They're conspiring against me, you know. My children are doing their darndest to see if they can drive me to an early grave.
According to some urban legend, there are children out there who are quiet, compliant and obedient when visiting the grocery store. It sounds crazy, I know, but I have actually seen a few. Otherwise, I wouldn't believe it, either.
Mine are not those children.
Each time we go to the store it's like a traveling three-ring circus has landed right in the middle of the frozen section, scattering innocent bystanders to and fro.
Yesterday was exceptionally fun-filled.
I go in with my list, trying hard to focus on it all so I don't forget anything, which I inevitably do. Immediately, before we barely make it through the front doors, Brother starts to ask for something.
This is becoming a frequent problem these days. I don't buy my children something everytime we go shopping. In fact, I NEVER buy them anything. I figure I'm buying food and toilet paper. What more could they ask for? The only time they get something extra is if they have their own money to spend.
So what's with all the asking? Brother asked for something three times before I even got anything in the shopping cart. Maybe he thinks his real mom has been abducted by aliens and I am the android, fill-in mom who doesn't know the rules.
And what is it about the store that makes them want to run? Is it the wide open aisles? Is it all the sugary snacks lining the shelves, seeping into their skin by osmosis? Is it the fluorescent lighting making their little brains short out and go haywire?
And the touching. They MUST touch everything. I know one day it will be the poor, helpless jar of spaghetti sauce or mayonaisse that will pay the price.
While passing by the soda aisle, I remembered the family gathering on Sunday for my dad's birthday. I called Mom to see what I needed to bring so I could pick it up while I was there and not have to make yet another death-defying trip to the store.
As you know, children have a sixth sense - a built in radar - that alerts them to Mom being on the phone and properly distracted. Prime time for mischief.
So the Not-So-Well-Trained Monkey Act begins. Baby, who has been trying to stand in the shopping cart seat every thirty seconds, has now resorted to slapping my chest and laughing. Brother is trying to pick Sister up by the neck, which elicits ear-piercing, window shattering squeals from her, and loud, obnoxious belly laughs from him.
While on the phone, trying to gather useful information, I periodically say, "Stop!" or "Sssshhhh!", even using sheer, brute force at times to try and control the chaos. But this only makes them more manic and hysterical.
We are attracting "looks" from other shoppers.
I finally tell my mother that I need to go and manage my children, who are behaving like hooligans. "Give my babies a hug!" she says sweetly. "What they need is a kick in the pants!" I growl.
Brother finds this extrememly funny and decides to turn the tables. What does he do?
He kicks ME in the pants.
And my protests only egg him on. Encouraged by this, Sister joins in. And Baby, always the copycat, begins her abuse of Mommy again by slapping my chest and laughing.
I look like a woman who has dropped a bag of marbles and is scurrying around trying to gather them up.
Who's the trained monkey here?
So, I will never, ever, EVER take my children to the store again. Even if all we have to eat is raisins and chick peas.
I would rather starve.