On Monday, I had to run to the "Krogert" after the kids were home. I'll admit that my first mistake was thinking that I could run in and out of the grocery store with three children. It rarely ends well when they are all with me. I know this, and, apparently, I would have been an A+ flagellant if I had lived during the Middle Ages. I know it's going to be beating, and yet, I still do it.
So, we got through the store with the usual bickering about how boring it is to have to go to the store and "Can we have... ?" And, I replied with my normal responses, "You are responsible for your own fun." and "Absolutely not." RNR Princess and Bonus are secretly thinking I'm the wicked witch of the west with which I am perfectly fine.
The checkout line got the the mama hackles on the back of my neck raised in the defensive position though. People (read: my two younger kids) won't stand where they are supposed to stand, and there is profuse whining. Like all parents, I loathe whining. I know it happens, but we have specific parameters for whining at our home. You can whine all you like. In your own room. With the door closed. Mr. Incredible (there's his name... he approves) and I think that is beyond fair. We don't speak Whinese, and we refuse to learn. Call us stubborn. Fine, whatev...
This is where the breakdown occurs. Bonus feels the need to play the "claw" game that is nothing but a trash can for my money. I have never let him play, but he thinks he should be able to. I silently curse the person who decided to punish moms by inventing this machine as i hand my small stack of coupons over to the cashier.
All paid. Normal children would be delighted that it was time to leave the store and would willingly follow their mama out the door to the car. Have I mentioned that we are not normal at our home? Actually, we are not normal anywhere we go. We don't even know what normalcy looks like or smells like. We can't even pretend we are normal; it would be such a severe stretch that we might physically be injured pretending to be normal. Bonus, who kept repeating that he "was bored" and "when could we get out of this place", now wants to stay even longer because there are balls. He grabs one and throws it, knocking over a candy display. Clean up on Aisle Seven... I know at this point that all communication between Bonus and me has ceased. Knowing I am going to have to swoop him up and carry him out of the store kicking and screaming, I tell Miss Proper that she is going to have to push the cart and hold her sister's hand in the parking lot. She obliges. I move in for the tackle, dodge the swings and kicks, successfully place my son in a football hold, and begin running for the goal line. This is where it gets really interesting. Mr. Incredible's son (because I would never have a kid who would act this way) starts screaming at the top of his lungs, "She's stealing me! She's stealing me!" And the truth is I am stealing him away from the moment he is fully engaged in at the ball display. Of course, the whole scene draws looks from shoppers and cashiers alike. It should. Fortunately, I frequent the "Krogert" far more than I should and am known by face to employees Kim, Micaiah, Kyle, Toby and others. After this intial shock wore off, they were laughing. Unfortunately, it's not the first time I have had to carry one of my children out of that store.
Today is Thursday, and I am just now beginning to be able to think about the situation without my shoulders tensing up. This week with my son has been repeat after repeat of the scenario above. Although I know that he will get through this stage and so will I, at the moment I feel extremely defeated, ill-equipped, and exhausted as a parent. I'm honestly only held up by the grace that each day supplies and the fresh start that awaits in the morning. Tomorrow has got to be a better day, right?
I'm going to laugh my butt off when I get to tell my son's future wife about these adventures with my little warrior, right?