Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'll Send the Therapist's Bill to Sam

All I wanted was to go to Sam's Club and get my bulk pack of 720 diaper wipes, garbage bags, gogurt and some treats for our Olympics Opening Ceremony party. Instead I ended up treating middle daughter to the most traumatic moment in her young, 4 year old life. Way to go, Mom!

It was meant to be a quick in and out stop. Go ahead and laugh. Because I know you know as well as I know that there is no such thing as a quick in and out stop at Sam's Club.

We were headed to the back of the store for those trash bags when we happened upon the Halloween display. (I know! It's only August. But I guess if we can already be in school, they can have the ghouls and goblins out.) So, we pass by the automated life-sized zombie guy.

I have little son and middle daughter in the cart seat (I just want to mention how much I LOVE the carts at Sam's due to the double accommodation of the seat. It is genius!) and oldest daughter walking alongside. Oldest daughter sees the monster and stops to take it all in as I continue making my way to the trash bags.

As soon as she has seen enough of the zombie, she hustles and catches up- giving the full report, "Brother, sister- you have to see that thing. It shakes and changes faces and everything!"

Immediately middle daughter declares that she must witness this spectacle. I assure her we will go back by on our way to the gogurt. Her pleadings become more intense as I am distracted with the task of deciding which bags to select: force flex with ties or the generic with 10 times more bags in the box. Once the decision is made and the bags are placed in the cart we proceed to the "gotta see" scary man.

As we near the ghoul, the automated shaking begins and ghostly sounds ring out. We are still behind it- not even head on- and middle daughter lets out a terrified, blood curdling 10 second (at least) scream of intense fear that stops all the shoppers in our immediate area. Almost as soon as the scream begins, she starts crying inconsolably. I have never witnessed (nor do I hope to ever witness again) my daughter in such a state of fear. Her little body literally shaking.

I quickly push the cart away from the display and position it to the side of the aisle so that I can make an attempt at reassuring her that all is well. My heart was aching for her as I could see that she was scared beyond description.

I have to admit, my first thoughts were, "Bring on bedtime. We are having nightmares at our house tonight."

Finally we were able to comfort her enough to get that gogurt, check out and get home. The rest of the afternoon she was in constant fear that we were going to go back to Sam's and she would have to see that scary guy. Obviously, this experience damaged her little secure self.

As soon as the husband got home from work she related the entire story. Now, I know I have a wonderful husband and this is why: as he was talking it through with her, they decided to give that scary monster a name. Frank was suggested, but middle daughter asked, "Can we just call him Underwear?" It was brilliant! Out of this scary situation, she was able to place a funny name on the experience and laugh about it. Thank you, husband! The gold medal goes to you. (What is your national anthem?)

The scene was recalled a few times during the Opening Ceremonies, but there were no nightmares.

Yesterday as were getting ready to go to Target, middle daughter pipes up with, "I don't want to go if Underwear is at Target."

We went. He wasn't there.


Chris said...

National Anthem? I'm not sure, but I've often wondered why you sing louder and with more feeling than the children the song "I'm so glad when Daddy comes home." Now I know why...Synchronized parenthood as an Olympic sport? I'd think we'd average at least a 9.5...great post my dear.

Claire said...

What a story! Thanks for sharing. My daughter number one used to scream and hide if she saw a man in a beard, that was hard to advoid. Luckily she out grew it.

Ruth P said...

Poor middle daughter! I think my middle daughter would have reacted the same way. What a great idea to give scary guy a name! I will have to remember that when it happens to us.

E-Star said...

Wow underwear was at Target last year and mine reacted the same way! How funny! What a cutie to come up with Underwear for a name and what a smart daddy for suggesting it... you guys are a great team!

uniquelynat said...

chris's comments are just about as great as your posts!!!! poor little sister! addie was that way for a long time...last year she got over it on her own somehow! i was sooo we can go anywhere in the store without trauma. now comes that challenge of not being able to tear her away from it all...