It was another snowy morning on the farm here in Michigan. My daughter, Ashley stopped by my house to bring me back my pan that I had brought them dinner a while back.
"What's up?" I ask.
"I'm heading to the bank and feed store this morning. They close at one o'clock so I better get going," she says but makes no move to leave.
"Where's the kids?" I reply.
"In the truck, buckled up. They are driving me crazy!" Ashley says.
So, here it is, I know why she dropped off the pan. It had been at her house for a while so I know.
"Do you want me to go with?" I ask.
"You don't have to." she says with a sigh.
Scrambling around, I change, throw on a ball cap to cover my unwashed hair and head out the door. As I jump in her truck, Kasen is in the back yelling my name, Audrie is in the middle smirking and Clair the little one is giggling. Glancing in the back I smile and think to myself, "Wow! what a crew!"
We make our rounds leaving our last stop, Family Farm and Home store where everyone gets out. You see when I go on these excursions I usually just stay in the truck while Ashley runs in to get the errands taken care of. A lot easier!
All we needed were a few things but when you don't go into town too often it seems like everything is fascinating at the farm supply store. Slowly making are way around the store grabbing; sawdust, heat bulbs for the new baby lambs, vaccinations, dog treats, all the farm basics. Audrie spotted a green and blue lamb halter and then Kasen wanted one for his lamb so he picked out a blue and red halter.
We purposely left the toy aisle last, hoping to strategically avoid it but no such hope. Kasen spotted it right away. Let's just get things straight, I am one of those types of grandmas that like to spoil my grandkids. They all chose something small, Audrie loved the eight ball, Kasen found a John Deere farm set and Clair got some farm animals. Awesome! Everyone is happy!
As Ashley and I are looking at the clothes because of course we want something, too. Kasen gets mad about something, still not sure what, and storms off by himself. "Oh boy" I think to myself. As I am looking at a rack of clothes I glance up at Ashley to see how she is going to react. I certainly don't want to be the one to discipline if I don't have to because after all I am the grandma.
"Don't worry! I've got this one!" She replies to my look as she starts"the walk". You know "the walk"? The slow but firm walk that mothers do, trying to gather themselves before getting to the naughty child and thinking about how to deal with the situation without losing your cool in front of everyone in the store.
I of course look away for two reasons: first of all I know this could be painful for my grandson and second of all I refused to be one of those gawkers who judge.
Out of the corner of my eye I see Ashley hauling an unwilling and limp Kasen back down the toy aisle.
Yes, she made him put the toy back. She firmly explained to him that he is not allowed to take off in the store by himself or talk back and that naughty boys don't deserve special treats like a toy. Unfortunately, this just made the situation worse as Kasen sat on the floor at the cash out counter, sobbing but Ashley stayed firm.
"I won't lie," she responded, "I really wanted to go back and get the toy to give to him later but I stopped myself. It wasn't something he needed and maybe when he watches his sisters play with their new toys today he will think twice about throwing a fit in the store."
It's official! My daughter is a earned her way to the motherhood club!
Nobody said being a parent is easy! We often have to dole out tough consequences that hurt a little bit now but it's an investment for their future to be someone with good character.