For some reason, Claire has decided all of a sudden that she's plenty big enough to take off away from me in parking lots.
It started when we moved one of the booster seats behind the driver's side, instead of having both girls in the back. Suddenly they're exiting the car on both sides, and it's a serious problem.
Today we went to Chico's and when we got 15 feet from the car Claire took off running for it. I was holding Jack in one hand, Mary Grace's hand in the other, and Claire was holding MG's other hand. I couldn't stop her, and when I screamed at her to stop she just kept right on going. I scolded the heck out of her.
We arrived at the grocery store less than 5 minutes later and my dad was there. Claire had gotten out and took off running for Grandpa (crossing one lane of the parking lot without looking in either direction - thank God no one was coming). That time she got a swat on the butt and a stern lecture about parking lots, cars, etc.
When we left the store, the little **** did it AGAIN! This time left me sobbing. "You just DON'T understand how DANGEROUS it is! You're so little and cars are so big, and you could die, or you could get hurt and never be the same again! I don't know what I have to say to get through to you!!!"
I've thought about making her look at pictures or video online of kids who have been hit by cars, but that seems morbid and while I do want to scare her, I don't want to scar her. I've also thought about taking a kid sized toy (maybe building a kid her size out of Legos) into the cul-de-sac and running it down with my car.
This plan seems just a hair more insane than I want to be.
What do I do? Mary Grace NEVER did this. Even now, if we're crossing a street or parking lot and she's not holding my hand, she'll grab hold of my pocket. She's been good about this since she was 18 months old. Claire is four. WTH?
I put both the boosters back in the back - so both girls will have to get out on the passenger side now. I also used the child locks on both doors so that they have to be opened from the outside. But that's not going to stop her from taking off running. Maybe I'll just have to grab her by the scuff of her neck from now on. I have no idea.
My groceries are melting. Suggestions welcome, comments encouraged. I need a beer.
PS - never Google Image Search "road rash."