I imagine that this grainy iPhone photo of Ellie in the parking lot of a grocery store may not be all that impressive to many of you, but to me, it is amazing!
1. She is sitting in the grocery cart.
2. She is not screaming like a poor little injured seal or an angry tiger.
3. Her entire entourage of blankie, baby, and stuffed puppy are in the cart with her.
a. As in she did not get them taken away due to tossing them on the floor in a fit of anger or shopping protest.
b. As in she did not nearly injure an innocent shopper during an angry throwing episode.
4. The shopping bag is full as in I did not need to high-tail it out of the store as fast as humanly possible without purchasing all of our groceries due to an epic toddler meltdown. Yes, I stocked up on every single item on the list.
5. Did I mention that she is sitting in the cart and not screaming? She is sitting in the cart and not screaming and I was calm enough to take this photo. My face is not flaming red from embarrassment, stress, or from running at "the speed of a silent kangaroo"*
6. She is wearing a coat. This has absolutely nothing to do with behavior, but rather I wanted to point out that it was actually cool enough in this desert to wear a jacket. . . at least in the wee hours of the morning.
7. This glorious picture will be shown to Ellie Bear before each shopping trip as a reminder of how big girls behave. Good behavior is rewarded with fruit snacks and lots of exciting praise. Rock on Toddler Bear!!!!
As I am sure you have gathered, shopping is a rather
trying horrific interesting experience with the Bear. It was getting progressively worse. It was so bad that she would scream as we approached the Target parking lot (yes, I do most of my shopping at Target as they have more of a selection than HEB). So bad that I avoided shopping with her at all unless it was extremely necessary. This morning, we had a cheese cracker emergency. Seeing as Ellie Bear is sustaining solely on cheese-cheese crackers and we were out. . . well, toddler food emergency.
I decided to shake things up a bit. A little experiment. I realized that Ellie tends to do a bit (just a teeny bit) better at the HEB grocery store vs. Target. Perhaps the lights at Target are too much for my girl with sensory issues. Maybe she can hear the hum of the pesky fluorescent lights. Or maybe she is offended by red shirts. I do not understand her strong dislike towards Target, but things are much worse there.
We ventured out early on Sunday. There were perhaps 5 shoppers in the entire store. Our foray into HEB was a success. This first in many months. I did not have to keep her mouth stuffed with cheese crackers (and a good thing too since we were out!) and no one was injured or had an ear drum ruptured as a direct result of being in the near vicinity of our shopping cart.
Sadly, there was one lonely package of cheese-cheese crackers on the shelf. Our HEB is closing in a few weeks and will be relocating to a much larger, louder, and more inconvenient location. Still, the above picture will be useful.
Bear, you were a Rock Star today! Mama Bear is so proud.
**The month of October is National Sensory Awareness Month as well as Down syndrome awareness month. I have made a pledge to blog every day during the month of October.