Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bravo, Bravo

This is long, but it may provide some comic relief enough to make the read worthwhile. Or at least feel good that you're not the only mom with these moments (at least that's what I am telling myself). Before we left to go on an errand yesterday, it seemed very important. Yes, I had to get this done today, this afternoon, NOW. Never mind taking three young children in a torrential downpour. It's okay that the middle child who must have sleep (a lot) to function didn't take her nap today. I can handle this. We arrive at our local hardware store and some nice employee has made sure all the shopping carts are returned to the front of the store. So here I am with a 4, 2 and 1 year old and 3 big brown paper bags of returns with no cart. In the pouring rain. How am I going to make it 30 yards into this store? I brilliantly decide it is a moment for my 4 year old son to learn chivalry. I ask him to please carry one bag for mommy. I think I can manage the baby, the diaper bag and the 2 other shopping bags on my own. He kindly wants to help, but he tries and they are too heavy. I know since we are already out of the car and rain falling on us, that these bags have a very short half life. I start having visions off these bags getting a bit wetter and basically disintegrating causing all my returns to just fall out into a puddle on the wet pavement. I super-mom handle all the bags, the big clunky diaper bag (I swear now I will get some cute, smaller, fashionable diaper bag, no matter the cost from one of those cute baby boutique stores), and the baby and we run to the front of the store. Well, in my rush I hear and try to distract my 2 year old daughter's (the one who skipped her usual 3 hour nap today) desperate pleas to help mommy and carry a bag. She's running behind me through the parking lot in the pouring rain saying, "I can do it mommy, I can carry the bag." She only wanted to be big like her big brother. I knew she couldn't do it across the parking lot though, and I figured I would let her waddle the bag up to the cash register. Once inside the automatic doors (thank you God for these), I just let all the bags drop. Before me in the return line which is always empty, there are 4 people in front of me. It's pouring rain outside, there are probably only four people in this entire mega-store and of course they are all in the return line IN FRONT of me. It's okay, I have enough (I hope) energy and motivation to keep the kids occupied while we wait. No please don't pull out all the cart sanitary wipes. No you can't put our disintegrating brown bags in the plastic bag recycle can. No you can't open that Bob the Builder activity book on display and play with it. Almost, almost, finally our turn. Return accomplished, all is well with the world. Now I just need a few light bulbs. This is when I should count my blessings and leave. But I really NEED to get these light bulbs and I don't want to waste precious family time this weekend running this simple errand since I am already here. This begins my daughter's downward spiral. She starts wandering off and what should take a minute to get to the light bulb aisle takes five. I decide she is better off sitting in the back of the cart. This starts the screaming fit of a lifetime. I take her out of the cart and she is still screaming, so I put her back in, at least I can move faster then. Then a light bulb goes off in my head (no pun intended, seriously I ddin't catch this until I was proofing this), we had just gone to the bank drive through and I have green lollipops for them. I tell her I will give her the green lollipop in the car if she will sit in the cart and be quiet. It works - for about 30 seconds. Screaming fit ensues. This is when I start to lose my patience, so I tell her that I am going to take her green lollipop and step on it and smash it up if she doesn't stop screaming. Well, just the thought of such an atrocity is more than she can stand. She is overtaken by the need to scream and cry like her life depends on it. I start the countdown, this always works with my children, until now. 1...2....................................(giving her lots of time to calm down)............3. Still screaming. I even try hugging and holding her, now kicking and screaming. I have to follow through, right? My son is watching and doubting me. So I take the green lollipop and right in the middle of the light bulb aisle drop it on the floor and step on it, smashing it. If I didn't think she could scream louder, if I didn't think people's stares could be more disapproving, I do now. I grab the last set of light bulbs and rush to the check out desk. I always use a coupon, but it is not worth the time today. She is full on screaming and kicking and crying in the cart now, so loud that everyone in the entire mega-store can hear her. The nice check out lady tries to talk to her, not happening. I quickly try to say that she is not herself because she missed her nap today. The check out lady's eyes reveal compassionate understanding. This is not the case for the other five employees at the front of the store. They have no one to check out, so they watch the circus that is my life and nod their heads in disgust. Finally we are checked out and I dash to the front door. As we leave, three of the employees start clapping. This is no BRAVO, BRAVO...wonderful performance. This is get out of our store and don't come back. As I try to get the children into the car in the torrential rain, every time I put my daughter in the car she runs out into the parking lot to try to get back in the cart. WHAT!?!? You were just screaming bloody murder to get out of the cart. I am trying to balance keeping her safe and not running lose in the parking lot with trying to get the baby's coat off and buckled in the seat safely. At one point she jumps on the cart and it starts coasting down the sloped parking lot powered by the inertia of her flailing and wailing. I run to grab her and then now is laying on the floor of the car kicking me as I block her exit while buckling the baby in her car seat. I can only imagine this scene through her eyes. Finally I manage to have them all in the car safely. After a STERN talking to, she is buckled in and manages to calm down. Suddenly, she is all apologies. She looks so sweet and pathetic, I can't help but kiss her and tell her its okay. I'm shaking, still shaking hours after the incident. I managed to make it through the rest of the day okay. She and the baby got an early dinner, then everyone got a warm bath. Then she was off to bed, she was out like a light. I actually managed to finally make Candlemas Crepes for dinner that night (only two days after the feast). They were delicious and we enjoyed a nice dinner with my son. That night as I was lying in bed with my son as he fell asleep, he said to me out of nowhere, "Mommy, why did you smash her lollipop?" My reply was, "Because I had to teach her a lesson that she could not behave the way she did." Now, really who needs to be taught a lesson here. Hint, it's not any of the children.

