An Inconvenient Truth

Posted by on Aug 9, 2011 | 4 comments

It’s time for me to accept the truth: my son cannot go to the Real Canadian Superstore anymore.  Every single visit ends with him screaming at the top of his lungs at the checkout, flailing his body to the ground and refusing to leave for some reason or another.  I just can’t do it anymore.

Jack used to be great in the grocery store.  We’ve always done the bulk of our shopping as a family, so he’s had years of experience.  The only fear I ever had while shopping with him was the bathrooms at Target – they were horribly loud, and he would scream and grab at the doors to leave any time a toilet flushed or someone came over the loudspeaker.  Considering I spent a great deal of his early life pregnant with his brothers and using the bathroom every ten minutes or so, this was a pretty big issue.  Our amazing ABA Christine spent several Sundays at Target with us, helping him overcome his fear of the dreaded bathrooms.  He’s still skittish, but more often than not he soldiers through.

Past that, though, we’ve never really had a problem with him in stores.  I mean, more than any other young child (we’ve all had that shopping trip from hell with the screeching, flailing, unhappy kid).

Enter the Real Canadian Superstore, and the beginning of the trying times.

At first, we attributed Jack’s outbursts to the free cookies they give away in the bakery.  We assumed there were artificial colors or flavors or another nefarious ingredient causing his sudden decline.  When we put a stop to the cookie train, we figured the tantrums would end, too.  We were quite wrong.  We tried everything: we went before the park, after the park, in the morning, in the evening, on a full stomach, by himself, with his brothers, in the cart and letting him run free.  Every trip has ended the same way, with him completely falling apart at the register.

Sometimes it’s because I didn’t purchase something he thought we were going to buy (craft supplies last week, charcoal the other day).  Sometimes it’s because he wants to put the money into the machine at the U-Scan.  Sometimes it’s just a day that ends in “y”.  There is no pattern.

So today, after an especially difficult time getting Jack out to the car and into his seat (he had been screaming at the top of his lungs inside the store and wouldn’t calm down, so David had to take him out), I gave up.  I sat in my seat, looked at my husband, and gave up.

I want it known that I don’t give up easily.  I fight on a daily basis so that my child can and will do “normal” things like go to the grocery store with his family without losing his mind.  I fight so other people will not judge him or give him a label that locks him in a little box.  I fight out loud so that people will stare at me, not him.  I want him stared at because of the joy he radiates, not the anxiety and frustration his mind causes him sometimes.

But I just can’t deal with the Superstore anymore.  At least not until I can find a Canadian version of Christine to help figure out what bugs him so much about that particular establishment.   It’s a puzzle we’ll solve in time, I know, but today I need a break.  I think Jack needs a break, too.  We’ll find a new store he can tolerate, or I’ll do all of the shopping while he stays in the car with his Daddy.

I’m giving up today, so I can fight again tomorrow.

standing on a beach

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  • Michelle Rogers

    Maybe there is a Fake Canadian Superstore you can try? 😉 

  • I love you. Our ability to do things such as grocery shopping ebbs and flows. Lately Liam’s been wanting to go WITH me rather than hang in the fred meyer play area. Which is remarkable. And a bit of a PITA as it’s always faster w/o a helper who wants in the cart, out of the cart, on the front, off the front, walking, stopping on on on.

    Giving up for now? Not a bad idea. Sometimes we have to give up something like that for a while before we can try again with a fresh spirit and fresh ideas.

    And consider drinking before you go next time. Just have hubby as a DD for you. 😉 xoxo

  • Hanna

    Wendy, {{hugs}}. I can’t imagine how it’s been. I’m wanting not to take Joshua to the store anymore b/c he screams every single time about something that he wants . .and he’s only screaming and kicking in the cart ..  so I can still push forward, nothing quite what you’re going through. Funny that you would mention the hand dryer. I’ve noticed recently (I think b/c now that they’re potty trained we frequent public restrooms more) how he freaks out every time someone flushes or uses the dryer. The other day he leaped out of the toilet seat mid stream into my lap and finished warmly on my new skirt. Lovely 🙂 

  • absolutely
    As they say “Discretion really is the better part of valor”