The short one and I are leaving in three days. (My other half is staying home, in case you are reading this and thinking of burgling us while we are gone.)

A brief excursion to Kohl's after work yesterday raised the spectre of just how challenging this Thanksgiving "vacation" is going to be. I just needed a few pairs of underwear, so it should have been a very brief and straightforward shopping trip. First off, we couldn't get a cart, which is a fate worse than death. We loitered in the lobby area and waited for one to turn up, while the kid greeted everyone who came in. "I got my milk and my pretznels!" she announced to one lady. She had some leftover snacks from daycare tucked under her arm because she had insisted on bringing them into the store.

Finally we got a cart. She sat in it for about .0000987 seconds and climbed out as soon as we hit the lingerie section. "I don't want to sit down!" I begged her to sit in it just long enough for me to pick out some drawers. Then I gave up and told her she had to stay nearby and keep her hand on the cart. She wandered away so I grabbed her arm. "DON'T HURT ME!" she yelled.

I was not leaving there without some underwear so I continued to negotiate with her as she wandered around poking padded bras and introducing herself (using her full name) to complete strangers. Then I pulled out the big guns:

"Santa is not bringing you any presents because you don't behave." This got her attention for a few seconds. "But I want presents!" She is only two so the whole Christmas/Santa thing isn't fully clear to her yet. It wasn't quite the bargaining chip I thought it would be. So then I switched gears and took a different approach: "If you behave you can have some fruit snacks when we get in the car." Ugh, bribery. The lowest parenting tactic there is. I'm so ashamed.

I finally got out of there with four pairs of drawers that may or may not be my size.

The whole scene frightened me because if we can't make it in and out of Kohl's without incident, how am I going to make it through three airports with: two carry-ons, a stroller, two winter coats, and a headstrong two-year-old who won't: carry a carry-on, sit in the stroller, or wear her coat? Woe is me.


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