The father figure and I have a date tonight. We don’t do date nights all that often. That tends to happen when you have soccer seven nights a week. And, we don’t like to “waste” money like that. Movies are too expensive. Concerts are too expensive. Dinner out is too expensive. There are better things to waste our money on. Things like Disney’s Frozen on Ice. Which is absurdly expensive but the father figure is bound and determined to take Cinco to. Possibly X-Man as well. But most certainly Cinco. As he has already taken his other two girls to some sort of Disney spectacle on ice. I dodged that bullet by being nine months pregnant with Mac. So I stayed home and painted a bathroom and watched football. I might not be that lucky this time. And so I get to sit down with the father figure and decide how much money we’re willing to spend in order to listen to “Let It Go” one more time. I sold my kidney to pay for soccer. So it’s his turn.
Between soccer practices, I had to run to Target. Because of my love affair with Target, I keep forgetting they’re up to their eyeballs in Star Wars paraphernalia. Including gummy Star Wars shaped snacks. X-Man requests these snacks every time to cross the threshold. And so, again today I found the desired Darth Vader artificially flavored, gelatin squishy X-Wing fighter things. And X-Man was happy.
Cinco, seeing X-Man’s joy, wanted to partake. And so, I let her look at the snacks. All became very wrong in X-Man’s world. And he proclaimed so fiercely and loudly. In the middle of Target. I stopped in my tracks and firmly instructed X-Man to stop yelling. He did not. I repeated myself. He continued on his path of vocal defiance.
Well, I have been indulgent of X-Man’s tantrums in the past. I recognized that most of his outbursts stemmed from frustration at being unable to communicate his thoughts. But, in my efforts to be understanding and compassionate, I’ve also failed to come down on him as much as I probably should have. So says the father figure anyway. I put X-Man in time out, which, when one is sitting in a shopping cart involves mom holding your hands and covering your mouth. It also involves you yelling “NO” every time mom asks “Are you done yelling?”
So there I was, standing in the middle of the central aisle, bending over a cart—painfully aware of my muffin top announcing its existence to the entire county, because, let’s be honest, there was no way anyone in the store was unaware of our presence—calmly informing X-Man that if he didn’t get his act together “THIS INSTANT” that there would be no Star Wars snacks. Again. Ever. In the history of snacks.
I also got to observe a lady move slowly by the cart. I figured she was speed dialing CPS, trying to document my cruelty because clearly no child would ever protest this adamantly and persistently unless abused. I briefly considered moving my hand upwards to cover his nose as well. Passing out from oxygen deprivation was certainly a tempting option. But my animosity abated, at least towards the lady, when I saw that she was on crutches. Maybe her moving slowly had absolutely nothing to do with me.
Long, loud story short. Target’s supply of Star Wars gummy snacks remained unchanged. X-Man’s wailing continued. Baby and Mac rolled their eyes. They had already explained to me that they were “STARVING!” Because “I didn’t like any of the food we had for lunch” and “I didn’t feel like eating meat.” And so there might have been some cookies in the cart as well. Cinco turned her attention towards the pastries. X-Man was lunging towards the snacks I had placed on a random shelf. He couldn’t reach them, so he settled for throwing a jar of wrinkle cream into cart instead, cutting me to the quick.
The cashier looked at me sympathetically and said “good luck” as we headed to the door. A convertible waited to let us cross the lot and then pulled up next to me. It was the slow moving lady from the store. She called out “Good job sticking to your guns mom!” and moved along.
So there was that. And, I made my limitedly verbal son say “I am sorry for yelling in the store” before he got a cookie. If that’s not winning……..well it’s surviving.