Rule 1 of Shopping with Toddler Club - Do not talk about shopping with toddler club.
Rule 2 of Shopping with Toddler Club - Come well equipped. I'm talking a Mary-freaking-Poppins like bag full of
Rule 3 of Shopping with Toddler Club - Be prepared to evacuate. Full shopping carts may be left behind.
Rule 4 of Shopping with Toddler Club - If you still have any, be prepared to dismiss all preconceived notions of pride and dignity. There is no dignity when your toddler is having a knock down, drag out tantrum or screaming fit. Which brings me to today...
We're at the checkout line. G-Rex is in the cart, surrounded by two new books, his blankie and his snack trap full of crackers. I don't travel lightly when it comes to child entertainment in public - see Rule 2.
He had done amazingly well throughout the excursion. I was hopeful, but like most cases where your children are unusally quiet, there's usually a storm a-brewing.
The latest trick in his arsenal is screaming like a banshee when strangers talk to him. And by stranger, I mean anyone he hasn't seen in 24 hours.
So, the sweet checker lady says 'Oh look, a Thomas book? Do you like Thomas?'
'George, we've talked about screaming. We don't scream. It's not nice.' I'm leaning across the checking area, trying to get his attention. Not working.
'AIeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEE! Mommeeeeeeee! AieeeeeeeEEEEEEE!'
I'm turning about 12 shades of red, trying to catch his attention. Not working. Not working.
About two rows down, I hear this very thick Eastern European accent. 'YES! Keep screaming! Mommy loves it.'
G-Rex stops mid-screech and wheels around.
'Yes, yes. Good job. Keep screaming.'
The man, I'm guessing in his late-50's, gave me a wink and said 'Reverse psychology.'
And for the rest of checkout and all the way to the car, by child sat in stunned silence.
Now I want to know where I can find this guy and hire him. For reals. I have never had someone silence my child so swiftly and effectively. He is the Screaming Toddler Whisperer.
Rule 5 of Shopping with Toddler Club: Find a gruff sounding Eastern European man who will mess with your child's head. Hire him.