March 8, 2014

Quarter Priced Pieces of Trash

Forewarning: If you are friends with me on my personal Facebook or in real life, you may have already heard this story but hey, I go more in depth here and you should just read it anyway! Smiles, hugs and sarcasm!

Since this winter has been incredibly terrible with below zero temperatures and above head level amounts of snow, there hasn't been lots of being able to throw the children in the backyard to play.  I might seriously lose Son to snow tunnels!  Also, throw in all of the "snow days" Daughter has had and therefore been unable to be the social butterfly she truly is and cabin fever has set in hardcore on my family.

There has also been above the norm amounts of colds and fevers and below the norm amounts of sleep.

There was this wonderfully terrible flu that knocked the whole family out of commission.  Early February, some Thursday, Daughter started complaining about a sore throat and a queasy belly.  Sure enough, that night she puked 3 times and her fever spiked to 103.5.  Friday, I was dead tired when Him came home and I told Him I needed a nap. I woke up from this nap freezing cold.  I put on long johns under sweatpants, a long sleeved shirt covered by 2 sweatshirts, a pair of socks with slippers and was still cold.  I headed downstairs and got the thermometer...103.5.  OH YAY! Saturday, I took a nap with Son, woke up to him having a seizure and choking on his own vomit, freak out time!  The ambulance came and left with my son and husband.  He had a seizure because his fever spiked so high and so fast...104. I drag my sick butt and Daughter's sick butt out to the truck to pick Him and Son up from the hospital and arrive to Him saying that he's freezing and can't warm up.  Oh the joys of the flu being shared with those you love!  Of course, this wonderfulness lasts about a week and is quickly followed by sinus infections for all and then Bronchitis and why not throw in some just plain common cold to round out a full month of horrible!

Since the sicknesses that invaded our home and decided to invite their friends weren't quite enough to push me over the edge, Son has had some wonderful revelation that he likes the night life and doesn't think bedtime should be until about midnight. Then it's only bedtime if he's in our bed.  Of course, since the darkness is an obvious cue for not sleeping, about every hour and a half he wakes me up by either a tiny knee to the ribs or a tiny fist to the face and follows that with gales of little boy laughter.  Then, after my three one and a half hour naps, daughter seems to think 7am is a great time to come in and poke me in the forehead repeatedly, asking if it's time to wake up.  Oh, there is not enough coffee in the world to make me like anyone at this point.

OH, and I almost forgot!  The fights, oh, the fights! Fights over every little thing!  Son can't play with Daughter's Polly Pockets cuz he'll break them, even though Daughter is the one that turned two of the Polly Pocket dolls into one legged wonders.  She can however take Son's tractor and pull the wheels off of it and when Son screams about her breaking his toy, she can start screaming back in his face as if that will fix everything.  The screaming of Son is always followed by the screaming of Daughter because apparently she believes this might confuse me enough to not be able to figure out which one of them is actually being wronged. If Son is hurt in the guise of playing well so is Daughter.  The fact that Son has super human strength and can throw Daughter to the ground with one finger has also been recently discovered.  He can also amazingly push her to the ground while he is nowhere near her, I am guessing this is done with his newly discovered mind controlling abilities.  Of course, whatever Daughter does is quickly picked up on and mimicked by Son so now we have learned that Daughter also developed super human strength and mind control to throw Son to the ground. My newest saying has been, "If you scream like that again and no one is dying, I will kill you!"

This wonderful combination of delightful treasures has lead to tantrums of grandiose proportions being thrown by the two small wonders and overstressed, angry, mother-on-the-edge behavior from me.

So, going grocery shopping with the small wonders was bond to be an enjoyable experience for all!

We first had to get an outfit on Daughter that she would be seen in public in and one that I would be seen in public with her in.  This takes about an hour.  Son takes 20 secs to change clothes cuz if it has a ball on it, he's happy.  Next, we get in the truck and Daughter is upset instantly because I buckle Son into his car seat before I buckle her into her seat.  This is the usual order of things, I buckle Son in first, it is not normally an issue.  This should have been a sign to just go back inside but no, I continue on with optimism that this was the only tantrum I would see.  Ah, optimism, you tantalizing little lying whore!

Throughout the store there are those little end caps with all of the ridiculous crap that no one needs yet people randomly throw it in their cart because everybody at some point has needed a plastic sandwich holder in the shape of a panda face or a spatula that puts smiley faces on their burgers! Daughter needed all of them right now! This is one of those superstores that also has clothes and home stuff and blah, blah, blah.  Daughter needed new sunglasses, some new leggings and a new brush.  Son needed a new teether and some blankets.  They actually needed these things.  The only problem being that those needed things were right next to thousands of wanted things that I was unwilling to throw in the cart. I'm sure you see where this is going.  Tantrums abound to the point that I almost pulled the 'mother leaving the cart where it was, throwing the unruly children over her shoulders and going home with nothing, not even her sanity' move. The problem with this was we were not going to make it until Him got home without buying things like diapers, of which we only had 2 left or milk, which we had a sip of.  So, I barreled on and made my way to the checkout while throwing things into the cart and muttering under my breath, "You can do this, you will make it, everything is OK, just breathe!"

