The Errand

chill-pill     Yesterday, I learned a very important lesson.  Never take my kids to run even one teensy tiny errand right after picking them up from camp.  It’s just not going to turn out well.  As usual, I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

     My kids are generally grumpy and exhausted when I pick them up from camp anyway, so yesterday, a day in which they’d had a field trip to the beach, it was no surprise that they were even more grouchy and more tired than normal.  They were fighting and whining about this or that from the moment they were deposited to my car.  I actually contemplated turning around to take them back and ask for an exchange.  So, I don’t know what possessed me to think that I could actually take these two Debbie Downers anywhere but straight home.  However, I really needed to pick up desserts to take on the picnic dinner we were going on with some friends last night. It would only take a minute, I convinced myself.  How bad could it really be? (Famous last words, eh?)  

     Of course, the little catering place where I needed to stop was absolutely jam-packed with other people who also thought they could just run in and out of there like me.  My daughter immediately started in complaining that she was thirsty.  Her cries quickly turned into a dramatic scene straight out of a movie.  She was clutching her throat and gasping like she’d just crawled through the desert. I refused to give in and fork over three dollars for a bottle of water when we were going to be home where we have free water (relatively speaking) in two minutes.  Several of the older ladies in line next to me began staring at me like I was the worst mother on the planet for allowing my poor child to slowly die of thirst in the middle of the lunch rush.  I had to bite my tongue to keep from telling them to buzz off.  

     And because my twins love to give life to the phrase “double trouble”, my son then had to chime in with his own personal complaint.  He started jumping up and down, penis in hand, shouting that he had to pee.  This little restaurant has the world’s smallest bathroom, and I did not want to lose my place in line to drag two crabby kids into that tiny space.  Besides, I’ve been in that situation one too many times and know full-well that my son could most definitely hold it till we got home.  (My kids really should think about a career in acting someday, because they’ve got the dramatic roles down pat.)  This scene from my son generated even more looks of disgust from the older ladies and even prompted one to point out the world’s smallest bathroom to me.  I kindly thanked her and ignored her all the same, just in time to FINALLY reach the front of the line.  I threw my credit card on the counter, quickly signed my autograph on the receipt, and got the hell out of there.  

     The short car ride home was filled with moans and groans and fits of rage, but I somehow managed to maneuver us there in one piece. And wouldn’t you know, my son became distracted by a leaf in the front yard and miraculously didn’t have to pee anymore, and my daughter got sidetracked by a birthday party invitation she found in the mailbox and was suddenly no longer on her quest to find water. You see, I’ve been around the block with these two a few times, so I don’t play their games anymore. I know that everyone just needs to take a chill pill.  Maybe I’m learning a thing or two about this whole parenting gig….

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6 Responses

  1. I just learned this same valuable lesson “AGAIN”, after taking the kids out to lunch and giving ALL 4 of them their own milkshakes.

    I never got to the point of doing my errands; I had to come straight home.

    • I think the moral of the story can be summed up with a simple equation: ERRANDS + KIDS = NIGHTMARE!!!

  2. Good job, Mom!! I admire your perserverance!!

  3. Once when I was in a line, I had two older ladies behind me clucking at another mom who had an infant crying (very loudly) in another lane. She had elected to leave the baby in the carseat instead of take her out, soothe her, only to have return her to her car seat in the parking lot.

    These ladies looked at my daughter and said, “I bet your Mommy wouldn’t keep you strapped in while you screamed…”

    So I turned around and said, “Oh yes her Mommy would!!”

    • GOOD FOR YOU! You were quick on your feet,too! Impressive! I often think of these comeback lines AFTER THE FACT, which don’t really do me much good then. These types of judgmental ladies either don’t have kids or are too old to remember what it was like to have little ones. In either case, they need to just keep their traps shut!

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