up. We did escape throw-up free the last time we went out, but let me tell you, I did not fully relax the entire time, and when my oldest son gagged a bit on a bite of burger I leapt out of my seat with a large wad of paper napkins to hold in front of his mouth. My sister (childless) thought I was over reacting.... me, I don't think so.

    I would also add: overnighting a friend's houses. The last time we went I came home and cried for a few hours... There was throwing up there too (by two of three children).

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  49. Haha! So very, very true!
    I can't take my daughter to the grocery store either. She once threw a tantrum so insane when I put her in the shopping cart that she gave herself a nosebleed. Which led to me taking her to the pediatrician to make sure nothing was wrong. AWESOME day that was.

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  50. Last time we took our 3 (now 4) year old son to get his hair cut was on Christmas Eve. He got himself so hysterically worked up that he vomited! Since then we have cut bits off with scissors when he is watching Cars2 on his little sofa. As for the shoe store, we go to the same one nearly everytime and you can see the fear in the salespeoples faces when I walk in with him. I think they draw straws out the back to see whose turn it is to deal with us!

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  51. I'm either a good dad or I just have a really good kid, but I don't have any trouble taking my little girl to any of these places. She's patient while waiting at the doctor's office, she loves watching me get my haircut--especially since I ask for her input, she loves picking out new shoes for herself, she's quiet in the library or bookstore, and she complains about other misbehaving children in restaurants. Yeah, occasionally we'll have a problem, but I can't remember the last time. It's been at least a couple of years (she's turning five this month).

    The key thing is that she knows what behavior is expected from her in these places. If she behaves, she knows she'll be treated well. If she misbehaves, she knows she'll pay a price for doing so. Part of what I do is make sure she understands what I expect from her. "We're going to the doctor's office. You will get some shots. If you're brave and don't cry too much--crying a little is OK--we'll get some ice cream when we leave. Deal?"

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    1. Yup, you have a 'good' kid. Enjoy it :>

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    2. ok.....good for you sahd

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  52. Your children are what you raise them to be from Day One. And as parents, you better agree on that before you get married.

    I could never imagine my kids acting like the ones in the post, and we never gave them Nintendo or anything else to keep them occupied (but we made sure each had a book in their hands when we walked out the door). We are not the perfect parents by any stretch, but we ARE the parents, and our kids were taught to respect that. The oldest 2 have left the nest, and they have thanked us a number of times for the way we raised them.

    My sister and her husband have 8 kids and they were all raised the same way. They are pleasant and courteous, and it's actually fun to go places with them.

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    1. I never had much luck giving the kids books to keep them quiet when they were 2. Maybe it was the fact that they couldn't read.

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  53. What is it with libraries now? I would like to go there to have a super quiet place to work (and a change of scenery). But as another poster mentioned, ours has become a center of activity, including a coffee shop, little cafe, large Internet rooms, etc. Even in the book aisles people talk in normal levels. There is literally no quiet place at our library. Funny, but I now take my headphones and play white noise in them in order to drown out the library noise!

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  56. Deal with it. http://www.8bitdad.com/2012/04/04/5-places-not-to-take-a-toddler-13522/

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  57. ROTFLMAO!!!!!

    That was hilarious! I don't have kids, although I did have a young stepdaughter for a while, who was three when we got together. I can definitely relate!

    It's nice that you have a sense of humor about it. This WILL pass. Then when your kids grow up and have their own toddlers you can show them this article!

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  58. You guys. This got picked up by the Consumerist. http://consumerist.com/2012/04/parents-do-everyone-a-favor-and-keep-your-toddlers-away-from-these-public-places.html

    Clearly, they don't get it, but I think you guys are hilarious.

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  59. You forgot the worst place of all, the Post Office at Christmas time...never and I mean never has a trip to the post office gone well even with a short line, but you might as well just turn around and go home if you try it close to a holiday. Arms loaded with packages and no where to put them down, no hands available to hold onto a toddler, and a large display of cards, envelopes and packing material, people who would rather stand and glare at you then let you front load to the front of the line...this is my hell.

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  60. Seriously? I must be super mom or my kid is super kid because I have NEVER had those kinds of issues. He was "trained" early on when the time was to be rowdy and when it was not. All of the places mentioned have given me no trouble. Even if I had a group of kids with me. Running around in the library and pulling things off of shelves? Heck no! Hitting people with or without things? Heck no! That just reads like a horror story.

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    1. My daughter never acted out like this in public either. I find this kind of behavior a reflection on the parents. I understand kids are kids and there will be some showing out and some kids have more spirit or personality than other, but most kids need disciple. Don't be afraid to leave a cart of stuff in the middle of a store and march your precious snow flake back to the car. Guarantee you will not have to do this more than twice. If you have frozen or perishable items, take the cart to the front and kindly let the door greeter that your child is unruly and you have to leave.

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    2. Um, ladies, I believe you have good genes to thank more than you think. My daughter is a pride and joy, I can take her - at 4 - to the ballet and she sits quietly and watches the show. If she were my only one I might be smug too. But then there's my son. A wild child. It doesn't matter what I do, he's into EVERYTHING. Same parenting, very different kids. You ladies got lucky, be thankful.

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    3. Yup, I've got one of each too - both girls FWIW. Also it's more likely to be an issue if you have more than one kid, IME. Be grateful for what you've got, ladies.

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  61. Haha. I convinced my soon-to-be-ex husband to take our 18 month old son to the barber on his most recent weekend visit with him. When he agreed to do it because, "it would be fun to see our baby get his haircut" (yeah, he never went with us before the separation) I snickered a very evil snicker only a divorcee could muster up. Reports back to me when our son was dropped off at the end of the weekend was that the "bonding" part of the experience didn't go so well. I snickered again.

