On Fridays, I have Frida. The big event of the day is gymnastics in Moss Beach at 11am. The drive down Route 1 is gorgeous and makes me love my life.
(During gymnastics is a different story, but we get through it.)
On the way home, we pass by Table Wine, an awesome Pacifica wine shop (you should check it out if you’re in the area—almost everything is less than $20 and it’s all excellent wine produced by small farms, no factory wine). Goodwill is located just a few doors down, and we’ve developed a bit of a wine-Goodwill routine on Fridays. OK I have.
The wine shop was great. The owners have a 7-year-old boy, who happened to be home from school that day and let Frida play with his Legos in the back. She loved it and of course didn’t want to leave.
I managed to get her out of there without incident and we walked to Goodwill. She was quietly checking out the toys for a bit, but as time wore on, she became increasingly animated and progressively manic and started running around and making a sport of hiding in the racks. I was characteristically drawn in by an oversized wool jacket from New Zealand and a cotton caftan. Did you ever notice that the longer your shop at a thrift store, the more attractive things start to look? Neither of us wanted to leave.
But finally I made my way to the cashier, and Frida still didn’t want to leave and continued to hide from me, though her cackle always gave her away. She had fallen in love with a little Hello Kitty music box. It was $2.50. I agreed to buy it for her, thinking it would get us out the door smoothly.
Alas, she still refused to leave. She backed herself into a corner at the front of the store, in perfect view of all the folks waiting to pay. She began crying and digging in her heels in that way that means shit’s about to get real. I told her if she didn’t leave with me this instant we would not take the music box home.
She called me a poo poo face.
I took the music box and put it back on the counter where I had just paid for it. I’d have rathered eat $2.50 than give this little poo poo face monster a special gift.
That’s when the screaming started. MY MUSIC BOX!! MY MUSIC BOX!! POO POO FACE!!
I grabbed her around the waist to haul her out of there as she pulled my hair and hit me. I held my Goodwill shopping bag (which had no @#$*ing handle) in the other arm like a second child. You might be stronger but I can only carry 35 pounds in one arm for a few steps. So when we got outside, I let her down and she did that no bones thing and slumped to the sidewalk. Still screaming, naturally.
I felt my only option was to walk toward the car and hope she followed me. It was only 20 feet away and I certainly wasn’t going to lose her with all the loud noises coming from her head.
I turned back, praying she’d gotten up and started walking. I noticed something red … was that… blood? It was blood. Her mouth was bleeding.
I still don’t know why her mouth was bleeding, but there’s nothing like seeing blood coating your kid’s teeth to make you realize a situation has crossed a line. I dropped my bag and ran over to her. I lifted her into the carseat and we finally made our way home and everything was terrible. Her mouth seemed to be fine, though.
I looked at the time: 1:30. She hadn’t had lunch or a nap. I had given her snack but she was definitely hungry. And tired. And you should not shop at Goodwill with your 3.5-year-old when she’s hungry and tired. And you certainly shouldn’t try to discipline her by taking away the gift you just bought her, especially after the tantrum has gotten to that dark place.
Your kid should also not call you poo poo face. But she’s 3, so…
The next morning was Saturday and we all went to the gym. They have a playroom with childcare for kids—such a godsend. I’m always tempted to sneak out to a boozy lunch while she’s in there.
On the way home I said we were taking a little detour. As we pulled into a parking spot near Goodwill, Frida said: “Mommy, I sorry to call you poo poo face.”
The same woman was at the checkout. I expected an eyeroll or at least a vaguely judgmental look, but she smiled and said oh your box is in the back I’ll bring it right out!
Frida played with that thrifted music box the rest of the day. She carried it on her tricycle, up and down the stairs, and all over the house. The music only plays some of the time, but that’s OK. We’re all a little dysfunctional around here.