It's started. There will be no more family shopping trips for a while. No more bundling the kids into a car to go out all together and take care of a series of errands while also just enjoying some browse time while Husband is there to help run interference but also take part in the product research process. Sebastian and Lorelei almost simultaneously hit a new milestone each.
Sebastian is at that stage where he is now walking and running confidently and can't understand why he needs to be in the pram. Fair enough, under many circumstances there is no reason why he can't get out and walk, as long as there is someone there to direct him a little and keep him walking in the right direction.
He likes to be able to meander through a shopping centre, gazing up at all the tall people walking in every direction, staring at the stairs, the water feature, the pop up shops in the middle of the walkway. People walk around him, most smile, a few frowning as they have to step sideways to avoid walking over the top of him. Every now and then he will stop, staring into a shop at something that has caught his eye, and eventually I have to prompt him to move onwards, which he will do happily.
I don't mind this stage. I know this will probably pass soon enough, and he will once again be happy to be pushed from one end of the busy store to another, only wanting to get out when we are stationary.
Lorelei on the other hand has been walking along holding the pram strap for quite some time. Sometimes she will sit in the double pram with Sebastian, other times she will walk. Mostly we let her choose, at almost 3 we would probably be thinking about giving away our pram were she our only little one left. Since she has always been pretty good about staying where she is expected to be, although it was a challenge to let Sebastian out to walk sometimes as well, it could still happen if both parents were on the shopping trip.
Not anymore. This weekend Lorelei did the thing that all parents dread. Determined to go on one of the shopping centre arcade rides (for a second time, having conned her way on to the ride with another paying child) she lay on the floor and refused to move. There was kicking. And screaming. Kicking off her shoes while also beating the floors and snotting everywhere.
I was mortified. Not that I haven't been here before with Madeleine 10 years ago. I know the drill, you either move the child to a quiet corner to wait out the tantrum passively, or you throw them over your shoulder and keep moving. What you don't do is reason, bribe, plead or threaten, because at 2 years old she has me by the short and curlies and she knows it.
That is exactly what we did, but with Sebastian carrying on like a pork chop because he was confined briefly to the pram while Husband made a purchase, Lorelei kicking and screaming over my shoulder in defiance, and a huge double pram to manipulate at the same time I confess myself beaten.
There will be no more shopping trips together for a while. At least a year. Meanwhile, I was calm emough about the situation to take a photo before picking her by the ankle. I don't know whether the raised eyebrows from passersby were about my dreadful reaction - photo - or by my clearly spoilt brat of a child but I don't care.