A short but sweet December memory of mine is a tale my mom told me about Christmas shopping with my then three-year old son.
When she told me what had happened, she was laughing and finished her story with “think we’re reading him too many of those stories?”
In December, there are many things around to remind kids that shopping is the order of the day, every day. My son, not really sure exactly what it was, said he wanted to go shopping.
So, dressed for Christmas in a kid-sized, beige trench coat with brown pants and a small Fedora-type hat, his small dark-rimmed eyeglasses and red scarf, my son and mom went out to do some shopping.
Mom had not had a three-year-old shopping with her for many years so she had forgotten how quickly they can be distracted and wander away, to say nothing of the crowds.
The mall was alive for the season with decorations, music and people.
It was just my child’s type of wonderland — people, shiny things everywhere, people to talk to, lights flashing and, of course people — getting more and more interested, by the way, in the miniature Columbo wandering around alone looking worried, young brows seriously furrowed and mumbling to himself!
One of the shoppers watched him for a few minutes and suspected my son was lost so she took him to the mall administration office.
By this time, my mom had noticed he was missing and was searching frantically. She was very glad to hear the announcement that there was a small boy in the office who told them his grandmother was lost (apparently, he was sure it wasn’t him who was lost).
When my mom walked into the mall office, the staff were standing around him, smiling, as he paced back and forth, hands behind his back, head down and quietly saying over and over Winnie the Pooh’s best problem-solving mantra “Dear me, dear me. What to do, what to do …” and “think, think, think,” just like his favourite wise book bear!
I was glad everything turned out well, that my son had found a strategy to stay calm and I learned a new benefit of reading good books to young people.
Colleen Crossley is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.