My kids are smarter than me. Maybe I've been around longer and know more stuff about stuff, but they have the advantage of being adorable enough to distract me from the reality that they are basically diabolical and always a minimum of ten steps ahead of me when it comes to EVERYDAMNTHING. And there comes a time when I just have to accept it so that can do what I have to in order to cope when my this slips my mind and results in a string of embarrassing, frustrating and painful events both at home and in the community at large.
Me Come on Freeloaders, we gots to run us some errands.
Boy Can I stay home?
Me Nope. I just love you sooooooooooo much, I want you with me.
Boy What does THAT have to do with the price of eggs?
Girl I HATE EGGS. I’M NOT EATING EGGS. ARE WE EATING EGGS FOR DINNER? I HATE EGGS.
Me Get your shoes on and make sure BOTH of you bring some of your own cash dolla because I am not getting you anything. Nothing. Nada, nil, zero, nee, neen, nope, naw, nOOOOOOOOOOOona, nie, zilch, zippo…..
Boy I GET IT, ALRIGHT? Gaaaaaaaaad stop it, Mom.
Me I am just being thorough.
Girl Did you hear me? I hate eggs and I don’t’ have any mooooooooooooooooney! (Starts crying)
Me Listen up, we have to get you a pair of ice skates and stuff for your birthday party. There will be no buying or eating of eggs today. We are buying Dominick’s delicious soup.
Girl I don’t have any money so how am I going to get any soup? (More crying)
Boy Maybe if you did something to earn money, you would be able to have deeeelicious soup.
Me KNOCK IT OFF! I’m buying everybody soup. I’m just not gonna tolerate either of you tossing a bunch of shit in the cart at the party store, so be prepared for my chorus of NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. And Cate, you have some money in your piggy bank.
Girl Will you go get it for me? I don’t want to go upstairs alone because of the monsters.
Me No. There are no monsters upstairs. If you want your money, go get it NOW.
Girl I’m too scared. (More crying)
Boy I think we should all stay home. Cate’s going ape-shit and we aren’t even in the car.
Me And the reason she’s going ape-shit has NOTHING to do with YOU provoking her?
Boy Maybe like 2%. Maybe if you took her upstairs....Can I stay home?
Me NO! EVERYBODY IS GOING TO THE RESALE STORE, PARTY STORE AND THEN GROCERY STORE TO PICK OUT SOUP.
I should have left the boy stay home. That was mistake #1.
Mistake #2? Not wearing full body armor to the sporting goods resale store. Have you ever tried to put ice skates on an octopus? Me either, but I think my experience was as close to what that would be like as I’ll ever have. Hopefully. I suffered some minor injuries to my hands, wrists and spirit wrangling her in and out of skates. Those bitches were sharp. The skates I mean, not the 16 personalities erupting from my daughter as she thrashed and complained. And this made me think that maybe mistake #1 was actually thinking that she would be able to handle running errands that would require her cooperation and understanding while being attacked by her overactive sensory system and already fragile emotional state. She was just having one of those days. You know those days, when everything is wrong and terrible? The boy was right. We should have stayed home. So that would put us at mistake # 3 and we still had two more stops to make.
When I saw the candy and gum at the cash register, I knew that mistake #1 might have actually been my refusal to just go upstairs with my daughter to get her money. Things were about to break bad.
Boy I’m glad I brought money so that I can buy some of this energy gum.
Girl MOOOOOOOOOOOOM, I wish I had money for energy gum! (Starts crying)
And since the boy bought her ice cream no less than 4 times in the past couple of weeks from the ice cream man, I didn’t expect him to buy her gum. He made his best and most obnoxious effort to chomp the gum all the way to the party store, triggering wails from his sister so I told him to spit it out.
Boy But where? I don’t want to litter!
I held out my hand and he promptly spit out the glowing wad.
I dumped it in the trash at the party store, where so many mistakes were about to be made and tears to be shed. We walked in and saw the nurse from my daughter’s school. I considered asking her if she had a travel first-aid kit since I was pretty scratched up from the octopus/ice skate fitting incident, but she seemed to be trying to pretend that she didn’t see us, which was completely understandable. I would have done the same thing, but I know she heard us. The entire store heard us enter since my daughter was still running her gum-free mouth about how UNFAIR it was that SHE didn’t have gum.
I have no idea what number mistake it was at this point, but when the boy tossed these into the cart
No, I don't know what that big, black horn thing is, but my daughter cried a LOT because she didn't get one.
I realized that telling him to bring his own money meant that he could spend that money and because he is a 12 year old boy, his purchases would OF COURSE be selected based on how they could be used to provoke and annoy the world at large. Should I have told him not to buy the blow horn thing? Put the kibosh on the kazoo? If I wasn’t distracted by the $1.00 for 15 GIGANTIC Now & Later and Laffy Taffy candy and busy counting and scooping as many banana flavored candies as I could into a plastic bowl, maybe I would have considered this.
And the hits kept coming. The Starbucks in Dominick’s provided the boy another opportunity to trigger his sister, as he thought aloud that he would buy himself a hot chocolate and that it was again, SAD AND TOO BAD that his sister didn’t have any money. Of course when the kids were picking out their soups, my daughter didn’t realize that just because my son chose chicken noodle, it didn’t mean that she could not, even if he called her a copy-cat. I told him he should take a cue from Sheldon (we are huge fans of the Big Bang Theory, obviously) and provide his sister with a hot beverage since she was VERY upset and at this point it was at least 50% his fault. So off they went to Starbucks while I paid for our soup and OF COURSE wine. I didn’t mention that it was pouring rain, did I? It was pouring!
My cold, wet kids piled in the car with their warm beverages and it took all of 30 seconds before my daughter’s treat landed in her lap. For some reason, my son thought that playing his kazoo would be a great accompaniment to her wails and screeches. I know I started this story by stating that kids are smarter than adults and it would seem that the kazoo/crying chorus seems stupid, but I think he was merely trying to provide me with a distraction from what we all knew was a problem that didn’t have a solution until we arrived home and that was at least another 10 minutes.
The drive home felt like a lot longer than 10 minutes.
Wham – BAM! I cleaned up the girl, heated up the soup, and sat the kids down at the table, informing them that I had a bit of a tummy-ache and would be upstairs in the bathroom. While they were arguing over whose soup had more noodles, I tucked the back of Laffy Taffy in the back of my pants, headed upstairs with a glass of wine and locked myself in my bathroom with my phone. I had choked down about 3 banana beauties when there was a knock on the door.
Boy Can we have ice cream?
Me Have whatever the hell you want. Scoop some for your sister.
Boy Hope you feel better in there, Lady-girl Mom-personage !Are you dropping a deuce? Turn on the fan! Light a match!
Me Yeah thanks, whatever, no, GO AWAY!
And he did. And somehow between the two of them, they managed to eat an entire half gallon of Fox Fudge Freak-out while playing songs by Adele and George Michael on the newly purchased kazoo and giant blow horn thingie while I was hauling Laffy Taffy in my jaws like it was my JOB and checking my Facebook.
I think they planned it. They fight like dirty politicians, but they always end up as little co-conspirators. Pretty smart, I’d say. It left me wondering if they had actually mapped the shit out and kept their eyes on the prize, which for them was an un-interrupted feast of ice cream and band practice. When I came downstairs, they had declared the first floor “Silent Slow Motion City,” and asked if I could please reduce my speed and volume. I was about to turn around and go back upstairs where I could start in on the sour apple Now and Laters and chew them as loudly as I wanted, but first I slooooooooooowly re-filled my almost empty glass of wine.
Wanted: Kazoo killer. Must make it look like an accident.