As I mentioned recently, I've been letting Tate walk in stores more and more. Realizing that tossing him into a cart was actually just a result of me being lazy and selfish and wanting to get my errand run as quickly and smoothly as possible. (Not that every Mother who puts her child in a cart does so for the above reasons).
But this year, when it's just been the two of us a few days a week, I have been able to slow down and actually been able to spend 1:1 time with him, teaching him the finer ways of walking, not running, and admiring that pretty vase from afar while resisting the urge see just how many pieces it would smash into if pulled off the shelf.
And, as usual, he has really surprised me with his ability to follow directions and be an all around great errand runner. I can already tell, his personality is shaping up to be a lot like the girls in that he wants, more than anything, to please me. Ironically, this is a part of my personality that I've always felt to be a flaw. I'm a people pleaser. I can't stand the thought of someone being upset with me, or worse yet, disappointed in me.
And while it's not necessarily a good thing to get entirely caught up in what people think, having a little bit of this personality trait is ok. Tate is forever asking, "Are you happy at me?" after he's done something he shouldn't have.
Tate, Drue, and I went to Target today. They both walked. They got a little ahead of me a few times, and Tate was talking louder than the other patrons probably preferred. But all in all, it was a success. Let me interject here that I am still pleasantly surprised that Tate no longer runs away at warp speed as I chase after him like a crazy person. I never thought he would outgrow that stage. It was frustrating, maddening, and exhausting. But now he holds my hand through parking lots and across streets and even grabs it out of the blue at other times when there isn't even a crucial safety issue at hand.
We finished at Target and there was one thing I needed (ok wanted) to check on at Hobby Lobby. Tate announced that he was ready to go home. I burst his bubble that we had one more quick stop to make. "Ok Mommy," he relented. "But you can only get one stuff," he bargained.
They know Hobby Lobby as "Mommy's Store" or the "Don't You Dare Touch Anything or Even Look Sideways at Anything Breakable" store. And please explain to me, why this store has hobbit sized carts? It was truly a circus feat for me to glide through the aisles with all 3 kids at once when they were ages 3 1/2 and under. Tate's infant carrier alone, was enough to almost topple the whole cart completely over. Add trying to stuff my 1 1/2 year old's chubby little legs into the tiny leg holes while trying to keep my 3 1/2 year old from eating all the blasted fake grapes they so abundantly use in their display decorations.
Yes, I had to really want something badly to venture in there during that time in my life.
Today, as we pulled into the parking lot, I bravely decided to offer Tate the option of walking or riding. But I phrased it a bit differently this time, "Tate, will you be able to walk nicely through this store without touching anything?".
To which he very honestly answered, "No. I want to ride in a cart...".