It starts out innocently enough. You suggest that your toddler sit in the front of the cart so that she doesn't end up as shopping-cart-roadkill in the cereal aisle. She says "no mama. No want to. I walk." You explain (uselessly) that logically this makes no sense and pick her up and she starts shrieking and flailing around. You switch to your firm-mommy tone of voice and she switches to full-on, 10 billion-decibel screams. By this time everyone in the store is staring at you, shaking their heads, and judging for you for either ignoring the screaming and not quieting your child, or for whatever method you have chosen to discipline your child (you can't win either way, of course). Once the screaming passes the three-minute mark you realize it. There's no going back. This shopping trip can't be salvaged. You wave the white flag and retreat to the car. Obviously, your toddler will refuse to be stuffed into the carseat, and will probably kick you in the face repeatedly if you try, but at least it's a little less public out there in the parking lot. And the screaming is less echo-ey. Forget it, you think to yourself. Groceries? Eff 'em. I'd rather starve.
Without further ado, the top 10 things I'd rather do than deal with an extended public tantrum:
- Extract one of my own teeth, Hangover-style.
- Repeat the first two years of medical school.
- Read If you Give a Pig a Pancake 47,349 times in a row.
- Go without my iPhone for an entire week. Okay, a day. Okay, an hour. That's bad enough. Let's not get carried away, here.
- Shop for a bikini in the dead of winter when I'm flabbier and paler than a beached beluga whale.
- Re-take the NERB.
- Go on one of those dates that are so boring you have get out of it by texting a friend under the table to call you immediately with an "emergency".
- Spend an entire day running around clinic wearing 4-inch heels.
- Get my eyelids pierced.
- Clean my entire bathroom using only my toothbrush. And then brush my teeth with it.