March 24, 2014 at 8:04 pm , by Nick Shell
3 years, 4 months.
Continued from Part 2: The Talking Dog.
I remember a few months back, I read an article on Parents.comthat said one of the best ways to handle a child who is having a meltdown is todistract them.
So that’s exactly what I did this past weekend when we were at Kohl’s.
You were checking out the toys and came across a track for your Monster Jam trucks.
After asking both Mommy and me separately if you could get it, and we both individually told you maybe for your birthday (in November), you decided to ask a lady that works at Kohl’s.
She jokingly said yes.
Let’s just say you had a difficult time accepting the fact that a stranger’s confirmation on a $30 toy does not override your parents’ decision.
The story continues with me carrying you out, from the very back corner of the store and you crying loudly the whole time.
Fortunately, fate would have it that right next to Kohl’s, there just so happened to be a construction crew, building… something.
It doesn’t matter what it was, though I will say it reminded me of Level 8-3 of Super Mario Bros.
What does matter is that it was solid entertainment for you: a cement mixer, a crane, ladders, men in construction hats, smoke and dust.
You stood on the light pole (with me a couple feet behind you) in reverence of the real life Bob the Builder event happening right before your eyes.
My plan had worked, much better than I anticipated, actually.
Shortly afterwards, Mommy walked out of Kohl’s and met us in the parking lot, then we drove around the corner to Whole Foods to buy groceries.
I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea for you, having just had a meltdown, to be placed in a shopping cart in a grocery store.
So Mommy suggested you and I grab lunch while she shopped in the other side of the store.
Another miracle, from my fatherly perspective at least, was that there were some musicians performing there right next to our table in the Whole Foods cafe.
(Well, I guess it wasn’t that much of a miracle; after all, we do live in Nashville.)
I was able to teach you how to clap after each song ended.
That article on Parents.com (“10 Ways To Handle Your Kid’s Tantrums“) was right- the art of distraction really goes a long way. Fortunately, this past weekend, there was a lot to distract you.
All because I’ve taught you to talk to strangers.
P.S. Read the entire Talking To Strangers series: