Kids Are Jerks

Kids Are Jerks

I was in Target the other day on a quick run to get soda and juice. Now, we all know there is no such thing as a "quick run" into Target for obvious reasons that include Target is frickin' awesome. But, in my defense, Target stores are the size of football fields. So, literally, there is no "quick run" into Target.

Lola, my three and a half year old sassy pants was with me and she insisted on walking. Usually this is a terrible idea because it results in her running everywhere, impromptu games of hide and go seek, and her dodging giant shopping carts that can't see her. But since we were on this so called "quick run" into Target I stupidly agreed to her walking plan.

We rush into Target and she's skipping ahead of me, which is fine because I needed her to go fast. We hike back to the beverages section where I collect two two-liter bottles of soda and a 64 oz. bottle of apple juice. We're ready to head back. 

We're moving. I've got a total of four liters of soda in one arm and 64 oz. of juice in the other. My voice alone is trying to contain Lola. Even typing that sentence is ridiculous. She's moving, skipping, running. If you're a mom of a toddler you know that running equals falling equals screaming bloody murder in a nice, quiet, expertly lit Target. So I'm urging Lola not to run. She can't even contain herself. That open, bright, clean space. How could she not run?! It was a terrible idea not to get a cart!

I'm getting loud. "Lola! No running! I don't want you to fall. Lola, no running. Lola, no running." Just repeat that in your head another fifteen times.

But she can't contain herself. I can see her trying to make herself walk but after about two steps she's running again as if her little body didn't understand reason or English!

I'm yelling now. "Lola! Stop running!" 

As she's running she whips her head around and yells back, "I don't want you to speak to me! Don't speak to me!" 

Sometimes the things that kids say are so holy inappropriate and disrespectfully cute, that I want to laugh out loud. And, I, with my arms full of soda and juice, have to stifle my laugh and my embarrassment enough to get her to slow the frick down!

I know what you're thinking. That's what I get for buying soda. 

I laugh and whisper at the same time, "Don't say that to me and slow down." 

As we round the corner to the check out line I see another kid. He's maybe a year or two older than Lola. He's pulling all of the doggy toys off of the end cap and throwing them into the middle isle of the store. His mom is telling him to pick them up and pleading with him to behave. I later ended up in the same line with her. There she was. Head in hands. Probably with a headache. I didn't judge her. I judged the kid. And I came to the conclusion...

Kids are jerks.

Okay, before anyone gets all sanctimommy on me, of course I would never call any of my kids a jerk. Not to their face, at least. I'm not calling your kid a jerk. And I know that parents are jerks, too. I'm sure I've probably been guilty. I was probably a jerk for allowing her to walk in the first place or for buying soda. But can we just talk about the kids who are jerks right now? It's just this age! This testy little age where they prove to you that you don't really know anything at all. It's forty-seven disagreements a day. It's soap suds on the walls, Sharpie on the TV screen, and "Don't touch me!" in front of an entire checkout line. 

Now here's my disclaimer. If I could have asked God to send me the perfect little girl to be my daughter, Lola is it. She is the greatest joy and she is the light at the end of what was a hard and dark tunnel. She is sweet and loving and sugar and spice and everything nice. She really is. I look forward to waking up to her little face every morning and she makes me laugh every day. Especially yesterday when she couldn't pronounce cockroaches so she decided to call them coscos and when her dad tried to correct her she told him with her hands up, "That doesn't make any sense!"

She is also the most challenging kid I own. She has a feisty temper. I got lucky with my boys. They never threw public fits. Lola makes up for all of it. Every day.

So the moral of the story is how about we not judge parents for a second and just accept that kids can be jerks? Is that a moral? I'm making it one. 


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    1. Ha ha! No offense taken! I used to give her those little pep talks a while back. Whatever happened to those?! I should try them again but in a hurry I let my guard down. Mommy fail!

      The ice cream was a totally different day. But I didn't even put two and two together! She was being good that day.

      Thanks for the reminder! I think I needed it!

  2. OK - Shauna, I hope you won't take offense, but as a Momma of a former 3 years old boy, I can see some advice is needed here.

    Definitely not judging, and wholeheartedly agreeing that kids can be jerks. Big ones. :)

    You may have done this already and it didn't work (sometimes it doesn't) but here goes.

    First, the trip to Target begins at home before you leave - with a conversation like this (tweek to your liking): "Lola, we are going to Target. You will either ride in the cart, OR, if you can be a big girl and follow directions, you may walk beside me. If you run, scream, say ugly things - anything except walk quietly beside me, you will get punished when we get home (withhold something, time-out, whatever you normally do). If you are a quiet girl who walks nicely beside me, you will get a treat when we are finished at Target. This is our deal. Do you understand our deal" Maybe make her repeat some of it back to you.

