The other day I took Ethan out to Walmart to spend the gift certificate he received as a gift at Christmas time.
It started off happily as Ethan loves one on one time. He helped me push the cart but when we had to get a few groceries first he got really excited and decided to wander while I stopped for some juice. I had to abandon the cart to go fetch him as he was not responding to my calling him back. Ethan is notorious for ignoring when his name is called. It is something on his IEP but they are not able to work on that in grocery stores so I think I need to take him with me a couple of times to teach him this very important skill.
We got our groceries (including Ethan’s favourite Natural Ham Meat slices and a bag of completely unhealthy Frito Lays Corn Chips) then headed on over to the toy department to check out the toys and went down the isles to see what peaked his interest. There was a huge box with an assortment of musical instruments that I pulled into the cart for him to try and he touched a couple things then continued meandering down the isle. So my Ethan doesn’t want to learn to play a plastic guitar with lights and sounds.
He stopped at a flashlight shaped like a long giraffe’s neck with the light coming out of it’s mouth. The light shines and there is a picture of a frog illuminated with the light. Ethan has had and enjoyed a couple of flashlight toys so we put that into the cart.
I had discovered a toy tablet with big buttons and lights and sounds and a cute tracking ball on it so I showed that to him and he seemed interested so that went into the cart as well. Then Ethan found a package of little people plastic figures (he loves to chew on these) so we put that into the cart and off we went to a scanner to find out what the prices were. It was a really good deal for those items so we headed off towards the check out and on the way he spotted a pillow and grabbed it. It was only $4.97 so why not, in it went. His pillow at home was pretty flattened and with the flu bug he just had, I wouldn’t mind throwing the old one out.
We had an interesting time trying to get the Frito Lays out of Ethan’s hands to check them out but he ultimately handed them over and the lady at the check out immediately handed them back to him once they were scanned.
It was poor foresight on my part when I chose the check out that was right next to the McDonald’s so Ethan was going for it and I had to hold onto his coat while loading up the cart and paying for the stuff. He is a strong kid and very fast so this is getting to be hard to keep him from running full tilt towards the McDonald’s and doing who knows what when he gets there. There was a line of people and he was not eager to stop. Then I realized he wanted to sit down there so I let him find a seat and sit down. Still clutching the Frito Lays, I figured he wanted to sit down there and have his snack. I opened the bag and held one out for him and like a puppy wanting a treat, he followed me out the door and out to the car. So we used the completely unhealthy Frito Lays to lure him out of the completely unhealthy McDonald’s restaurant to avoid buying the completely unhealthy french fries.
Now I am sure that there are all kinds of errors in the way I handled that situation but I am just thankful that there was no screaming melt downs and no mad dashes throughout the Walmart store with products littering the floors in his wake. Those pictures were going through my mind as a possible outcome to be completely honest with you.
We did however encounter the melt down in the van on the way home. He had a handful of Frito Lays and I could not figure out what he was so upset about when I realized he was grabbing the bags behind him looking for the lunch meats…. sigh, he wanted some ham with his Frito Lays.
So the lesson here is a well intentioned mommy time trip to the Walmart does require a good deal of planning.
For instance, avoid the chip isle where the Frito Lays are. And if you purchase the favourite lunch meats make sure they are taken out of the bag when you get to the van and place it on the front seat where there is easy access.
Bring along a favourite object to keep him occupied while purchasing the groceries and always chose the check out that is furthest from the McDonald’s and avoid having to pass it on the way out of the store!