The Creepy Man at the Mall and Other Brilliant Parenting Practices.

1. So we met the Creepy Man I warn my children about.
Ever since they were old enough to leave the stroller and mosey about, I've warned them to stay close to me by instilling a fear of the Creepy Man who does bad things to children. He's out there and we don't know what he looks like. It's the Social Worker in me; I've seen things and I believe instilling some rational fears in my children is healthy. So far it's worked and not caused them to need therapy. They've stayed by my side and no one has ended up on Nancy Grace.

So the other night, we're just minding our own business browsing the aisles of Tuesday Morning, Katie Beth is all up in Baby Susie's grill like she always is, and Baby Susie punches and kicks Katie Beth right in the face. Babies do that sort of thing when they can't keep their limbs from flailing around, and it's OK because she weighs nine pounds and can't do any real damage.

Creepy Man (in a Trench Coat, no less) who had been lurking about, hovering around us and creeping a little too close to us from aisle to aisle, says to Katie Beth:

You should tie her to a tree, pour honey all over her, leave her for a few days and let the fire ants eat her.
Yes. He really said that. About my six-week-old baby. Freak.

Awkward silence ensues as Katie Beth stares at him, slack-jawed, and I considered the best way to cause him bodily damage if he didn't back slowly away from my children, when at that moment my Knight in a Shining Affliction shirt {who had been around the corner on the Manly aisle} came to our rescue, and his very {strong, muscular} presence caused Creepy Man to decide it was time to leave the store pronto.

I took another opportunity to tell my kids that THAT MAN, THERE, WAS CREEPY. And THAT is why you stay where I can see you and you can hear me and kick and punch like Baby Susie if anyone tries to get you.

Thanks for the lesson, Creepy Man.
2. So you know that I have one child who is the perennial Teacher's Pet, and another child {who shall remain nameless} who is the Ferris Bueller of her elementary school, and while EVERYONE loves this kid, she gets in trouble for talking... WAAAAAAAY too often.

She just so happened to pull two tickets for talking last week. And one the week before that. And another one THIS week for not listening... because she was talking. And we decided that we should get the idea through her fabulous, super-stylish head that it's NOT SO CUTE AND FUNNY to be the kid who gets in trouble all the time. 

I mean, it IS cute and funny.... sort of.... but we can't let HER know we think that.  

AT least not FOUR TICKETS later. Seriously... we want our children to honor their teacher and respect authority. It's time to intervene. And not that we haven't; she has to skip dessert for a week when she pulls a ticket, and go to bed ten minutes early on days she pulls a ticket {I know, only ten minutes, but ten minutes can be torture when your sister gets to stay up later than you...} and other ideas we've tried to ABSOLUTELY NO AVAIL. NONE. It's still way more important to her to be the Social Butterfly. We were not getting through. And we were frustrated.

When finally, inspiration struck. 

This is my kid who is ALL about style, and can't leave the house without her 42 pieces of flair. She dresses like a disco ball. 

The kid who is WAY too stylish to wear her older sister's hand-me-downs from Gymboree {too babyish}. 

Suddenly I knew.... I have one gorgeous, hand-smocked Amanda Remembered dress that had belonged to her older sister, and it was hanging in Chatty Cathy's closet. 

And I told her that if she pulled ONE. MORE. TICKET. she would have to wear that beautiful smocked bishop dress to school. With lace socks and pigtails in her hair, and no sequins ANYWHERE. And I meant it.

And the idea of that was so terribly death-row type of horrifying to Ms. Bueller, style junkie, that she hasn't pulled a ticket since, and the first words out of her mouth every day after school now are that she DIDN'T PULL A TICKET TODAY.

And I'm guessing she won't. 
3. Baby Susie slept six and a half hours Wednesday night, and eight hours last night. Praise ye the Lord. My other two Babywise babies were sleeping six hours at six weeks, eight hours at eight weeks, twelve hours from then on, and we all lived happily ever after.

NOT Baby Susie. Up until this week she was waking every 2-3 hours. 

Oh, SOMETIMES she'd tease me and sleep five or six, but not usually. And mama tends to lose her sanity from week after week of no sleep. It's a health hazard for the entire family.

And I've done everything right, according to the Babywise book. 

I figured it out by accident.... I had been putting her in a cradle to sleep, and apparently she hated it. I held her, I rocked her, I tried her cradle in my room, in her room, in the bathroom, I gave her Pixie Sticks and Mountain Dew. {just kidding} No amount of ANYTHING could console her at bed time. 

And then my friend Laurie gave me a sleep positioner. I put Baby Susie in her SwaddleMe {thank you, Jennifer} and put her on her side, wedged into place in that positioner, she sighed happily, fell asleep immediately without so much as a whimper, and slept all dang night, baby.
Sigh. Parenting is such a guessing game... 

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bluebarnbulletin said...

Oh, my word, your solution to the social butterfly problem has me rolling on the floor. Brilliant! Tell me, did this come to you after finally getting several consecutive hours of sleep? It's hard to think of anything at all when you have newborn baby, sleep deprived brain happening.

So glad your girls were with you when Creepy Man approached. Ick! And I bet they continue to stay close after that creepiness...

Melissa Taylor said...

Ha! I don't know HOW that idea came to me... I just thought, "what would be the worst possible punishment for this kid...." since taking away privileges, dessert, etc., doesn't seem to be working. :) What I CAN'T tell in my sleep-deprived stupor is if this is ok, or if it's cruel and unusual punishment?
Yes... the girls were right by my side... normally in a tiny little store like Tuesday Morning I'd let them be an aisle or two over from me with no problem (NEVER in Walmart would I let them out of my sight, for example...) but thankfully this time I was right there. He just gave me the heebie-jeebies.

Kim said...

Hello, I am visiting from the Blog Her feed. Oh my gosh... when I read about the tying to a tree and pourig honey, I was SO sad. That reminded me of my housekeeper when I was a child, who actually was abused as a child and had that happen to her when he was little. Some people are so cruel to children! I am glad you are teaching your children to stay away from these people, good for you!

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