We all have our own opinions and methods on how to handle out-of-control children, Lord knows I have mine. One of my beliefs is that you need to get them in check from the beginning so they know to respect you, others and their environment. These kids need to learn how to BEHAVE. When you let them run wild (or “express themselves freely” as some people claim) now, you’re going to have one helluva time reeling them back in later. Still, no matter what approach you take, one thing is an absolute must, no matter the person’s age: Discipline must be immediate, it must be consistent and the guilty party needs to know EXACTLY why they’re being punished. But that is a talk for another blog, another day… Let’s get back to these kids and how I had to deal with one, when his mother wouldn’t. I call this Retail Re-Tale (hey, I like that)…
“She Didn’t, So I DID” (A Wal-Mart Story)
I was walking down the aisle at Wal-Mart, minding my own business (of course), when out of nowhere I heard this “thook” sound which was immediately followed by the sensation of sharp pain in my right lower outer calf. Wincing in pain, I yelled out, then looked down to find this child staring straight at me in challenging, yet mocking fashion.
This child just KICKED me! Little mothe-.
I looked up and beyond him to his mother, who quickly walked up, phone in ear, snatching him by his collar, all the while with mouth running a mile-a-minute (maybe I should start saying “kilometer-a-minute” for my friends overseas. Nah, it just sounds wrong. Keep the metric system out of common phrases, quips and idioms! lol).
She didn’t offer an apology or even so much as look at me. Not once. I’m sure she saw him do it and I DAMN sure know she heard me cry out. She just kept on her merry way.
So you just gon’ walk on by and not apologize on behalf of your child?
You just gon’ walk away and not deal with this spawn of Satan?
I kept my wide-eyed gaze trained on her as she continued on, focusing on the listener on the other end.
[One of my favorite cartoon scenes is from The Looney Tunes aka “The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show”. In one episode, Bugs Bunny gets charged and rammed by a bull from behind. While flying in the air, with “star” symbols of pain coming out of his rear-end, he looks up at the camera and declares one of his famous phrases to the viewing audience: “Of course, you realize, this means war”.]
So I walked away and let it go.
HA! You ALL are crazy if you know me and really believe that.
Kenny, don’t. Kenny.
As I continued my shopping, I listened to the increasing and decreasing sound of little rapid footsteps. Yep, this child was running in the aisles. It was just a matter of time for the opportunity to “come my way”.
Kenny, don’t. Kenny. KennyyyyyYYYY!! KENNY!!
This imp eventually came running down my aisle and I quickly reached out into his path (no, I know you think I clotheslined him – Lord knows it would make for a more interesting story)…
…holding a bag of cookies. Cue “Jaws” theme.
“Want some cookies?” I asked innocently, with a hint of wickedness.
“YEAH!!!!” he replied, snatching the bag. Didn’t even thank me, but who cares?
“OPEN them,” I suggested, in my best “Lion King” (Jeremy Irons) Scar voice as I walked away from impressionable young Simba.
Note: I had already ripped a small opening in the bag, just enough to make it visible and easier for him. The wick had been lit.
Shhhhh… although this IS a Wal-Mart confession, I don’t want them coming after me for $2.69.
What’s that? What happened?
Well, in case you haven’t already figured it out…
Less than 2 minutes later, all you could hear was screaming, from TWO people. One was the ear-shattering sound of resistance and refusal of a crying child. The other was the frustrated “NO” and “I said put it DOWN” barking of an infuriated mother…
…all the while yapping on that doggone phone.
I couldn’t help but walk to and through the aisle of action, smiling hysterically and satisfactorily as she slung him around like grass on a picnic blanket. She had him by the fabric between his neck and shoulder as he kicked and screamed, never letting go of the fully-ripped bag.
Cookies flying EVERYWHERE.
I tell you what, If this were a movie, I would have walked away and towards the camera with Salma Hayek, hand in hand…
…in dramatic slow motion.
My name is Kenny, and this has been, “A Wal-Mart Story”.
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