A while back, I tried to convince my unwilling toddler to go to the grocery store with me, so I resorted to bribery and told him that if he would go to the store with me that I would buy him a sucker (don’t judge). We went to Sprouts, and once I was done grocery shopping, I looked all over the store for a sucker. Unfortunately, though, a “farmer’s market” type store isn’t generally the best place to find suckers, so I desperately tried to convince Turner to settle for some gummy worms from the bulk bins. He reluctantly agreed.
As we get to the checkout counter, I realized I had forgotten my debit card in my jacket pocket in the car. I frantically searched through my wallet, trying not to hold up the line, and found my checkbook. Hello 1998. In my panic, I misspelled the name of the store and was truly getting flustered in trying to complete this transaction in a way that was so out of my norm. In the meantime, my precious child, who was waiting patiently in the cart, noticed none other than a bucket of suckers sitting right there within his reach on the counter. I handed the clerk my scribbled check before I noticed the suckers, so my immediate response to Turner was to pull his hand away from the bucket and say, “No baby, we can’t have a sucker right now” because I most certainly was not about to write another check for $.50.
Turner was so disappointed. He cried and cried on the way out to the car, and I felt like a horrible mother. What mom tells her child he can have a sucker and then BAM denies him the very sucker that she promised? I knew we needed to make one more stop, so at the 2nd store, I promised (again) that I would buy him the sugar on a stick that he craved.
As we left store number 2, I still couldn’t shake the guilt I felt of having “lied” to Turner about the sucker at the first store. I wondered if he would ever trust me again, or if I had created a lasting memory in his little mind of a mom that didn’t keep her word. As we got in the car and I unwrapped the little sucker that he had been waiting for, I looked him in the eye and said, “Turner, mommy is so sorry that I didn’t buy you a sucker at the first store like I said I would. I promise you can trust mommy and I will never ever lie to you. I love you so much.”
As I buckle my seatbelt and glance in the rearview mirror, I hear his sweet voice respond, “I love you……….sucker!”
I couldn’t help but laugh. My sweet baby had already gotten over the experience of not getting the sucker at the first store and was just as happy to have it from the 2nd store. He didn’t think any less of me as a mom, even though I was beating myself up for not doing exactly what I had told him I was going to do. I guess the lesson from this is that sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned, but we should never be hard on ourselves if we mess up. Our kids will still love us and life will go on, one lick at a time.