We went to Costco and Luna has been in this climbing phase. The freezers are on top of a cement step, a curb if you will, which naturally beckons to Luna. She was climbing along, using the handles of the freezer doors to aid her in her climbing. Probably imagining she was climbing a great rocky cliff...
I told her to get down. Twice. I mean, Costco is crowded and it doesn't need to be her playground.
So then I was looking at some rain boots and she climbed right on top of some man's flat screen TV. It was in the box on a flat bed cart but still - she climbed on top of his TV!
"No, no, no. Get down," the man said to Luna.
She hustled over to me and looked mortified. Now, this was a grandpa-man and he used a mild tone of voice and all things considered this stranger disciplining my child was all right by me. In fact, it was terrific timing. I crouched down to Luna's level and began, in my own mild tone, to explain that there is a reason why I tell her not to climb on things. There is a reason for my rules. This was a perfect example. "You can't climb on top of that man's box."
I guess the man felt guilty or thought he may have scared Luna (which I really believe he didn't; she was truly remorseful for having made the mistake) so he came over to her and was really really gentle in saying, "I didn't mean to holler at you. I just wanted you to get off the box so you wouldn't break anything. Okay?" and then he rambled on a little bit more, making sure this toddler understood that he was not a big ol' meanie. He even threw in a little "Hello sweetie, how are you?" to Tulip for good measure.
Once he left, Luna scrambled up into my arms and sincerely, oh so sincerely, said, "Mama, I'm really sorry I do that." I wanted to cry over any chance that her feelings were hurt but actually I was really proud. And, I admit, kind of psyched that this chance encounter happened and, I'll admit again, I kind of milked it with further reinforcing dialogue about why I have rules and why it's important to follow those rules, etc. and etc.
And I told her how proud I was that she said those good words to me. And I reminded her that she's only three and it's okay to make mistakes. She really didn't want to leave my arms. I guess it was like the man's over-rambling to make sure we all understood that he wasn't a meanie; Luna really wanted me to know that she was sorry she do that. And that she's three. And that it was a mistake.
Then five minutes later some totally random grandma-lady stranger calls over to me with enough emphasis to make sure my children are paying attention to her, while reaching into her purse, "Mommy - can I give your children some candies?"
"No." Enough said.