Courage Under Fire
Running Thoughts #86
Hi, I'm Scott, and this is my sometimes weekly newsletter about life, learning, and, occasionally, running.
Question of the Week:
When was the last time you showed courage under fire?
My daughter found my weakness: public humiliation.
Grocery shopping this past Thursday, Cadence was sitting in the cart trying to grab whatever was in reach from the cart as normal.
Until that wasn't enough.
She needed freedom. She stood two or three times, easily rising above the rails of the cart, but easily returned to a seated position.
Until she'd had enough.
Three aisles from checkout with a full and heavy cart, she needed OUT. Any attempt to sit her back down was met with a wail and tears.
At home, I've got no issue letting her cry it out. We get along swimmingly.
But, not here…
Avoiding the public embarrassment of having that kid, I pushed the cart and finished shopping with one arm while holding 24 pounds of spoiled toddler in the other. Any thoughts of placing her back in her seat while in the checkout line were crushed by a look that promised tears with so much as a glance at the cart.
So, I unpacked my cart and paid with one hand.
Cadence 1, Dad 0.
Two days later, my dear daughter struck again. Meeting my parents for lunch in an unexpectedly busy community clubhouse that was hosting the monthly farmer's market, she didn't even make it to the high chair. Her legs kicked wildly like a lifetime of freedom depended on it.
So, she ended up on my lap.
To her credit, she was an angel as the food took nearly 40 minutes. Then my Philly cheese steak and fries arrived. This wasn’t going to work…
Eating around her seemed problematic. She was also more interested in my fries than her own mac and cheese.
I put her into the high chair with a quick wail followed by silence as the world stopped and she gathered air for the earth-shattering wail that came next. The longer the silence, the worse you know it's going to be. I think I counted ten Mississippi.
As she screamed, already red and teary-eyed, I glanced to my left and locked eyes with the parent at the next table shaking my head in shame.
The rest of my meal was eaten quickly, maneuvering my sandwich around my daughter's head while she tried to steal my fries. It got worse when she realized I had ketchup. She dipped the SAME fry over and over just to lick off the ketchup.
Cadence 2, Dad 0.
The following day, my daughter had been an angel all day. A quick Target run and we're done for the day. I grabbed a cart beside my car and put her in, testing her reaction outside before things got wild.
She went in easily and relief washed over me.
We picked up our first few items, a book and apple juice for daycare, without any theatrics although it was taking longer than expected. I never go inside Target and probably only two or three times since they remodeled. I'll give her credit, she held it together for a while.
Until she’d again had enough.
Just like a few days earlier, I was able to sit her back down a few times. Then the scream machine activated and the waterworks opened up.
I knew this was my moment. If I allowed Cadence to run the day again, I'd be stuck carrying her until she went off to college.
I breathed, sat her back down, and clipped her in. Then continued shopping as calmly as I could.
While. She. Screamed.
Adding to my awkwardness, I had to ask an employee for help locating baby lotion as she screamed in the cart between us (asking for help is usually nerve-racking enough for me — why couldn't it just be with all the other hygiene or medical items?).
But, it was done! All items were located and we made it to the checkout. The cashier and older woman in front of me looked at her in sympathy and she actually stopped crying!
She was not happy, BUT SHE WAS NOT CRYING!
Cadence 2, Dad 1.
And then she cried all the way home.
Photo of the Week:
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