Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Parking Lots

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."  


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you don't approve of kid leashes, but it could be something to threaten her with if she can't be a big girl and hold your hand like she is supposed to.

Anonymous said...

I make my kids hold each other's hands. The rule is littlest kid in the middle. Mom-little-big.
Your dd seems like she enjoys the "action" so perhaps you could (empty threat) threaten to leave her at home? When I was a kid, missing out on something exciting was the worst possible outcome.
Sorry, I know how frightening this is. Good luck...!

--Julia G

Left of Ordinary said...

My oldest used to do this. Scared the freaking crap out of me several times. We talked about safety 100s of times, made the hard/fast rule about hand holding from car to sidewalk (vice versa) and then I would ask her to help ME cross safely. She would have to state rules, look all around etc. It helped her feel important and got us past the "bolting in the parking lot" phase. Red light/Green light works too. Or... you leave the kids in the car for a sec (park close to the cart return) put her/all kids in the cart and there are no "walking" priviledges (sp?) allowed until she can follow the rules. I've also used this. :)

Good luck. This is a crappy phase.

RobMonroe said...

That's VERY scary, Amy. I don't have any suggestions, but that is one of my big fears with Abby. She is not a fan of hand holding when it really matters - like parking lots or crowds! What is wrong with these children??

Mrs4444 said...

I like the spanking idea. If you don't spank often, it should make an impression. Other than that, I hate to say it, but a kid-leash might be in order...Sorry I'm not much help~

Erin said...

Wow, scary!!!

When I talked to my girls (2 & 4) about this, we did it in the parking lot and I used a small SUV as an example. We stood right behind it and talked about the things we could see. I could see into their back windsheild, I could see the rearview mirror, etc. But, my kids could only see the bumper and the license plate. So we talked about how if they cannot see into the window, the driver cannot see them. Since I can see into the window, the driver will be able to see me and stop if I come into view.

I don't know how logical your girls are, but it seemed to strike a chord with my 4yo.