Colorful book covers surround you at every turn, enticing you to crack open the spine and see what magic lies inside these children’s tales. A small stage where storytimes are held, entrancing children with tales of wonder. In a corner, a wooden table adorned with wooden train tracks, and little toy versions of Thomas and his Friends. And the blood curdling scream of a child who refuses to leave that table when it’s time to go.
Oh, wait. That child is ours.
And as the other children at the table look around at each other to fathom the situation, a familiar face to us, an employee of Barnes and Noble comes over to ask if everybody was okay and if anyone was hurt.
Only my pride. Only my pride.
You see, this has, unfortunately been more of the trend recently when we go to Barnes and Noble.
When he first started showing an interest in it, the challenge was getting him to not take the trains out of the hands of other kids who would either come over to play or already be there when we arrived.
He’s gotten much better at that, thankfully, so there are baby steps in the right direction.
But when it’s time to leave, look out. He wants to hear nothing but the little world in front of him and whether it be advance warning (“You can play for a bit more, buddy, but then we have to go” or the follow-up some time later that “We have to go now”) are met with a blood curdling “No! No! No! Noooooo!!!” that then devolves into very loud screaming and crying.
He’s 2 1/2 and I know that these are the times when we’re all trying to communicate with each other and he is still trying to understand and effectively communicate the many emotions he’s feeling. But I admit, in the heat of the moment, it can be rough.
As we resort to picking him up and carrying him out of the Children’s Section, a slew of questions fly through our brain:
- Did we do the right thing?
- Is everyone in this store staring at us?
- Why is he SO angry?
- Are we bad parents?
- Are we raising a brat?
We’re hoping this is a phase. We work with him and talk with him all the time about sharing, behavior, both at home and in public, but sometimes it just can be all too much.
It’s a work in progress, but not without some bumps along the way.