The crazy lady
You know that lady in the grocery store with the screaming kids who you wonder what in the hell possessed her to take those monsters out in public? Yeah, that lady. Well, yesterday, that lady was me.
Let me start by telling you what possessed me to take my little monsters out in public.
My husband and I were sick on Sunday. I’m not talking the usual under-the-weather sick. I’m talking kill-me-now and let-me-be-unconscious sick. Two parents should not be that ill in the same day. It’s not pretty.
And just in case you were wondering what a house run by 7 children looks like after a day like that, well, it looks like a house run by 7 children. There was popcorn and cereal everywhere. At some point frosting was applied to a graham cracker by small, well-meaning hands. Evidence from each meal that I declared, “Whatever, just eat something and get your siblings food too”, was littered across the counter, tabletops and floors. All cushions were removed from couches and used to build various forts. The old Barbie vanity was set atop the piano bench for some unknown reason. By the end of the day, I was begging them to do anything that wasn’t destructive and would leave me alone to sleep off my nasty illness. Movies were watched and more popcorn was spread about.
By Monday morning, the hubs and I were feeling better, but the children were terribly antsy. And since they are now off-track, it is up to me to entertain my people. So after making a small dent in the disaster, I allowed five of my brood to accompany me to the store. (1 boy was at school, the other glued to the computer.)
I should have known it wouldn’t end well for me. Dearest E began to exude her 3 year-oldness before we ever made it to the store. The volume of the music in the van offended her senses and she sat in the back covering her ears and screaming. I should have turned around right then and there because that is the best she behaved the whole time.
Upon arrival to the fated store, Mr. Baby determined that he did not want to sit in the cart. At all. Ever. I made him sit, but there was a lot of crying involved. Long crying. But that’s just how he is. I expected that. Miss E sluggishly followed me through the aisles for the first five minutes before I lost her the first time. A warning was given, “If you don’t stay with me, I am going to have to hold your hand.” It was met with, “NO!” and an accompanying pout.
I lost her two more times before I followed through with my threat. The following through, the actual parenting part, is where it all fell apart. What does a child do if he/she doesn’t want her hand held? You guessed it. She went limp. So I am pushing full cart with a crying baby while dragging my screaming 3 year-old by the wrist. I offered to let go if she promised to behave, but that was met once more by a definite, “NO”.
At least she was honest.
Miss L was quite the helper, thankfully, and offered to push the cart. I hauled Miss E up over my shoulder and carried her around like a hog-tied pig while she continued to scream her bloody little head off. I kept offering to return her to the ground if she would walk and stay with me. But each offer was met by yet another emphatic, “NO!”
At one point, I tired of carrying my little monster and set her down in the aisle to scream and kick while I found a few items. I was THIS CLOSE to being done. A kind mother of five and grandmother to ten stopped and told me of a time she left a child crying in the aisle. I appreciated that.
Finally, we made it to the checkout. I set the little monster on the ground and unloaded groceries onto the conveyor belt. The other children had earned candy for good behavior and this set off another tantrum because there was no way in hell that I was going to give in and let the monster have candy.
I kindly offered to trade the cashier for my daughter. She wasn’t amused. The screaming escalated as I paid for my hard earned bounty and I hauled my little monster over my shoulder once more. She cried all the way home and we both took naps.
I won no mother-of-the-year awards, but we survived the store. I informed my brood that this is why I shop at 9 o’clock at night when they are all in bed. Miss L nodded in understanding.
The next time you see a mother with a holy terror at hand and you wonder what possessed her to bring that demon to the store, just remember, it usually starts out with good intentions and necessity.