My daughter loves to go grocery shopping.
But it took 20 trips to get it right.
20 trips with crying.
Those 20 trips were the preface of days like today.
Days when she names each and every fruit and vegetable as we walk by.
You’d think she ran into her idol Taylor Swift (who we always rock out to in the car) but its just a bag of gala apples.
You know gala like a party.
She calls them party apples.
Sometimes she smiles at people, waves to them, or says things like, “Hi beautiful lady!”
People are charmed or they just ignore her.
And then there are days like today.
Today she screamed so loud that everyone at Aldi turned around and stared at us. She yelled out an entire scene from an episode of My Little Pony. I’m the only one who realized she was doing it. That she was scripting.
But I asked her to stop. She didn’t. I asked her again and she hit me. Screamed again. Screamed that she hates me. In those moments I have two choices.
I can engage her with discipline by telling her she can’t have her iPad later. She can’t watch TV. Can’t do this or that. This is what I would do if she were a typical kid. But there is 100% chance that she will kick me, hit me, bite me, scratch me. She will throw her shoes. She will cause a public scene.
We will have to leave without the groceries that we need.
Or I can ignore it. I can completely ignore everything she is saying that moment and try to distract her. Try to de-escalate her anger by distracting her. This will look like bad parenting. This will look like I let her win. Like she is in charge. But what people won’t realize is that there might be no iPad later. No TV. No this or that. She will soon find out when we leave the store.
Even though we practiced going grocery shopping 20 times.
Planned for it.
We can’t plan for that one time when she is going to struggle.
But we will try again next week.