BUT I know what it takes to get an ElCloud kid banned from Wal-Mart by his or her parents. We've become experts on that subject. In an attempt to keep US from being banned from shopping at Wal-Mart, we occasionally have to ground certain kids from returning to Wal-Mart until THEIR behavior improves.
Now, none of my kids are like ducklings at Wal-Mart. We don't have a single column line of quiet children following us through the store. We can't even seem to manage to get everyone under a certain age to keep their hands on the cart. We tried to achieve both those goals, as they seemed to be the recommended method for large homeschooling families ... but we failed. Our kids like to dance through Wal-Mart, slalom as they step on ONLY the black tiles, point out things we obviously MUST HAVE before we leave, etc. We've grown used to this and just try to shush them and pull them in closer when it becomes apparent that they are bothering others, or getting in everyone's way.
But then there are those days ... when things go just a little bit haywire and cross over THE LINE. In order to prevent us from going crazy, we just have to ban them from returning to Wal-Mart for awhile. For some of my kids, that is probably the worst punishment ever ... to miss out on forays into Wal-Mart. Even worse if you are forced to sit in the car with Mom while Dad takes the rest of the children into the store ... for 2 weeks.
Here's the list of what NOT to do if you don't want to get banned:
- If you suddenly decide you want to look at a toy, and you are under age 10, and you leave without saying a word to anyone ... not returning until the entire family is in "Search and Rescue Mode" ... you're gonna get banned.
- If you get mad that Mom said you can't go look at a toy, and you just leave to do it anyway, and Mom has to go hunt you down in the toy aisle ... you're gonna get banned.
- If you decide to hide under every clothing rack we pass, giggling and refusing to come out while you play spy ... you're gonna get banned.
- If you decide to throw a temper tantrum, whine, or in any way make a scene ... you're gonna get banned.
- If you pester your siblings and fight with them so that your Mom is gritting her teeth and whispering threats to you with steam coming out of her ears and a blush of embarrassment all over her face ... you're gonna get banned.
- If you are so lost in a dream world that you walk in front of every other cart in the store, or knock down a display, or bump into elderly ladies, and have to be repeatedly reminded to watch where you're going ... you're probably gonna get banned.
- If you decide to race ahead of your parents, or race with your siblings, thereby endangering yourself and others, and you don't cease and desist with a warning ... you're gonna get banned.
- If you get on Mom or Dad's last nerve, and they have said your name more than they managed to say the word "buy" ... you're gonna get banned.
- If you can't keep your hands off all that STUFF that Wal-Mart places around the checkout counters and whine and complain and beg to buy the cheap junk ... or the candy ... you are probably gonna get banned.
- If you decide to run laps around the freezer department, weaving in and out amongst the shopping carts like a NASCAR driver ... you are GONNA GET BANNED!!
I can't remember all of the instances that have caused us to ground a child from shopping Wal-Mart over the years. But I do know it wasn't ever one of my oldest two who were banned. It's those middle ones. For the first time ever this week, I grounded my five year old from entering Wal-Mart for awhile. I guess it's his turn. It was a mix of #7 and #10 that did him in, though.
Yep ... we don't take the worst kids in the world with us to Wal-Mart. I've seen worse, from parents and kids. But, we definitely have our own struggles there. Wal-Mart (and other shopping experiences) has probably given us more of our gray hairs than any other part of parenting. Okay ... maybe not. But it's definitely adding some sparkle to my silver crown.
Trusting In Him,