Sunday, May 3, 2009

Shoulda - Coulda - Woulda

Last month, I searched locally for non-alcohol-based vanilla. I don't know why I didn't just give in and order it online. I guess that maybe I am trying to save a few bucks on shipping and handling... or something like that. We're not that far from the city, and I'd like to support the economy in my own state... but - I should have known better. I should know better than to take both of our youngest children to Whole Foods, or anywhere together. I should know...

The only thing predictable about Nicolas, is that he is unpredictable. And, Nicolas had a "situation" or an incident everywhere we went. Everywhere. In or at every single place that we went, on the day that we found our vanilla. What I experienced and what I noticed was pretty amazing though. Quite like a miracle, actually.

The scene: Whole Foods. I am on a mission for non-alcohol based vanilla and raw organic almonds. I am controlling Nicolas from having a fit, because he can see all the foods that he can not have. He's grumbling (in a whinny and obnoxious way) about blackberries and cheese... Olivia is begging for strawberry yogurt covered pretzels in the bulk foods section and I was hoping that she wouldn't just stick her hand in the bin, grab a handful and start eating them... I ask the nearest employee where the organic raw almonds are. He shows me and I see dollar signs... $14.99/lb. ouch! I have to have them. I have been promising Nick that I will make him a home made apple pie just for him, ever since Easter. I need those almonds for the crust. I get the almonds and then I see the plain (not organic) raw almonds and decide I had better get some of those too, and make 2 pies so the whole family can enjoy apple pie together. I ask Nick to get me another clear produce type of bag, as he is standing next to the bags and I go over, about 6 feet -- to where Olivia is squeaking and repeating herself about those darn pink strawberry yogurt covered pretzels... Yes, it worried me that she obsesses too! I get her 7 little pretzels, turn to look at Nick and he's got his arms full of the clear, plastic bags and is continuing to unwind them off the roll. They just keep coming and coming, round and round... I didn't yell, but - he must have seen the look of horror on my face and calmly said, "When will these tear off?" Poor boy... He didn't realize that they were perforated and that you have to manually tear the bag off from the roll. Before I could get to him, a kind employee just walked over to my child, and his 15 feet of baggies...and rolled all the bags back onto the roll, that Nick had unrolled. They both just looked at me and I realized that "thank you" would be appropriate. ((sigh))

I could have scolded Nick, belittled him or gave him "a look". I could have made excuses for his lack of common sense and made myself look like a victim to the WF employee. I didn't though. I think I even surprised myself. It could have been worse. And it did get worse a few times in the store, but - even after Olivia used all of her tactics and her manners, I still would not buy her a Hello Kitty water bottle for $19.99... and she didn't pitch a fit. In fact, she helped put it back. ((I nearly fainted... from shock...)) I have worries about her, watching Nick's behaviors and so forth. My first answer was "no" - I am not buying a water bottle for $19.99, no matter how cute it was... and I never change my mind, once I have given my kids the answer. The answer was no and it remained no. I've regretted being so hard-nosed about it at times, but - my no's mean no the first time. I was easily persuaded with our oldest child, who is almost 21. I've had many conversations with him about all the "stuff and junk" he got as a child. End of discussion.

Now then, would most kids have known to rip the bags off of produce bag rolls? Maybe. Nick did not. In his mind, he didn't do anything wrong. To everyone else, it looked really strange and that's just the way it is, everywhere we go. My poor boy looks strange to most people. Some people understand and it always surprises me when they do.

One such time was at church. Nick wanted a napkin from a coffee bar area, that was located too high for him to reach. I was busy with Olivia, told Nick to wait and that I would be right with him. He is an Italian and was born with a deficit in the patience category, same as his father. ((Smile)) He needed a napkin and decided to slide a rather large lounge chair with a wooden frame across a stone tiled floor. It was so loud! Didn't phase Nick at all... he just slid the chair all the way across the room, climbed on top of it, got his napkin, wiped his face and then proceeded to slide the chair back across the room, making another hideously loud noise. At church! I was embarrassed and one of the gentleman who was sitting in the area looked at me, so I apologized for Nick's actions and he shook his head and told me "Now that's the kind of boy I would have hired years ago... one who solved his own problems!" Hugh? It stunned me; annoyed most people - except for that man. Obviously, I will never forget that little scenario and again, Nick didn't see anything wrong with what he did.

These are just small and mild examples of what has become normal to me. God has given me patience and has helped me not to over-react. I know that I get worked up about a lot of things that Nick does... and I've been humiliated to the point where I wonder if I could recover. I blame myself, because I know how Nick is and I should have known...

I should have been more prepared. I could have just gotten him the napkin and abandoned Olivia. I should have done a lot of things... a lot of times... and if I could do things over - I absolutely would. I would love a do-over. But, I can't. I can't change the past. I can only learn to prevent the same situation from happening again. Living in a state of mind that only says "shoulda, coulda and woulda" doesn't help the present and sure isn't very inspiring for the future. I am working on not allowing my regrets to take over and distract me from the moments of happiness and the joys that my children bring. It is a decision and I have decided... that this is just the way it is, instead of "shoulda, coulda and woulda".

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