Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mandated by law...

Ok, I know you have heard me say that I only take my children in public when it is mandated by law. Today was one of those days, and the rest explains why...

The alarm rang at 6 a.m. this morning, which is an affront that I take personally as Sat. is usually the only day I can "sleep in" until at least 7. But the kids had to be picked up from a lock-in at church at 7 and then taken to Bossier (the nearest town an hour away) to play her soccer game at 8:30. Frankie did that running for me while I stayed home and kept Laura. After they returned home, Frankie left for work and left me with the three kids and a list of things to pick up at Wal-Mart. (I know I seem fixated on alarm clocks and Wal-Mart, but really there isn't much more to life when you live in Rodessa...) He also left me a "love" note that reminded me to go vote. (Really, I give him 12 years for that?)  It is my general rule to try NOT to take the kids anywhere in public, but especially not to Wal-Mart, as there is too much surveillance to adequately keep them in check and avoid a weekend off granted by CPS. But the girls got a note on Friday saying Twin Day would be next week (so they need matching T’Shirts for them and their friends), and more importantly, my new curling iron broke, so a trip to the mall of Vivian was unavoidable, and BY LAW I cannot leave them home alone YET. So out we head... First we stop at the "Village of Rodessa" town hall to vote. The kids jump out and run inside ahead of me (which should have been my first clue). I'm hollering after them as I close car doors, check for my ID, and lock up, "Wait on me, girls! We have to go in QUIE......" as the door to the hall slammed in my face. I take a deep breath and walk in. Maggie has already found the one chair that will turn around and around and is proceeding to hold Laura off as Laura sobbingly screams, "Maggie, I wanted that chair!" over and over again. I walk over with an outwardly calm demeanor and quietly tell them that we are going to turn right back around and get in the car if I hear one more word. I tell Maggie she has two minutes in the chair and then they can switch. Laura stands as close as she can the whole two minutes, irritating Maggie, but not actually touching her, while I sign in. When I get ready to go in the booth, I switch Laura into the chair and tell Maggie and Ann Cherie to have a seat on the floor. Luckily, it is so remote the only folks there are my crew and the voting signature people, all of whom know my family. So the girls comply momentarily as I go into the booth. As soon as the flaps close behind me I hear, "Laura, STOP!" repeatedly, gruffly, and loudly from Maggie. I look out and Maggie is now repeating Laura's previous gesture of standing as close as possible without touching, but Laura is swinging her legs out and kicking Mags in the stomach every turn she makes. I remind Maggie to sit, she complies. I turn back around to vote. I think there were nine amendments to vote on, and I repeated this process between EACH AMENDMENT followed each time with another threat to their very existence to no avail. I was mortified! And now I am HOT MAD and of course stuck in public without "Betty". So I herd them hurriedly out the door apologizing profusely to the voting people all the while staring at them with my “teacher face”.  We make it to the door as a sweet, little OLD lady comes hobbling inside.  I tell my children to move to the side and Ann Cherie freezes in the middle of the doorway, as if she cannot decide how to move her body.  I physically grab her out of the way to allow the lady to pass, quietly reminding Ann Cherie of her manners and apologizing to the woman all in the same breath.  We exit through the door to find a large truck is parked directly in front of the steps.  The people are getting out of the truck as Maggie yells, “Mom, who in the world would park right here in front of the door?  That’s crazy! They know we can’t get by!”  (OMG, please don’t have a gun, folks, even if we do deserve it!)  Both faces in the truck look out at us.  I tell the kids to follow me as I pull Ann Cherie to the side that is most open just as the little girls squeeze through the other side!  I went running around the back of the truck to get to the other side to catch Laura as she hauls out into the road.  I had to go check to make sure they did not scratch the truck front!  And I had to apologize to the people in the truck for the comment and the squeeze!  I have apologized to EVERY PERSON we have encountered in public.  And this is the FIRST STOP!  I get in the car, check buckles, and hear, “Mom, Laura is kicking me!”  “Momma, she is looking at me mean, so I kicked her!” etc!  “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!”  I scream like a crazy person.  They get silent.  I dare them to make ONE PEEP the rest of the ride to Vivian!  When we pull up to Wal-Mart, I remind Laura to stay right beside me.  We get to the entrance, and of course, she takes off!  We were hollering, “Laura, come back!” over and over and I ran after her!  I finally catch her and grab her hand and walk her back outside.  I reminded her that I had to return our Redbox movies first and that she should never run off from me!  She could be stolen or fall and hurt herself or others, etc. I tell her that if she runs off again she will lose her “walking” privilege and have to ride in the buggy!  Meanwhile, I am returning each movie (today I have four, and you have to push all the different buttons for each one).  She stayed beside me for the first two returns, before spying the toy shoved in the corner.  She runs off again, and Ann Cherie starts making chase. I tell Maggie to grab a buggy!   Ann Cherie catches her, and I lift her screaming and kicking into the buggy.  I did pop her behind then after one swift kick lands on me!  (I know, CPS, calm down!  You have the video, and you know she needed it!)  So she gives up the fight but brings on the loud sobbing.  I finish returning the redbox movies, and we head into the store.  Luckily we only need like four things, so that should be a quick trip, right?!  Except that on the shampoo isle, Laura held her arm out and knocked about 15 bottles down off the shelf.  While we were picking up the bottles, because of course I couldn’t let her down out of the buggy, she kicks her flip-flops off.  Maggie, being helpful, picks them up and hands them back to her.  She puts them right back on and kicks them right back off again.  So I hear, “Laura, I just picked those up for you!”  “Yeah! So! (Loud laugh)”  “Mom, I tried to help Laura and she kicked her shoes at me and used a sassy mouth!” followed by louder laughing by Laura.  “The evil devil,” I think to myself.  I thanked Maggie for trying to help and picked up the shoes and put them in the back of the buggy, for which Laura commences sobbing again!  OMW!!!  All the while Ann Cherie is telling me all about all the great different shampoo and conditioners and asking me to look at this and at that, etc. and who is cool that uses this and that, etc.  I turned around and quietly asked her to please hush just for a second.  I take a giant breath and close my eyes.  Just get this done, I think.  I grab our regular shampoo and head off the isle.  Lord, please help me, just three more things!  We make it to the Advil isle, of which I am an addict, another thing explained by this article.  The girls start grabbing different ones, chewables, swallow pills, meltaways, etc. and hurriedly explaining their wants and needs regarding the different ones.  I take them all and put them back as I repeat the “whole look with your eyes and not with your hands” speech that is obviously meaningless but reinforces my need for a lecture on their behavior.  I am too frazzled to deal with it all.  I explain to them that when it comes to medicines, Mommy always gets to make the decision.  I went with the chewables, to the major lamentations of the other two children.  Thinking this was settled, we turn around and I hear behind me, “HA, see I TOLD ya’ll I knew what she was getting!”  I was livid.  I turned around and stared them down.  CPS, it took everything in me not to slap a face right then and there.  “DROP. IT.” I said instead. Just repeat that whole scenario in your head and you have our next isle where I should have been able to quietly grab a package of Band-Aids.  Oh, heck no.  They have to make over 80 million cartoon Band-Aids now, to the woes of all mothers.

