Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Things Mommy's Nightmares Are Made Of

Last night as we were going to bed, I decided Dennis needed to feel bad for his pregnant wife who earlier that day had foolishly taken all three kids to run errands at 4 different stores. After I was convinced he felt thoroughly sorry for me, I decided I needed to journal this so my kids can see what they put me through when they were little and maybe when they're grown up they'll take extra care of their aging, senile mother who they drove off the cliff of insanity.

Camden is on Spring Break this week so he's had to tag along in the crazy wagon caravan. I really do love having him around. I started with a plan to be quickly in and out of each store and home in about an hour and a half but then 3 1/2 hours later.....

We started at the grocery store. As I was loading produce and grapes in the cart, Lauren decided the grapes looked awfully tasty and started helping herself to the bag I had selected. I took them out of her hands and tucked them in the corner of the cart since the grapes hadn't been washed yet and because we were paying by the pound and I felt it dishonest to let her eat away at the purchasing price. With no advanced warning, she let out an ear-splitting scream, the kind that made everyone in the produce section stop and see who had just broken their leg or gotten hit by a truck, and continued screaming like this across the store, flailing her arms, with a flood of tears and snot completely covering her face. That made the already over-priced produce all the less worthwhile to me.

We then went to Michael's, the craft store. I really think there should be a sign outside that says "CAUTION: Children under the age of 12 are to be brought in at the risk of their pinhead parents." I hadn't put Lauren in a cart because I figured we would be in an out of the store in 3 minutes flat and the aisle I had planned to be going down didn't have any breakables. While Camden and I were discussing which item he wanted, she had successfully stacked multiple piles of puzzles and buckets of kid's beads in the middle of the aisle in about 20 seconds. As I was quickly trying to put these away, she ran down the aisle and disappeared out of sight. The next thing I saw were 3 or 4 hard rubber balls bouncing down the end of the aisle towards whatever unknowns lay in the neighboring aisles. I hollered at Camden to finish putting the buckets away as I got up to chase her down, bracing for the sound of a crash that I was sure would be caused by the flying balls. By now she was about 3 aisles over, oohing and aahing over the pretties that she had pulled off those shelves. When I picked her up, she did the limp noodle and with an arching back starting screaming and flailing her arms again. I'm sure a picture of a 7 month pregnant woman struggling like this could have gone on the front of the Planned Parenthood brochure. As I tried to hurry the boys along, Luke was looking at me with hooded moody eyes because I had told him no on something he wanted to buy and was dragging his feet, walking absurdly slow, muttering things like, "I'm never ever going to take a nap with you ever again. I HATE this store." Ofcourse at the checkout line they have every breakable and candy right on shelves that are 2 1/2 feet tall. I really think they plan on part of their yearly revenue coming from opened candy packages and broken items coming from the long waits in the checkout lines. And then of course, the lady in front of me took her dear sweet time as my kids continued their rampage.

I decided to put my brain on as I went into Kohl's and buckled her into her stroller. She was so ticked off at her restraint that as we passed every rack with clothing, she reached out and yanked two or three items off each rack onto the floor as she practiced her best soprano screech. After successfully leaving a path of death and destruction in the kid's clothing department, we headed to the shoe department. For some unknown reason, the kids immediately all took off their shoes and socks and started running around the shoe department like barefooted little savages. While I browsed the aisles for church shoes for my kids, Lauren then emptied the contents of my entire purse on the floor and had pulled a number of shoe boxes off the shelf that she thought she needed to try on. Camden was trying so hard to be a help trying to bring her back but she thought they had started a super awesome game of chase and darted under and between the racks with clothing, shrieking and hiding, also pulling clothes off the hangers. We couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Finally Costco got the pleasure of our presence. After I beelined it through the store, we sat down to eat lunch and Lauren promptly lay face-down on the floor, swimming the imaginary breast stroke, as she munched on her churro. I got quite a few puzzled and disgusted looks from my neighboring lunchers but by now I didn't care what kind of dangerous unseens she was probably picking up with her food. I figured as long as she wasn't destroying anything or screaming bloody murder, that was going to be just fine.

After my heart rate came down to a level safe for pregnancy, I was able to laugh about it as I was telling Dennis all of this.

Then I thought of the time when Luke was doing the potty dance at Costco and Camden took him by the hand and offered to take him to the restroom for me. He gently led him to the men's bathroom and as I stood outside, I could hear him patiently giving him instructions and helping him pull his pants up and wash his hands. I couldn't be more proud or grateful to my little man.

Then I thought of Luke that evening with beaming eyes giving me the multi-colored heart he had made for me out of beads, followed by an unsolicited bear hug and an "I love you, Mom."

Finally I thought of Lauren doing the Hokie Pokie during Family Home Evening and how cute she looked shaking her little booty while she poked her index fingers in the air and went in circles with a smile and giggle that melted my heart.

That's when I thought, no matter how hard this gets, it really is all worthwhile. Not just in the end, but now- today. I thought of President Hinckley who said, "I promise you that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove to be the greatest investment that you will ever make."

On a more serious note, my sister did have to go through a real thing that mommy's nightmares are made of as her baby went through surgery yesterday to remove an adrenal mass. How frightening. We are all praying for a swift and complete recovery for little Jenna.


Cynthia said...

Oh Rita...I can so relate, at least x2, my #3 is not quite ready to terrorize stores but the other two do quite well. At least you could laugh by the end of the day :)

gilvearbebes said...

This post made me laugh so hard! I can see it all because I have been through exactly all of it! Oh the joys of motherhood. You are doing a great job!

Cher said...

too funny, cuz it wasn't me. but yep, i've been there too. what a sweetheart camden is.
just the other week i took only sam to the grocery store. just 1 kid! and while i was swiping my credit card and signing he disappeared. i had no idea where he went. i didn't know which way to run. to the back of the store? outside in the parking lot? so i made my way to the front of the store and an older man was bringing him in from outside, holding his hand. he told me, a little reprovingly, that he had been in the parking lot. i felt like the worst mom. he could have been run over or kidnapped! so... at least you didn't loose any of your kids! you're doing better than me. :)

patty said...

It's funny how kids can push us to the brink of insanity, wear us out, test our limits yet be our greatest joy in life too. Great post. In hind sight it will all just be fond fun memories.