On Giving In


I made the mistake of putting Sophie in her plastic shopping cart and pushing her around one time. It was a fun, exhausting afternoon, with several-near topples, Sophie laughing hysterically and Tucker chasing us. But now Sophie’s obsessed with it. No longer does she just want to push it or play with all its fantastic buttons and plastic toys, or dance to the songs it emits, she wants to ride in it, constantly. One day, weary of pushing her and constantly listening to her say “up! up! up!” when she wasn’t in the cart, I decided no more. “Up! up! up!” she said. I held my ground. “Up! up! up!” over and over again. I didn’t give in. “Up! up! up!” “No, Sophie.” I said. “No more today.” This went on for quite some time.

But then she looked at me, and I swear, she was batting her beautiful long eyelashes, and she said, in the cutest voice, “Puh-lease?” I melted like butter. The picture above is the result.

What terrible mothering! What am I going to do when her vocabulary widens? When her requests come with arm strokes and bear hugs and kisses? Or worse, when she cries? Not the tantrum I-hate-you-cry but the even-harder-to-handle I-am-so-disappointed cry. Apparently, I have some toughening up to do.

“The trouble with learning to parent on the job is that your child is the teacher.” —Robert Brault