Whole Parenting Family

An Adventure Gone Wrong


It was supposed to be a quick stop at our favorite local bookstore before a doctor’s appointment down the street. We were supposed to thoughtfully pick out a book for my niece’s birthday, dig around for this for SweetPea, and maybe even find a good book about astronauts for SuperBoy (new interest).

Instead we almost ruined Chelsea Clinton’s day.

I’ll back up for you. Back this train up.

We live mere blocks from our doctor’s clinic which happens to be a mere one block from our favorite bookstore. I grew up going there, my kids and I frequent it, and I love supporting a small business instead of using my handy click click on amazon.

On this fateful afternoon, I asked my mom if she would pick SuperBoy up from his nature class so I could bring the tot and SweetPea to the doctor for BabyLove’s 18 month appointment with . . . a new doctor whom I think we’re going to love (although in sadness our old doctor left the practice to pursue her own thing). My mom, in her eternal kindness, agreed.

No problem!, I thought! I will just have the two littles! And after checking the clock once everyone had awakened from naps, it appeared we had extra time between the now and the appointment. I hadn’t purchased a birthday gift for our niece Janie, a voracious book eater and reader. To the bookstore, and then the doctor.

Out the door we strode, high on the excitement of good book perusing and bargain hunting. Hopeful and happy we approached the doors of the bookstore which had a sign reading


We had plenty of time, well, a handful of minutes to get in there and get out. As I struggled through the door holding what looked like a yellow torpedo (the tot in full rigor mortis protest over not being able to knock over a pot on the front step), my daughter shrieked I NEED PENNY!!!!

She made her way quickly and loudly to the little twirling rack where the “I Can Read” paperback books are. Twirling and thumbing and twirling and thumbing for the only other Penny book she didn’t have.

He started in. The truck display. BOOMED it. The wrack of small stickers and word puzzles. SNATCH. I murmured no no no no no no whilst the gaggle of busy employees bustled about, preparing the store for their celebrity guest. A few furrowed brows examined us as we were the only patrons sliding in under the wire of their deadline.

While I pondered how I could hold him and find a book for Janie, she started to wail. SHE’S NOT HERE. THERE’S NO NO PENNY HERE!!!!

I set him down, to my regret, and joggled across the store shhhhhhhhh, we’ll find it. Over my shoulder I heard another sound. He had yanked four books off the shelf and was tossing them on the ground like a lioness with her prey, ready to pounce//rip//eat//shred. The furrowed brows got furrowder.

Three more long strides in his direction no no no no no. Torpedo under the arm it was. A well-placed bite got me in the wrist, a kick in the low of my back, and a slap at my neck.

In a moment of sheer inspiration, I snagged this book and found a hardcover copy of the Penny book my daughter full-throatedly needed. The clock ticked tocked tick tock and we stood humbly at the small checkout desk to the delight of the bustling employees.

The Chelsea display hadn’t suffered irreparable damage. I handed the lady at the desk a stack of books my son had discharged from their rightful homes (resolving was not an option) and checked out to the tune of my daughter dangling from my legs groaning I NEED PENNY NOW.

My hissed threat that little girls who whine get no Penny resulted in a little girl who shuffled out of the store on her knees and elbows despite all threats, bribes, and grimaces. The tot continued to thrash in my arms, the employees bid us a hearty adieu, and the adventure was almost over–I’d consider it ended when my daughter actually stood up by the time we hit the cold front step.

No one got to read during our then-long wait down the street in the doctor’s lounge. I nursed the tot into some form of quiet and SweetPea perused the waiting room magazines. A lot of middle age woman empowerment {I could use some} and small children looking cherubic {false advertising}.

Lesson learned I should have learned many years ago.


It’s not too late to join in our Advent Lectio Divina study, Waiting in the Word. We have a vibrant Facebook community going on for it. It’s $8 for the bundle of the study, a journal, and a bookmark. Moms are never late, so join in anytime!

Waiting in the Word



  1. Michele on November 29, 2015 at 12:01 am

    What is it with those *darling* spirited secondborns?! I have one of my own…

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 30, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!!