I’m home all day with the kids. I love it, but you know, sometimes I need a break.
Leo is at work all day and wants to be with the family. You know, sometimes he just wants to be a part of the day to day.
I get it. I really do. But (who didn’t see that coming) I really don’t like to grocery shop with children in tow. Like ever.
There are so many reasons, but most of which is that I want to concentrate on my shopping. I want to think about how I’m spending our money, how I’m feeding our family, how I’m going to spend the next week.
Sometimes, I put my foot down and request to shop alone. Leo generously allows me that when I need it, but I know that he’d rather go, so I often concede and invite the whole family along. On the condition that they ride in a separate buggy, fetch me things I’ve forgotten and wander far away from me at least 62% of the time that we’re in the store. (Seriously, he still wants to come, I don’t get it).
So last night, we went. I had a few Christmas gifts to pick up and groceries to get. The family mostly followed the rules, but for some reason, they breached the rule about being scarce 62% of the time. So I’m rushing through the store when just ahead of me, I hear Leo calling to Simeon. Who proceeded to run. Like an olympic sprinter.
Leo caught him, but the ball was rolling. Simeon proceeded to scream and yell and hit.
What I should have done was walk away pretending that I didn’t know them. I did have my own buggy, afterall. I should have gawked at that poor man and that awful child, then nonchalantly meandered off, checked out and waited in the car.
Instead I stepped in. I put Simeon in my buggy and began to lecture. My four-year old. Who was blind with rage.
He began screaming in my face, which is about the time my head exploded. The rest of the shopping trip passed by like some trippy cartoon, with the judgy faces of other patrons floating by in a blur. I yelled. In the middle of Wal-Mart. I told him to stop acting a fool (the irony is not lost on me). I refused to buy him fruit snacks.
It was the most unproductive exchange in the history of unproductive battles of will. He wasn’t listening to me. I wasn’t listening to him. We were both hard faced and angry. All of those therapeutic parenting techniques I’ve been working on flew out the window. My head exploded and reason splattered in gooey chunks all over the cracker aisle. I was feeling. I was feeling angry. I was feeling disappointed. I was feeling embarrassed. I was feeling and I was feeling deep and it felt good to get it out.
Excpet Simeon was feeling too. He was feeling angry. He was feeling disappointed. He was feeling embarrassed.
Somehow, with Leo’s help, I completed the shopping and we all made it safely to the car. I told Simeon that I was feeling upset and requested a few minutes of quiet. He obliged. I think he felt the same. We rode peaceably home. Simeon went to bed. Leo and he made peace. He and I made peace.
Then I ate a Hershey’s bar. I wanted 12. I really wanted a margarita. I really wanted a trip to Maui. What I really wanted most, was to have that moment back. Life doesn’t work that way. Humph.
*sigh* Two steps forward, one step back. But progress is being made. I’ll just be shopping somewhere else for the next 20 years. At least. And I’ll be shopping alone.
The end. Over and out. Roger that vector. Thank you and goodnight.