So we move along to the curling iron row, which has to be paired with the lipstick row…Let’s just say I now own a raunchy shade of peach that Laura couldn’t keep her hands off of and broke off when she rolled it all the way up.  HOR-RI-BLE!!!  On to the t-shirts, with a warning that I will be expecting efficient decision making or their “twins” will have to settle for a navy uniform shirt… but do I ever get MY way?  (That certainly would not help my blog, but would possibly intervene in my ibuprophen usage.)  The whole time we are in the clothing department, Laura starts standing up in the buggy seat trying to reach clothes as I am trying to keep Maggie from unfolding every t-shirt on the square.  I grab for Laura’s britches and tell her not to touch another outfit just as the side of the display starts to sway!  Yes, just imagine!  I am holding her, she’s holding the clothes, and the whole thing goes down!  Guys, you just can’t make this stuff up!   I holler at Ann Cherie to hold on to Laura as I reset the display and start to replace the clothes.  I grabbed two t-shirts Maggie held in her hands and said, “LET’S GO!”  I fought back tears.  We went.  I wish I could tell you that was where it ended.  Sigh. 

I pulled through Sonic to grab a Diet Cherry Limeade.  I go ahead and order four to avoid any discussion, even though the little rugrats haven’t made a sound since the landmark take down.  We pull out and head down the road towards home.  Not five minutes later I hear, “Ah, oh, momma!  I made a mess.”  And as you know, the drink is now all over the back seat of the car. “Laura, just sit in it.  You took your top off your cup, I could lecture you about how you know you are not supposed to, but it wouldn’t help.  So just SIT IN IT!”  No one makes a sound.  We have made it home and neither the news station nor CPS has arrived, the mess did get cleaned up, and the girls are playing in their rooms…but now you get the whole mandated by law thing. (You may also have a better understanding as to why I love my JOB!  Bring on Monday!)  My little rugrats…I swear!

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