Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Tale of Woe

Day Three of solo parenting:Both boys are sick. The one thing I wished not to happen happened. Thanks a bunch universe. My oldest wakes up at 6:20. He sounds like Darth Vader. This, of course, is good news to him. My youngest has a complete meltdown when I tell him he can't wear his "CARS TWO" slippers to school. Complete. Meltdown. It started with the quivering lip and exploded from there. Don't do this to mommy, I think. We have a long day ahead of us, complete with gymnastics class and a much needed trip to the grocery store. I finally get him to calm down with the promise of cherry flavored ibuprofen and a spoonful of honey. "Can I have honey too?" Darth Vader croaks. Of course. Let them get through the next two days I silently plead. Then we can sleep all day and watch endless hours of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Wars. The silver lining in all of this is that we somehow manage to get everyone to their destination on time. Early even. It's a Thursday morning miracle!
The miracle does not last. The activity that is supposed to help my child burn off his endless amounts of energy only gets him more wound up. And I hear the dollars being flushed down the toilet as I watch him spend more time flirting with nearby girls and attempting to tip over the equipment than listening to his instructor and gaining valuable new skills. Sigh. After gymnastics we gather up the small one and head over to the local grocery store for a nice meal (hey, a girl's gotta have a night off from cooking!) and some shopping. I have picked this particular store for their late night child care - the heavenly play area is open until 7:00. (This is a passive-aggressive message to the OTHER grocery store whose play area closes at 6:00. A little flexibility would help us poor working moms!!) We arrive at the gates of freedom at 6:30 with the knowledge that mommy can speed shop with the reward of only one child in tow. It is dark inside. DARK. I check my watch. I check the hours posted in two separate places. They both clearly say: Mon-Sat 10-7. I look around for someone loitering about waiting for children. Perhaps they knew I was coming. This is not the first time I have taken advantage of the extra hour. But why have later hours if they don't intend to honor them? A braver mom would have complained to the management. But I am PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE, remember? So I just sulk away, with a disappointed 5 year old hanging off the edge of my cart like a garbage man. Which is fun in the produce section and then gets old. Really quickly. His constant need to jump on and off the cart is accompanied by his attempt to crawl into the lower section and ride skeleton style and his desire to push his brother into the merchandise whenever I am not looking. To add insult to injury, it seems my youngest has become temporarily hard of hearing and feels the need to LOUDLY announce every time he sees a recognizable character on a product. I silently curse the entire marketing industry as I listen to repeated shouts of "CARS TWO!!!! CARS TWO MOMMY!! LOOK  MOMMY BUZZ LIGHT YEAR!!! BUZZ LIGHT YEAR MOMMY!! LOOK LOOK MOMMY IT'S DIEGO MOMMY!!!" You get the idea. By the end of the trip, which took 15 minutes longer than it should have thanks to my need to constantly retrieve the cart and use every ounce of my strength to push its increasing weight, I am EXHAUSTED. My head hurts, my back hurts, and all I want to do is sit down. But I know that I must first perform two bedtime rituals and endure the pleasure of unloading the car and putting away all the groceries. I say a silent prayer to all of the single moms in the world and then curse the universe once again. An hour later, when I am blissfully supine in my family room, I remember: I confiscated all of the Reese's peanut butter cups from Halloween and hid them in the freezer for days like this. Ahhhhh....

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