Hubby and I made a decision a long time ago to not turn our children into little robots. You know, the kids whose parents enforce rules to the extreme and the children march through their lives scared of stepping out of line. We dreamed of raising well-behaved children who retained their spunk but knew when and where that spunk was appropriate.
Said spunk is not always appropriate while grocery shopping.
As a fellow mother at my church put it, when those automatic doors slide open, something snaps in their brains and they lose sense of who they are and how they're expected to behave. I go crazy when the automatic doors slide open at Forever 21, but I do not go crazy while entering Dillons. DILLONS. As a child when I went to the grocery store with my mom I got a free cookie from the Albertson's bakery. My kids don't get free cookies. They don't get anything they ask for: no coffee cake, no Kool-Aid, no cans of tuna. Well, I did acquiesce on the can of tuna, but that can is sitting in our pantry since neither Hubby nor I eat the stuff. Anyway, why are they so excited to be in the land of No-You-Can't-Have-It?
My top guess is because they get to run somewhere other than our living room-dining room-kitchen-hallway loop. They get to run up and down and up and down many aisles. We go in the middle of the day, when few shoppers or other moms are there, and for the most part their running doesn't bother me. They know to stay where I can see them.
But then the giggling starts. I am overjoyed that my children enjoy eachother. But sometimes the giggling and the squealing and the running gets to be a little much. Then the hugging starts, and that's when it gets really embarrassing. Little Missy hugs G, G laughs, so Little Missy hugs him tighter and they fall to the floor. Read that again: two siblings are hugging and laughing so much that they fall to the floor. Then they stay on the floor in a little ball of arms and coats and hands as I'm sternly whispering, "THAT IS ENOUGH. GET OFF THE FLOOR." We're not weirdoes, for Pete's sake. And all this time I am hoping against hope that I will not run into anyone I know. Usually I love running into friends, but someone overhearing my hissing and fruitless struggles to get my children in line would make my face turn red.
So the rhetorical question is this: How do we find the balance between raising robots and raising weirdoes?