    She seems like a smart girl - she will get it. If she starts acting up in Target, pull her aside, kneel down to her level and say, "Do you remember our deal? Do you want punishment, or do you want a treat?"

    Then, (big finish) - follow through. Punish or treat, accordingly. And tell her that this is how she needs to behave anytime you take her to a store or public place, with the same deal.

    It may take several times, but she will get it.

    The last picture you posted is way cute, but if she was a "bad" girl in Target, you just reinforced the bad behaviour with that sweet bite she is enjoying.

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but as advice from someone who's been there, done that, messed up, been embarassed, etc.

  3. Shauna, you didn't fail! You made it to Target and back home with a 3 year old and kept your sanity. I hope you celebrated with a big glass of Pinot! Thanks for sharing your family with us. You are doing a great job, with lots of stresses that most of us don't have!

    1. I barely kept my sanity. Lucky for me there was Five Guys Hamburgers waiting at home.

  4. Kids are jerks. TRUE STORY. The End.

  5. Kids are jerks! And we were all kids, so I don't think we can argue (unless we have no memories of our jerky moments). heehee
    Great post, made this (non-parent) loud out loud.

    1. What are you talking about?! I was a total angel.

      Now did that make you laugh?

  6. I couldn't agree more with this post! The problem is, as parents we pour all our heart and soul into the first few years, making them so smart...teaching them all kinds of crap. Then they totally use it all against us as soon as they hit age 3. Damn smart jerky kids. hehe So glad I found you at NaBloPoMo, fun read!

    Rose :)

    1. They do use it against us! Why do I teach them anything?! Thanks for reading. :-)

  7. They can definitely be a handful. Even the best behaved kids have trying moments!


    Erin T.

  8. Kids are jerks.

    Even if you did give her the choice before you left your house, she still would have been a jerk.

    Simply because it was a quick run. Which means emotions and tensions are high and kids feed off of that stuff. Heck, she could have started climbing out of the cart. Then what?

    See. Kids are Jerks. But we love them for that. Their jerkiness is what keeps us in laughter. If not today - one Christmas dinner in the future. :)

  9. You betcha! Kids are jerks sometimes. I'm with you. Anything and anyone that makes my life more difficult is a jerk. Plus, "sanctimommy" might just be my new favorite word. Perfect.

    Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

    1. Ha! Can't take credit for that. I stole "sanctimommy" from STFU, Parents. It's the perfect word.

  10. I'm not a parent, so it's difficult for me to understand how more parents aren't on the floor in the fetal position whimpering like wounded animals. Being a parent looks insanely HARD! Honestly, it must be either unconditional love or insanity when you enter this life long unspoken parental contract.

    That said, you are a brave soldier and I wish you nothing but calm moments and early bedtimes. LOL! Stopping by from SITS.


  11. Disclaimer up front: I'm not a parent, and that is totally by choice. I clicked on your link from SITS looking for a little humor, and boy did I get it. Loved it. I also got some insight into what it's like for the parents of the lovely little angels I refer to as "ankle biters" and I thank you for that. Like Pricilla said before me, parenting looks hard. So thanks for explaining what you are going through in a humorous way that will make me understand what is actually going on the next time I see a child tearing their way through the aisle at Target.

  12. They surely can be tiny little jerks. I often say, "You're lucky you're cute kid." You are also much braver than I am. I don't attempt no cart or basket when I'm with my toddler. I can just see his sprint towards the escalator and my failed attempt to keep up while dropping my hygiene products and frozen pizzas amongst innocent Target shoppers.

  13. Kids ARE jerks. I have a very strong willed daughter who likes to try my patience. People are all, "Explain your expectations to her and she'll behave." Newsflash! It doesn't work.

    And yes, Target is the best. We are there weekly. Sometimes twice a week. Sometimes more. I have a Target addiction.

  14. Ok, I have to admit, you made me lol. Literally LOL!!! I don't think there is a parent out there who hasn't had a hard time like you had on your Target "run"... You have introduced me to the term "sanctimommy", for which I am eternally grateful! I will think of you and this post every time I use it. (Which will be a LOT! ) ;) I found you thru SITS Sharefest, so happy to have connected!
    Enjoy your weekend!

    Andrea @ Cloud Nine Chic

  15. Kids are total jerks! And jackasses. And I am SO glad I am not the only one with a (3) little girls who act like they cannot hear me calling their name and telling them to slow the fuck down. Sometimes I think only my children are so damn disrespectful. So nice to know other people's kids are jerks too. In solidarity.


  16. Yup, kids are jerks, and you know what? They get better at it as they get older! (speaking from experience) :)

  17. I think most teachers I know would slowly nod to the title of this post. :) I have a 3 year old as well, and thank the Lord she's usually on the same page with me, unless of course, I look desperate about something. Then it's over and she takes control of the situation. Calm has been my biggest ally with her, at least, until she morphs into another person again. =D


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