You find yourself in the changing stall at Ross, clamping a screaming, squeeming, one year old in place with your knees while attempting to pull a dress up and over your head.
And that is exactly the position I found myself in Tuesday afternoon.
August and September are big months for the Dietz family. We have two weddings, my class reunion, and our five year anniversary. With all of those fancy pants events in the future, I thought it was time to get a new dress.
So as Grace and I ran errands on Tuesday, I thought I’d stop in and check out what Ross had to offer. We got a cart, twirled around the store for a bit, and then waited in line to check into the changing room. Grace was all giggles and smiles and baby babble until…
the woman who checked us into the changing room informed us that we had to leave our cart behind. I’m not sure the rationale behind this. Perhaps the people running Ross are under the bizarre impression that toddlers are well behaved and easily contained in a changing stall with a giant two feet gap at the bottom. (Target and J.C. Penny have huge stalls that a cart can actually fit into. This is a big plus when shopping with a baby or toddler!)
At first Grace fooled me into thinking this would be no big deal. She sat patiently on the bench while I tried on the first dress. Feeling confident in my daughter’s seemingly angelic behavior, I thought I’d try on the next dress I brought with me, and that’s when Hurricane Grace struck.
As I tossed the dress over my head, momentarily blinded by black fabric, Grace intentionally slipped from her sitting position on the bench to a crawling position on the floor.
Before I even knew what hit me, Grace was on a Peeping Tom mission to stick her head under and into the occupied stall next to us. Right as her hips almost followed suit, I managed to grab her and pull her quickly back, bringing on a massive wail. If the woman in the stall next to us didn’t realize I had a toddler with me when Grace snuck her head into the stall to invade her privacy as she was changing, she most definitely did now, as I’m sure the entire store did as well.
Knowing this was bound to end poorly (and having flashbacks of the time Grace decided to crawl out of the bathroom stall without me and explore the very large, crowded, not so clean public restroom), I mustered all my balance and strength, and pinned Grace between my knees as I quickly peeled myself out of my dress and back into my shorts and t-shirt, the whole while Grace thrashed about, her face a myriad of different shades of red, while she screamed bloody murder at the top of her not so little lungs.
By the time I made it out of the changing stall and to the register
my hair was a disheveled mess and my face had followed suit with my daughters and had turned a bright shade of red.
Of course, at this stage in the game, Grace was back to her angelic, incredibly cute, stranger attracting self; meanwhile, I was left to wear the consequences of her massive fit.
It was in that moment that I realized there was no turning back. I am officially the mother of a toddler. Although Grace entered the toddling stage nearly two months ago, I’m unsure babies officially become a toddler until they have perfected their public fit throwing skills and have acquired the attitude and moodiness of a teenager, both of which my daughter has down pat.
Wish me luck friends and
fellow warriors mothers. The toddler years have officially begun in the Dietz household.