Today is not Usually Day

The scene: Target


Cast of characters: Me, a cart, and a not-quite 4-year old who started his day at 4:30 this morning.


Worth noting: Today was Errand Day. Target was the third store in two hours.

See also: Mama was pushing her luck.

Note 1: Usually, XC stays with me when we shop. He doesn’t wander unless I’m feeling harassed and under pressure* due to time constraints.

Note 2: Today is not a Usually Day.


Note 3: He’s very cheerful about his wanderings and thinks it’s a lovely game. The more exasperated I get, the more fun the wandering  (How to Be a Preschooler Handbook,  rule #24).

Me (after his second stop to test out a display chair): Buddy. We need. to. hurry. Stay with me or you’re going in the cart. Got it?

XC (smiles, runs towards me): Gah! Otay, mom.


And he does exactly what I ask…until we get to the display futon…a mere one aisle over. He tests it out, I keep walking. This tactic is usually very effective with XC.

Note 4: Today is not a Usually Day


I get about eight aisles away before turning around and see him standing, grinning. (Oh! Aren’t we having fun!?!) He sprints just as fast as his little red Keds will let him go.

He’s so damn cute…and I was so damn done.

XC (throwing his arms around my legs): Dot you, Mama! Ha ha! I twicked you.

Me (picking him up): Yup. You did. And now you’re going in the cart.

XC: But! But I want to walk!

Me: Sorry buddy. You’re not listening.


Me: That is not nice.

We continue walking. He protests a bit. Gets over it. I grab one last item and head to the check out.

XC: Tan we dit a toy?

Me: Nope. Sorry. Not today.


Me (tersely, in my quiet scary voice): No. thank. you.

XC (very earnestly): Tan we jus yook at da toys?

Me: Nope. Sorry. You haven’t been very nice and we need to go.

XC (stomping his foot): DAMMIT!!!


(That earned me a Look from the middle aged woman perusing clearance t-shirts. Judge away, Lady. JUDGE AWAY.)

XC (huffs): Tan I say, ‘Oh dosh?’

Me: Sure.

XC (points to a bottle of orange soda): Tan I have one of does?

Me: Nope. That’s not a healthy choice.

XC (irritated): Tan I yook wiff my eyes?

Me: Sure.


Final note: How to Be a Preschooler Handbook,  rule #17a stipulates that all curse words uttered by anyone under the age of five must be enunciated and stated perfectly so there’s no question as to what you intended to say. At any other time, however, your speech should be garbled enough that strangers need your mother to translate what you say.




2 thoughts on “Today is not Usually Day

  1. You may know that my son is eight and has a speech disorder — XC has more language than he does. Nevertheless…

    We refer to a horrible neighbor of ours as “duck bitch.” She deserves it, and he can sure say it, especially when there are grandparents in the car. Sounds like a special day for you today.

  2. I think that sounds like perfect parenting — especially how X comes up with the negotiated alternatives all on his own. (Can I say oh gosh? Can I look with my eyes?) Obviously you are doing it right!

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