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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

TITLE: Just 20 minutes
By sharron pete


I thought that perhaps a quick outing would help to move the afternoon along and tire her out just enough for an early bedtime. That was mistake number one. As I grabbed her by the arm and gently escorted her out of the car, through the parking lot and into the store, something told me I’d gone too far already. This was too much too soon. I knew it. But I felt somehow compelled to finish what I’d started. Being the savvy shopper, I knew where everything I needed was. This would be a breeze. Thinking that was mistake number two. Creamed corn was on sale 3 for a dollar. Ooh! Free samples of onion dip on Aisle 5. Can’t pass up a freebie!

I wasn’t asking for much, just 20 minutes. In 20 minutes, I could grab everything I needed, hit the checkout line, and be out. Twenty minutes was too long. Only I discovered that, too late. “I want candy!” And so the madness began. ‘Candy. We’d gone through this at least a half a dozen times in the car on the way over here. ‘I thought.

“Sweetie, we’re only here for a few things. We can’t get candy.” Perhaps if I used my nice voice it would calm her down. That was mistake number three. ‘Candy! Candy!’ This was a train wreck and I was sandwiched right in the middle of it. I could see the tears beginning to well up in the corners of her eyes. Her voice turned into a high pitched squeal. I knew I had to cut this thing off at the pass. “Okay, what did we talk about on the way over here? We can’t have candy right now. We’ll get it later.” That was good I thought to myself. Very authoritative, surely she’ll get the message. And she did, for about a minute. As we plodded past Aisle 1 and over to Aisle 2 I notice that the click-clack of my sandals wasn’t being matched by the shuffle of tennis shoes. A minute was an awful long time for her to be quiet and just as I suspected she was up to something. ‘Sweetie you are being so good I think you deserve a …’ Treat is what I started to say until I realized that I was talking to no one. I looked around and somehow she had quietly and quickly escaped my firm hold. ‘Great, it’s Macy’s all over again!’ A loud thud came from Aisle 5 and my feet followed the commotion. And somehow I knew what was coming next.

Rounding the aisle I was met with disapproving looks as I beheld the tragedy of the hour. Any thoughts I’d had of tasting that onion dip when down the drain. Somehow Sammie, the sample lady and the floor was wearing equal parts of today’s freebie. On top of that, Sammie had some type of chocolate goo stuck to her hands. All of this, in 2 minutes? What a waste of good onion dip! As I cleaned the mess from Sammie and offered my apologies to the sample lady I could feel the manager’s seething eyes. My mind raced all over the place. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Why does that policeman keep staring at me? A sale on creamed corn. If I make it out of here in the next 10 minutes I won’t miss too much of Oprah. At the manager’s firm suggestion, we left.

As we buckled in and headed home I wondered secretly if I had somehow set myself up for failure. Had we not tried a similar outing last week with the results being somewhat the same? Surely that should have been enough for me to learn my lesson. But oh no! I had to push it. And these days, you just can’t do it with a three year old. There was a bright side however. We did make it home in time for me to see most of Oprah. The debacle canceled any plans for a home cooked dinner so we had pizza, again. After dinner, I got Sammie bathed and bedded down. And as the night wound down, I knew it was time to go, to leave. Being outwitted by a three-year old for the umpteenth time was just too much. The madness must end. I called the Fosters the next morning and told them to find a new babysitter. After three months, I quit.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Clarissa Barge07/26/07
Hey, what to do with a child that wasn't yours to start with!? The little kid needs serious training and I hope the parents do just that. Thanks for the article.
Dee Yoder 07/28/07
I've been a nanny/sitter, and it can be no fun if the children are out of control. Thanks for sharing your story!