Onto the end of the shopping trip.  There were only 4 lanes open and at least 6 carts deep in each one. It's like grocery stores know when a mother is about ready to break down and they want to see if they can hurry it along by keeping her trapped between two shelves filled with all the candy that their kids will scream about not getting and the magazines that make every woman feel as if she's not quite good enough in looks, weight, motherhood, time management, whatever.  There I stood, trying hard to stare ahead and pretend I heard nothing, I was trying to go to my happy place but I couldn't find it through the grabbing tree limbs with thorns!  Oh breakdown, I see you on the horizon and I pray I will not start crying in the checkout lane at the grocery store.  I pray I won't scream back in the face at my children because, as we all know from earlier in the story, that's the way to fix everything.  I pray that, in my trying to meditate myself into a happy place, I haven't actually lost it enough to not realize my hands are gripping the cart white knuckled just to have something to hang on to.

I hurriedly throw things at that conveyor belt once it's my turn and I whip out my debit card and swipe it before the girl even tells me the total.  I almost race to the front door as if, if I can make it there and break into the snow covered crapfest that is outside, it will give me a chance at sanity.  I get slowed down by a little old woman leaving a lane 2 down from me but I twirl and bob and weave and make my way around her and I am almost out the door to the freedom of what I don't know but I am almost there!

Enter the vending machines that stand beyond the doors into the vestibule and before the doors that open to my perceived freedom.  You know the ones; they offer quarter priced pieces of trash that break as soon as they tumble down the little shoot and into your child's waiting hands and lead to another breakdown about how upset they are about getting a broken one and then you end up coughing up $12 worth of quarters just to get one that isn't broken to keep from having a meltdown on your hands and then that quarter priced piece of trash just cost you $12.25 and the second you get into your house, it is thrown on the floor and forgotten until you step on it and turn it into $12.25 worth of plastic slivers making the bottom of your foot look like hamburger? Yeah, you know em! Daughter starts whining, "Can't I have a quarter!?!" I look at the open automatic doors in front of us as if they are mocking me, "No, we need to go home." Daughter, "PLEASE!?!?! I NEVER get to get anything! (Yes, we deny her all things in this world! She has nothing!) Why can't I have a quarter!?!?" Accompanying the screaming was the stomping of feet and the arms crossed over the chest; every once in a while there's a pouty lip thrown in and a head thrown back just to make it a little more dramatic.  It was full-on meltdown.  Again, the fear of breaking crossed my mind. I had to remind myself again that I COULD NOT cry in the grocery store!

Then came the random stranger.  This 45-ish year old woman I have never seen in my life. She kneels down in front of my tantrum throwing Daughter, hands her a quarter and says, "You're such a good girl to help your mommy shop today!," while looking over Daughter's shoulder to shoot me a shaming glare of disapproval.

Ah, thank you random stranger for unknowingly putting yourself in the crosshairs of my anger.  I wanted to knee her in her temple while she was kneeling giving up that quarter like a trophy for the tantrum throwing, drama queen outburst!  I have to think this woman has never had children because she should know better if she does and if she doesn't, she has no right at all to pretend to know what she would do in the same situation.  Without thought; without that voice in your head that is supposed to tell you not to say something out loud; without any hesitation, "OH! SHUT! UP!" leapt out of my mouth with venom dripping!  Random stranger lets out a surprised gasp as if she is deeply and terribly offended.  I let out a maniacal laugh, literally a "Joker" style laugh!  It felt good to break!  Again, without much thought and less hesitation, I continue, "You don't know me. You don't know her.  You have no right to come over here after a 10 second interaction that you saw as me being some evil mom and make assumptions about me, lady! She's been a tantrum throwing one girl riot all through the store and you think I should give in and REWARD her!?!? Keep your quarter and get out of my way!"

I almost floated through those still open automatic doors out into the crapfest of winter but somehow, the snow looked prettier, the sun was shining, woodland creatures were bringing me gifts of jewels they found in the forest, birds were singing Miranda Lambert songs and I felt as if I would survive; and I was still maniacally laughing because laughing felt good!  Yep, I broke and thanks to that unsuspecting random stranger, my break did not come with tears!

Later, while recalling this story to Him, he asked, "Why wouldn't the lady have given a quarter to Son since he wasn't throwing a fit and said something along the lines of 'here's a quarter for you for not making your mom want to rip her hair out' and given you a smile of 'we've all had those days'?  That would have been a lot more helpful and maybe Daughter would've shut her trap in hopes of getting a quarter too."

He was right!  So, next time you happen to be in the grocery store going through a rough day, if you have one kid throwing a tantrum and one not and some random stranger walks up, gives your calm kid a quarter and gives you a sympathetic smile, just say "Hi" to me!

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