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  62. I laughed a lot.

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  63. I love your blog, you guys are really funny. I thought I would mention, in case you didnt realise, the website The Consumerist quoted from this article and gave the impression you were advocating not taking your kids anywhere including the children's section of the library. Here is the link, it sucks when things are taken out of context.
    http://consumerist.com/2012/04/parents-do-everyone-a-favor-and-keep-your-toddlers-away-from-these-public-places.html

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  64. I think you should throw them in the backyard with the dogs and enjoy the time where they aren't forcing you to drive in an unending stream of activities. These activities being just far away where you can't come home for an hour in between. You get trapped in a waiting room with "dance/basketball/soccer moms" who see every other child as competition for their kid going pro.

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  65. When our now adult children were 2, 4, and 6 we had occasion to take the 3 of them and 2 of their friends for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. My wife is Chinese so what could go wrong, right? Yeah, it was downhill from the beginning. The 2 friends “didn’t eat Chinese” but finally agreed on fried rice if we picked out the peas. Our 3 darlings were a little better, but insisted on eating with chop sticks. Long before we got to the fortune cookies, most of their meals were on the floor. It was lunchtime, and not many customers, so we only had to endure the disapproving stares of the 2 waitresses. And they were disapproving. As they approached our table for the umpteenth time with more napkins (and more disapproving looks) one remarked to the other (in a low voice in Chinese), “boy this sow has a brood of prize piglets.” Did I mention my wife is Chinese? Her looks, however, are remarkably universal and apparently our 2 waitresses didn’t realize the “sow’s” first language was Cantonese. My wife held off saying anything immediately, but when it came to tip time (which I honestly thought the waitress deserved since they were going to have to use shovels to clean under the table), my wife instead gave them a verbal “tip” (in Cantonese, and involving an otherwise anatomically impossible feat, even for the Chinese). All in all, watching the looks on their faces made the entire outing worthwhile.

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  66. I just *don't* take my kids to the shoe store anymore. Lands End all-weather mocs, a pair of their 'action' sandals, and a pair of rubber boots. That's it, we're done. In the summer I get cheap fake 'crocs' from the dollar store. Hate, hate, hate the shoe store.

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  67. Although I find these blogs extremely funny I have to wonder if my kids are saints. I never have tantrums in the stores with them and they always use their manners in public. I can't ever remember any of them freaking out while getting their hair cut or buying new shoes (they are currently 16, 6, 4). I will say though that their tantrums start when it's time to turn the tv off to get coats and shoes on for school. Stinking Cat in the Hat brings out the evil in them.

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  68. I have *finally* found an appropriate place to share this - yee haw!

    Regarding #4. The Library. First, you need to know that I'm a librarian (former children's librarian), so taking my kidlet to the library has always been one of my favorite activities. I want her to lurrrve it there. And she does! Perhaps a bit too much? Since she started potty training we've noticed a strange, um, pattern. When we go to the library she poops. Every. Single. Time. It does not matter if she just pooped, or what time of day. She WILL poop in the library. I'm not sure if I should laugh, or if I should feel like she's schmidting on my chosen profession. A little of both?

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    1. Ummm... did you potty train (oops, I mean "learn" - must be p.c.!) reading lots of books while sitting on the potty waiting for said poop to come out? Thats what I'm doing with my little one right now which is what made that pop right in my head. Maybe she got some sort of unconscious (or conscious) association? I'm ashamed to say I've never taken mine to the library yet - bookstores all the time - that way if she "acts up" we can just buy something and "poof" all is forgiven - at least by the store - and the guilt is gone!

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  69. we were kicked out of the children's section of our library today from the librarian. I didn'teven bother to listen to what the librarian had to say...I knew what it was before she even started talking. To be fair, it was all because of the little kids storytime that was the reason why my 33 month old son started his crying and tantrum. Not because of me trying to calm him down - which didn't work...

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  70. we were kicked out of the children's section of the library today. I knew what she was going to say so I didn't even bother to hear the words..."
    please leave immediately". To be fair, though, it was all because of the children's storytime that my 33 month old was having his tantrums, I believe. Wish all kids came witha warning indicator that they were going to have a meltdown that day...that way I'm prepared to leave right away instead of sticking to my "agenda" of checking out a book for kids with speech delays.

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  71. Great suggestions! I utilize all of them! A lot of times parents are taking their kids out on their own time and not scheduling around the kids naps or down times which always equals a hot embarrassing mess. My kids act pretty proper in restaurants and we always get compliments. They love going out to eat and do not want us taking that privilege away. The baby is even on her best behavior. MyKidsGuide

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  72. I have FOUR sons born four years apart and no twins. They are very rowdy, energetic, upbeat, and occasionally, unruly kids. But they KNOW there are limits to when and how they can behave like that.
    1) Pediatrician: either you sit next to me quietly with a magazine, or you sit next to me while I hold you hand. Those are your choices.
    2) Barber Shop: If you don't be still, your head will be shaved BALD.
    3) Shoe store: If you behave, you will get the shoes you WANT (as long as they are under $12). If you do not behave, I will pick the ugliest shoes in here.
    4) Library: Look at all the AMAZING books, kids. Be quiet and you can pick one.
    5) Restaurant: Isn't this delicious? If you be good, you get to come back. If you be bad, you have to stay with the neighbor while the rest of us come back without you.
    Needless to say, my boys make a lot of good choices.

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