On Fridays Beatrice doesn’t go to nursery so I spend the day with both of my children. Because it’s getting colder we cannot go to play at the park any more so if we don’t spend the day at home, we usually go to a shopping centre or a soft play area.
Last Friday we went grocery shopping all three together and for the first time I really enjoyed walking down the aisles as I had my children right in front of me playing together and making me laugh.
Because Leonardo is big enough to be sitting on the trolley, I put them one next to the other and they looked as happy as if they were about to ride a roller coaster! And because I had an excuse to be silly, I pretended to be driving a formula one car and in the supermarket’s aisles I was pushing the trolley a little faster, then I was stopping suddenly by pretending to avoid a crash. Watching them laughing was quite amazing!
We spent almost 2 hours in the supermarket and when they started to show “I have enough now” signs, I managed to make them believe that rather than a bar of chocolate which Beatrice was asking for aisle after aisle, a healthy organic fruit puree was the perfect treat for behaving so well! I made them happy and at the same time I kept them quiet for a little longer while I was finishing my shopping.
In the car on our way home, seeing that Beatrice was particularly chatty (and because I’ve been thinking to say something to her for quite a while), I calmly mentioned the fact that is important for her to understand that if we are in public places, like a shopping centre or at the park, she must always stay next to me and never accept anything by anyone or trust anyone, only mamma e papa’.
She said “YES MAMMA!”
But then when I gave her an example like “What about if someone gives you chocolate…would you accept it?”
I could see she wasn’t so sure any more .. so I said:
“Beatrice you always need to say no.. you can only take stuff if mommy or daddy are there and they say it’s fine, ok?”.
To trick her I continued…
“What about if a stranger offers you cake?”
With a big smile she said “No mamma!”
“What about sweets?”
Then I asked her “Do you think it’s ok if someone approaches you and ask you to go away with them? Would you say yes?”
And she replied ” No mamma!”
WOW WONDERFUL She really understood!
So I said with a calm voice ” So if someone wants to take you away what you should do is simply… kick them!”
She looked perplexed so I said again:
“Yes Beatrice… You must kick them and bite them and scream so you can scare them away right?!”
She looked like she understood so I kept giving her examples and it seemed that the message went across effectively without getting her scared.
Because I know that toddlers forget things easily, after talking about other things, I asked her again..
“So Beatrice, what would you do if a stranger offered you chocolate?”
Very proudly she replied:
“Mommy I’ll kick them and bite them and scream!”
Please don’t offer chocolate to my daughter.. she might hurt you…