Patience and the Preschooler

My preschooler almost became a big sister at the grocery store… minus the nine-month gestation period.

I was exiting the cereal aisle at our local supermarket the other day when a screaming toddler ran into my legs. Apparently, his mother didn’t want to mess with a cart because she was only grabbing a few items. However, because she had her hands full, she couldn’t carry her overtired tot. This contributed to her son’s major meltdown and his subsequent collision into my legs. I was taken aback by the surprise hit, but managed to smile at him before gently rubbing his back and asking if he was okay.

Once the kid realized that he had hit a dead end, he stopped sobbing long enough to ask me to… take him home with me.

Long story short, the mother came over to retrieve her wailing child, apologized profusely and I left the store with four pounds of fresh salmon instead of a 20-pound kid.

The unusual incident reminded me of how far a little patience can go when you are dealing with a young child.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t possess the patience of a saint. In fact, I have been that mother in the store desperately looking for a place to hide while my child is having a fit over the fact that I won’t pay for her to have a stuffed Chihuahua housed in velvet purse with string of pearl handles. However, over the years I have gotten pretty good at getting her out of the grocery store without much llama drama.

Prior to leaving for the market, I invite my daughter to help me come up with a menu. We make a list, and then she helps me pick out the ingredients for the meals once we get to the market. She chooses the individual fruits and vegetables, and is in charge of placing them into the cart. When we get home I involve her in the food preparation. She enjoys having “jobs” as much as I enjoy making it home without having to deal with a meltdown.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.