5 comments:

MH said...

Oh no! Hilarious (hope you're laughing about it now??!!) Know that we've all been there, R....Man, what a day. And I need to know what store you were in that the employees were clapping?!! Were they being sarcastic? Instead of offerring to help you get to the car? 'Cause that kind of makes me want not to shop there...do tell please.

TC said...

I hope you call the store manager or the corp office and tell them about how rude the employees were. They must not have kids! Maybe you can at least get some free light bulbs out of it. Well, I'm sorry you had one of those days--I know those lie ahead of me as well, and I don't look forward to them.:) But, know you are a wonderful mommy and doing your very best.

Kathy said...

I hope you don't mind that I literally gasped and then started to literally LOL, when you actually smashed the lollipop. Bravo indeed mama. I mean we've all made those threats to our children, most of them just come up empty though.

It reminds me of a time when I was taking one of my children to the doctor with 3 others in tow in the pouring rain. My 3 year old was whining and crying the whole way back to the car, as I basically dragged him by the hand and I like any good mother was ignoring him, assuming he just didn't like getting wet. It wasn't until I got to our van, that I understood his words through his tears "My boot, I lost my boot" Yes, I had just dragged him through the rain and puddles with a missing boot. I looked up to see an elderly gentleman who witnessed the whole thing, walking across the parking lot towards me with it in hand. Sigh...

Robina said...

Kathy - I guess we do all have moments like this. Thank you for sharing yours too.

Kelly said...

I LOVED reading this!! I feel so bad for you because I have been there!! I finally just gave up & never take my children anywhere. :-) But you know my children so you know exactly what kind of shenanigans they are capable of! Gotta love coming out of preschool pick up to find boys hanging out the sunroof with the radio blasting Black Eyed Peas. (Yes ladies - that would be homeschooled children!)

I am just very glad you have the humility to share this on your blog because it is really easy to feel like one is the ONLY mom in the entire world who has these moments. Or that one has the ONLY children in the entire world who have these moments. I think my last blog entry (from like a year ago) is a story similar to this. We were at a homeschool science class. It was one of those just leave with my head hung in shame and never EVER return! Thankfully I encountered kinder people than you did. But it was embarrassing nonetheless.

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