I seriously think I deserve an award (maybe Mother-of-the-Year?) for my NEAR psychotic breakdown in the grocery store yesterday afternoon. Any mother, no matter how many kids she has - whether it be one or . . . seven - knows that yes, there are days when your little "darlings" are complete angels. Perhaps they received a supremely recovering night's sleep and somehow miraculously decided to join forces to bring about a magical day of puppy dogs, rainbows and butterflies . . . and then there are days like the one I had yesterday. In reality (or at least it seems for me, lately), those magical days of peace and tranquility have come to be few and far between; yesterday being no exception.
For some reason that I can't seem to recall at present, I had this super bright idea to make a trip to the grocery store yesterday afternoon with my three youngest kids (ages 4, 2, and 6 months) in tow, sans the luxury of a backup set of hands. Maybe deep down inside, I secretly enjoy torturing myself. Maybe subconsciously, I thought, "What better way to challenge my patience, to flirt with the edge of insanity, than to venture into the depths of the Inferno with some kind of sinister death wish. Yes, that must be it. I must have a death wish.
In all reality, this specific trip could not have been avoided. There were some groceries that I needed to pick up, and only had a small window of time in which to do it. Trust me when I say that if I'd had any other option, I would not have made the aforementioned faux pas of attempting this feat at all. But it is what it is.
This actually reminds me of one Saturday a few months ago when Zach was busy with work and I had to take all four kids with me to Costco. That, too, had been a similarly frustrating experience, and as I stood in the check-out line - with a full basket of groceries, one know-it-all, cantankerous teenager, two rambunctious toddlers, and one starving, screaming baby - on the verge of ripping my hair out, or simply curling into the fetal position on the floor with my thumb in my mouth, a passerby (a lady who must have thought it would be amusing to break me) chose that particular moment to "commend" me on my bravery for venturing out into the world with four kids in tow. Come on. Really? I tell you, it took everything in my power not to come unglued on the lady. I had to actively remind myself that she too is a child of God (lol), that she was probably well-meaning, and that it would be in no one's best interest for me to tell her where to shove her "encouragement". Generally, I do try to have patience with people, even if they are ignorant or have a complete lack of empathy for others, but man - some people seriously have no tact . . . which brings me back to our most recent fun, little outing.
From the minute we entered the grocery store yesterday, L-Bear was acting all kinds of crazy. He kept leaving my side to run down the aisle, around the corner, then back up the other side of the aisle, and he did this with a maniacal cackle, as if he thought it was the most hilarious thing in the world. The first time he did it, I gave him a warning. The second time he did it, B-Boo followed suit, and I suddenly had two screaming banshees running through the produce section of the grocery store. I finally grabbed him by the shoulders, looked him straight in the eyes and told him to calm down or he was going to get a spanking when we got home.
He discontinued running around after that, but almost immediately started begging me for a treat. I told him that I would give him a treat IF he could manage to make good choices and survive the rest of the shopping excursion without being disobedient. Yeah, he didn't last five minutes, and when I took his treat out of the cart and threw it into a random aisle as we passed by, the meltdown ensued. By then, I was completely over the whole experience, so I decided to cut my losses and head for the check-out lines, L-Bear following behind in a pathetic state of misery. There was weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth - and every judgmental head turned and stared as we walked by. ((sigh))
As I stood at check-out unloading my cart of groceries, he continued begging and pleading with me to let him have a treat. I reminded him (calmly, I might add) that I don't reward disobedient behavior, and so the cries continued until finally I felt like bending him over my knee and giving him a good sound lashing right there in the middle of the store. Just kidding . . . kind of. lol. I don't really beat my kids, but that day . . .
Anyway, B-Boo must have felt like it would be a good idea to follow suit and start running amok, because as I was checking out, she started diving under the checkout counters on each side of me, and now both kids were completely filthy.
As soon as the cashier was finished with my transaction, she took off to who-knows-where, just in time for B-Boo to start crying that she was bleeding. I looked down, and sure enough, she had blood all over her left hand. "What in the heck did you do?!?" I exclaimed. "I don't know," was all she could muster as a response, yet there was blood coming from two separate cuts she had managed to give herself. One on the back of her pinky finger, the other on the tip of her index finger, the former of which was quite a little bleeder.
I looked around for a cashier to ask for some paper towel, but everyone seemed to suddenly be avoiding me, so I quickly fished the baby wipes out of my backpack and wiped as much of the blood off before applying pressure to the bleeder. I couldn't get the darn thing to stop; though, so I stood up to look for an employee to ask for a band-aid, and had to say, "Excuse me," several times before two cashiers nearby would break from their conversation long enough to help me.
One of them finally went to retrieve a band-aid for me, and as she did, I looked down and saw B-Boo throwing up all over herself. ((sigh)) I don't know if it was the sight of blood that made her sick, or what. But sheesh. I am telling you, it was not a good day.
So yeah, there I stood - well, I guess it was actually more of a stupor - wiping up my kid's vomit with baby wipes, as the aforementioned cashier returned with the band-aid. As she handed me the band-aid, she clearly saw me cleaning up the vomit, but still turned and WALKED AWAY. I was seriously almost in tears at this point, and I could not believe that there wasn't a single store employee nearby offering any amount of help.
So yes, I deserve an award - for not snapping and burning the whole place down, if anything. I tell you one thing, I don't think I will be frequenting that particular establishment any time soon, and my kids will definitely not be getting ANY treats from the grocery store any time soon either. I think it is about time they learn the difference between "right" and "privilege." I tell you one thing that I've learned from all this malarkey: nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is so important that I'll ever need to venture into the grocery store with all three babies on my own EVER again. That's for dang sure. smh.