"You know, you guys are doing a great job," the grocery store checker said to me.
"Thanks," I said. "This is all new to us and we're figuring out as we go along."
He nodded, helping me bag the last of the produce. "I see a lot of parents with their kids in here, and trust me, you're doing a great job at setting limitations."
I thanked him again and we left. I don't know how right he is, because sometimes it feels so wrong.
Only 25 minutes earlier, as soon as we walked in the store, Beatrice took off giggling. We told her to stop, to come back, but she giggled some more and ran outside through the store doors.
I had just locked Bryce into the cart when Bea headed out the door. Mama came to the cart and I sprinted after Bea.
Livid. We've been dealing with this a lot lately.
She of course was laughing hysterically as she ran into the parking lot thinking it was a game. I grabbed her -- stopped myself from smacking her on the butt (which we've done) -- picked her up, carried her back in and dumped her into the shopping cart, which she didn't like one bit since she wants to walk on her own more and more. We then told her, as we've done a hundred times already in the past few weeks, that it's not okay to run away like that and not stop when we ask her to.
Yes, we know she's not even three years old yet. It makes sense that she doesn't understand the repercussions of her actions and why it's dangerous to run away. But the problem is that for the past few weeks she's been getting more and more bold in taking off away from us like it's a cartoon game of chase.
That's the catch -- the fact that Bea wants more independence and walk around without a tether but she doesn't get boundaries yet. We're working on getting her to understand that running down the sidewalk toward a busy street is not acceptable while running around the grassy field in front of the Santa Cruz lighthouse is.
Except when cartoon Bea runs into the real brick facade of the Santa Cruz lighthouse, she doesn't bounce away cleanly like a cartoon would. She goes "smack" and oh how the cartoon Bea swells.
That's all folks! [queue the music]