Kids Life: Running Errands or Running Crazy
Updated: Jan 14
As a single mother, I’m forced to take my son on every errand. Whether it’s a big trip to the grocery store or I just want to go grab a latte, I have to convince him to come with me. This sometimes takes bribery or trickery. After a lot of whining and convincing (and at least a half hour lead time to get through that), I eventually get him in the car, where he pouts and moans for the rest of the day…until I buy him something. Yes, don’t worry; I do see the problem there, but one problem at a time. A girl needs her latte.
I think my son pictures his every weekend, all day, like this:
And I see it more like this… Where this mom is calm and pleasant as she tells her daughter the next errand to come. They are busy but content. Not to mention nicely dressed and in no big hurry because their day is running pleasantly on schedule:
But in reality, here’s the reaction when I’ve just told my son we have to go places, wrought with an oncoming whine expressing “You can’t be serious.” "But I don't waaaannnaa!"
And sometimes I have to pick my battles. I mean, there’s no doubt it’s annoying to him to have to go everywhere with me. Plus, he’s still too young to leave in the car, so I have to take him inside everywhere. Everywhere! And getting in and out of the car for a reluctant kid is excruciating!
We’re here! C’mon!
Seriously, get out of the car.
C’mon, I mean it. (I open his door)
C’mon, Iet’s go; it’s getting late; this will be quick. (he wines and unbuckles at a snail's pace)
Right now!! (he looks up with disgust but isn't moving)
Okay forget it; I’m going in. You can try to find me. (which, I totally wouldn’t do because he’s too young, but sometimes the threat still works and he panics and hurries up, but he’s starting to realize I’m bluffing)
C’moooonn!! It’s freezing out here!! (Mommy voice escalating)
You have ten seconds before I get mad; now move it!!! (he looks at me like I’m the problem)
One, Two… (molasses starts to whine and literally pour himself out of the car)
I know I’m not the only one, right?
So, in lieu of everything taking a half day longer, sometimes I call my mother over or try to pawn him off on a neighbor. And in doing so, I find myself explaining to them that he’s just tired of being dragged around. And everyone has the same response, “You know, he’s got to get over it. Sometimes kids have to do things they don’t want to do.”
Yeah, no shit. I make him do things he doesn’t want to do 90% of the time. Is this somehow meant to relay that I’m not being hard enough on him? Honestly, after I’ve had my “you have to come; because I said so” arguments with him in spades, every now and then I’ve gotta give him a break, because he is a kid, and he doesn’t want to be carted around everywhere. And I get it.
But now, I find myself explaining that to whomever I’ve asked to babysit. Do I even need to explain myself? They aren’t the ones in constant fits of persuasion just to get a good cup of coffee.
Sadly, there are many times where, after all the begging (my son, my mother, my neighbors), I’ve had enough of the whole scene and say, “you know what? Forget it. I won’t go.” And then something doesn’t get done. Geesh!
Let it be known that this article does not come with a solution. If you're looking for my great tips and tricks for running errands with your kids, you've come to the wrong blog. Join me in one big whine!
Are you a single mom with the same problem? I’d love to hear any great ideas for solving this!