Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I (Don't) Wanna Hold Your Hand

I saw something recently that made me insanely, painfully envious. A woman was standing in line at the coffee shop, leisurely ordering her drink, counting out exact change, chatting with the barista...all while her son (who I later learned is almost exactly Westley's age) stood calmly beside her.

You know what happens when I put Westley down? He takes off running. It makes no difference how familiar the location is or how close we are to a busy street. When his feet touch the ground, he's off like a shot.


Not only would Westley never in a million years stand quietly beside me while I pay way too much for a latte, he will also never hold my hand. He just flat-out refuses. "Walk! Walk!" he insists, as we get out of the car. When I tell him he has to hold my hand in the parking lot, he says "no-no" (like I've just suggested that he try chewing on broken glass) and whips his hand away faster than I can easily catch it and tries to run. I think he's trying to give me a heart attack.

If I run with my eyes closed, they really can't see me!

Some parenting rules are negotiable. In bed right at 8:00 PM? Well, not always. No cookies for breakfast? When they're healthy, whole-wheat cookies baked lovingly at home by Daddy, it can't be much worse than eating toast with jelly. But "you must hold Mommy's hand in the parking lot"? Not a rule I'm willing to fudge.

No one's going to die if Westley goes to bed at 8:15, or, God forbid, 8:30. But those cars in the parking lot? They literally weigh a ton. But I can't explain this to my toddler. I can just hold him--tightly--by the wrist, and feel like a bully, and breathe deeply through his screams of "Walk! Walk! Walk!" until we reach our destination. Or I can carry him, which I often do. Because it's just easier.

Decaf, with rice milk, please... Now just hold on a second while I move my kid to the other hip so I can get my wallet.



Allison the Meep said...

Ugh. Julian used to take off in parking lots too and scare the jeebus out of me. I always felt like such an asshole mom for dragging my kid through the parking lot by the wrist because he was too stubborn to walk holding my hand.

Strangely now, he holds my hand all the time and doesn't need to because he's old enough to know not to run off.

Rob said...

Turns out that a rule I'm willing to negotiate on is "no reading books at 2:00 AM." But there have to be extenuating circumstances, like having had a bad dream.

Amber, The Unlikely Mama said...

You could always get one of these, jk!

Lizzie said...

Oh, I know this. My three-year-old refuses to hold hands, too, and I am always dragging, yanking, or hauling him under my arm when we are in a parking lot.