Karmic payback

Remember how I griped last Friday about parents who bring their young children to story time?

Yesterday, that was me. You may all point and laugh now.

The Webmaster was very late getting out of work, and I had promised Ane that we would go. So I threw Tad in the car, told the Webmaster to meet us at the library, and off we went.

I just knew that I wouldn’t be able to control Tad very easily, so I took a few steps that really saved me from being the kind of parent that I dislike:

1) Secure. I put Tad in the stroller. I did take his coat off so he would be more comfortable, but this way he had his own seat and he was buckled into it. There was no squirming out of Mommy’s grasp and running for the hills.

2) Distract. I brought him a book off one of the tables to look at, which thrilled him for about 10 minutes. Hey, 10 minutes is 10 minutes.

3) Bribe. I had an emergency snack of Teddy Grahams stashed in the diaper bag. This qualified as an emergency. Feeding him the Teddy Grahams one by one (a treat we don’t normally have at home – I have the giant Costco container of animal crackers in the pantry instead) took about 15 minutes and kept him happy and quiet during the second story.

4) Distract again. I handed him my fold-up hairbrush from my purse. He’s played with it before, and likes to open and close it and use it like a cell phone. This kept him busy for about 5 minutes.

5) Hand off. The Webmaster showed up by the end of the second story, so when Tad dropped the hairbrush and began to get antsy, I just turned the stroller around to show him that Daddy was sitting in the back of the room. He broke into a huge grin, and the Webmaster took him and the book he’d been looking at earlier. He kept him quiet, along with another dad who was there (coincidentally, one of the Webmaster’s former co-workers) until story time was over.

I think it went pretty well. I really don’t want it to happen again. But with these simple steps, I kept the boy quiet, looked like a prepared parent (when I was really flying by the seat of my pants), and got Ane to her story time without breaking my promise.

Moral of the story: never say never. Or, my mother needs a cell phone. If I could have gotten a hold of her – she was waiting for Auntie, who was at softball practice not too far from my house (though I didn’t know where) – I could have left Tad at home with her!!

But if I had, would I have learned my lesson? Hmmm…

2 Responses to “Karmic payback”

  1. Laurie
    March 21st, 2007 11:53

    If you ever wondered about my insanity in constantly taking kids out in public lest I go crazy myself, now you have figured out the secrets of my success: stroller, snack, books galore, sippy cup… And I always have a least one secret weapon–some snack they’re usually not allowed or a favorite toy that they’re not usually allowed to bring along or that they haven’t seen for a long time.

  2. Little Cousin's Mommy
    March 21st, 2007 15:04

    Even when Mom gets a cell phone, she says she won’t leave it on all the time.