Friday, May 13, 2011

Temper Tantrum Triage

Our 5-year-old son is left handed.

I know. It’s not a crime. And it’s not his fault because both of his parents are southpaws. 

But it does make things a little more complicated in the right-handed world we live in. So when the little guy needed a new baseball glove, we knew it wouldn’t be an easy fix. There was - after all - approximately 847 baseball gloves for sale in our small Midwestern town.

And only about 3 of them are for a lefty.

And two of them are pink.

So it’s not surprising that my husband had been dragging his feet about finding a new one for the little guy.

The weeks passed, and I reminded him often, “He’s outgrown his glove. He needs a new one.”

“I’m on it,” he’d replied.


So here I am in the sporting goods store two hours before the first pitch of the first game looking for a new glove because my husband, Mr. I’m On It, blew it off.

Acres of gloves hung from tiny hooks on a wall stretched from floor to ceiling. I had that Oh Dear Jesus look on my face that every salesperson LOVES to see.

Might as well paint a target on my forehead.

“May I help you,” a nice voice wafted over my shoulder.

I turned and answered bluntly, “I have a lefty who needs a new baseball glove.”

The nice lady reached up and plucked one off the wall for my inspection.

In the meantime, my son pulled on my shirt, the universal sign for Hey, Mom, and I turned around to see a blue and red football clutched between his hands.

“Can we buy this?” he said and stuck it in my face.

I reached up and pushed it back down.

“No, we’re getting you a glove, not a football,” I said and turned back toward the salesperson, took the glove from her hand and said, “We’ll take it.”

And that’s when I noticed my son had disappeared. I did that twirly Where’d You Go? dance you see moms do in the store and quickly spotted him over by - you guessed it - the footballs.

I walked over and handed him the glove. “Here you go,” I said excitedly. He promptly dropped it and collapsed into a crying, sobbing heap on the floor.

Oh, I don’t think so.

It was time for temper tantrum triage and decided which problem to tackle first.

Growling, I picked up the not-yet-purchased glove with one hand and plucked my son off the floor with the other.

“First of all,” I hissed and waved the glove in his face, “We haven’t paid for this yet. So you DO NOT throw it on the floor.” I took a deep breath and desperately tried NOT to shoot death rays from my eyes.

All in all, a valiant effort on my part.

“Second of all, if I did not have to get this glove for your game tonight, we’d be walking out of this store right now. Right. Now.” I pointed to the door and snarked, “That door. Right over there. We’d be gone.”

The tears had stopped by this point and the look on his face said it all: Oh, $***.


The ride home consisted of these quality tidbits, classics that never go out of style no matter what the generation: I’ve never been more ashamed of you. Never more embarrassed. There are starving children in Africa.

Oh, wait. Different lecture.

In any case, the little guy got the message, and it was like the Wall of Shame had descended on the back seat of the car.

Not a word on the ride home. As soon as I pulled into the garage, he was out of the car, into the house and up to his room.

Wow, I thought, I’m good. I could - like - train monkeys or something.

And then about 10 minutes later I turned to see him standing behind me, arms stretched out in the universal sign for I’m Sorry, Mommy.

I folded him into a huge bear hug and assured him all was OK with the world.

But Mr. I’m On It?

He and I are gonna have words....

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