Tag Archives: Grocery Store

Why It’s Always The End Of The World For Your Child

In my house, the end of the world came around with a distressing regularity.

With three young dudes growing up in the same house, being ruled over by the meanest, most horrible dictator ever to put on a pair of pants and then jump up and down on poor, defenseless boys who only wanted so very little. . .

Those poor young dudes. It must have been like living in hell. Only, the thing of it is. . . I was there. It wasn’t hell for anyone. Anyone but an adult in the vicinity.

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You’ve all seen it. Even if you’re not a parent, you’ve seen it.Pulling an ugly face is a regular occurrence for little dudes during their toddler years. And beyond, if I'm being honest.

Something happens and suddenly the world ends for a young dudette, who starts screaming and yelling and crying and throwing herself onto the floor of the grocery store and acting like the end is not only nigh, but already here and wearing spiked heels to step on her.

On a (slightly) less histrionic level, I and probably most parents in the history of history have heard just about every single variation on the phrase, “This was the worst. Evar!”

I mean, seriously. If I hear that again, I just might be the one who screams.

So, yeah. We’ve all seen this sort of thing happen. Something minor rocks the little dude’s world and he reacts like someone tried to cut off his arm and beat his puppy to death with it. (Although that might be a bit of a harsh simile. Accurate, but still harsh.)

The big question (other than, “How do I stop this? Or, barring that, make a clean get away without being caught?) is why? Why do our little dudes and dudettes react so over the top?

The easiest answer is also the one about which we can do the least. They simply have no basis for comparison. When young dudes aren’t yet six or so, they are all about existing in the now.

If it already happened, it doesn’t matter. If it will happen in the future, it doesn’t matter. Right now. That’s all that matters.

Which means that, if a child doesn’t have something right now, at this very moment, it will never happen. They will forever be deprived, just like they have always been deprived of what they want. That’s a hard thing to face, especially for tiny humans who have so little experience.

Which leads us to a second reason. Being young, they have no basis for comparison. When little J’Amelia is mean to your daughter in school, it might be the worst day of her life so far. Really. She might not be exaggerating. Oh, she will experience worse (much, much worse) later in her life, but being young, she still hasn’t enjoyed all of life’s little jokes.

Young dudettes and dudes don’t have the life experience necessary to really make a good comparison between miseries. Stubbing her toe is bad and hurts, but they can’t ask themselves if it’s anywhere near as bad as that time they broke their arm. Or cut open their thumb. Or, really, anything.

Our ability to compare allows us to realize that it’s just pain and we’ve had worse, which allows us to calm down.

And, that’s another thing. We, as adults, are supposed to be rational, thinking beings. (I’m going to be nice and say most of us are, although, in my heart of hearts, I doubt it.) The brains of young kids don’t fully mature until they’re much, much older, say, around 25 or so for boys.

Unfortunately for the ears around them, their limbic system (which controls their emotions) is fully functioning, firing on all cylinders. Toddler brains become flooded with the hormones and neurotransmitters that cause pain and anger and sorrow and all the rest, but they don’t have the cognitive skill and experience to overcome that and regain control of themselves.

Looking back, I’m not sure I was able to offer much in the way of hope for struggling parents. Other than the obvious: This, too, shall pass.

And, though you doubt it in the midst of a truly epic meltdown, it will get better. All you have to do is stay relatively calm and help your little dude through his current issue.

It’s not personal. It’s just what and who they are at the moment. Keep showing good behavior, being a good role model and talking them through their experiences so they learn the right thing and . . . everything should be fine.

I’m going to do you younger parents a favor and not even bring up the teenage years here. Mostly because I’m a signatory to the Geneva Conventions and there’s some stuff up with which no one should put.

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Sunday Stop Light

To help promote A Dude’s Guide to Babies, Barry and I made a whole bunch of postcard-sized copies of the cover, with information about us and the book on the back, and many more business-card-sized promotional bits as well.

We’ve been making sure to give them to anyone who will take them. They’re scattered around at local grocery stores, in convenience stores, in comic book stores, and in schools. I’ve also created some car magnets featuring the cover so I can cover my sweet, sweet mini-van ride with them. A little mobile advertising to supplement the stay-still advertising where we’ve been placing the ads.

Basically, anywhere that will take them, we’ve left them. Even some that didn’t know they were going to take them.

I’ve taken to saying that I’ll give one of these to anyone who’ll stand still long enough for me to give it to them. It turns out, I’ll even give one to someone who doesn’t stand still, but doesn’t run away fast enough.

I was in the mini-van with the magnets on the side with Zippy the College Boy. We were stopped at a stop light. He said that there were two ladies in the car next to us who were looking at the car and giggling. I was getting a bit upset, thinking they were laughing at the sweet, sweet mini-van, when I realized what was going on.

They were looking at the magnet advertising A Dude’s Guide to Babies. I quickly rolled down the window and invited them to do the same.

I explained that it was a book I’d written with a friend. They laughed, said how wonderful. Then they said their neighbor had just had his first child.

The light was still red, but not for long. I grabbed a couple of copies and leaped out into the street.

The light turned green, but I made it to their car and handed over the cards, thanking them kindly.

They drove off, no doubt thinking it was a narrow escape from the crazyperson back there. I hopped back into my sweet, sweet mini-van and, to the accompaniment of many melodic car horns, drove away.

Yeah, I will do just about anything to promote the book. Why do you ask?

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Grin And Bear It

by Richard

Yes, it’s officially fall. Yes, I officially love the fall season. There’s another season coming up, though, for which I have considerably less love: flu season.

Even though the H1N1 pandemic is officially over, it’s a new year and we’ve got a new flu bug to worry about. Which means it’s time for all you out there with little dudes to get them — and you — vaccinated against this year’s flu.

Another year, another shot.

However, unlike last year, when the demand for flu shots far, far, far outstripped the supply of said shots, this year should see a veritable bounty of supplies. Already I’ve seen shot tables set up in drug stores, grocery stores and even mall courtyards. Not even counting the county health departments and your own doctor’s office.

While you’re in getting your little dudes and dudettes a flu vaccine, you might also want to think about getting one for yourself. And getting a couple of other vaccines while you’re at it. I mean, think about it. When was the last time you had a tetanus booster shot? Probably the last time you got cut by a rusty piece of metal, that’s when.

Ask your doctor about making sure you have your own vaccines up to date when you’re in getting your flu shot. The healthier you stay, the better able you’ll be to crush and destroy the little tyrants lovingly raise the little bundles of joy in our lives.

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