My kids were being angels. Seriously, they were such joys as we walked through Target, searching the clearances and adding items from our list into the cart. As I pushed both my boys down the aisle in the red cart, we played fun games. “Wesley, where is your mouth?” I would say as my little boy, grinning ear to ear, would point to his mouth. After saying “Where are Wesley’s hands?” the little guy threw his hands into the air with pleasure. “Oh my, what a smart little one I have!” flowed through my mind.
Daniel, as we migrated through the toy department, just enjoying the items, never asked to take one home. Sweet boy never does. When other mommies and daddies had their cart in our way, Daniel would ever so politely say, “Excuse me, please.” Such wonderful manners he has. “What great parents we are to teach him to be so kind,” I thought to myself.
When we went to the line to purchase our items, Daniel placed the items gently on the conveyor belt and told the cashier “Thank you, mam'” after we paid. Wesley merrily waved bye-bye to everyone in the store and his kindness made my heart glow.
While journeying to the car, Daniel kept saying, “Look for 111 Wesley. Look for 111.” I was uncertain what Daniel was referencing, but right when we got to the car, Daniel cheered, “There it is! 111! We made it Wesley!” as he pointed to our license plate. Wow, what an observant little boy I have! Never once have I pointed out the numbers on our license plate. He discovered that all on his own. Mentally I said, “My son is so smart!”
As I parked the buggy onto the car, Daniel began to show his great imagination. “I’m the strongest boy in the world! I can move the car!” he said, while pushing himself off the car with his hands, moving the cart an inch from the car’s body. “Wow! You are the strongest boy ever!” I said, while praising his ability to make almost anything fun and my parenting skills that always encourage that quality in him.
I unbuckled Wesley from the seat of the shopping cart and began to move him into his car seat while Daniel continued to cheer and shout and play like he was a super hero. Wesley leaned into me and gave me a big ol’ hug. Such a wonderful day.
While buckling little man into the car, I could still hear Daniel role playing as super hero, albeit a little muffled. Suddenly, I hear “Help! Help me! Momma, help! I’m going away!!!”
Turns out, the strongest boy ever had pushed himself off of our car and into the the parking lot in a free style float through the parking lot! I, the best parent ever, now took off running after him. Fortunately, about 5 parking spots down from our vehicle, a huge extended cab truck, which I despise, despite their overwhelming popularity in my area, was sticking out far enough to stop his commute.
I scooped my precious one out of the cart and gave him a huge hug and kiss while two ladies 5 parking spots up form our car on the opposite side, hollered out to check on him. Upon seeing he was safe, they cracked up in laughter, and so did I. They relayed to me the look on his face and the fact they wish they had owned a camera at that point to record him rolling away. Both middle aged ladies told me, between laughs, that they saw him rolling and knew there was no way they could run and catch him but fortunately they could tell the truck was going to stop him.
I, the once best parent in the world, now felt like a complete goof. I tucked Daniel safely into his car seat and then went back to check on the status of the massive truck that perhaps saved my son from major harm. No damage to the paint, so all was well.
When I returned, Daniel was telling Wesley all about his mini-adventure while I peeled a banana for each child.
:o) Oh my, what a great parent I am, huh? I guess pride (and Target! since we have a great history and all) comes before the fall!
Proverbs 16:18 (The Message)
18 First pride, then the crash—
the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.