Not with cuteness. Not with gentle meekness. And certainly not with obedience.
What started out as a quick trip to Fred Meyers for 2 items- quickly escalated into a $30 near death catastrophe. It all started when we walked in through those looming automatic doors, only to discover that the car carts were all taken. I had my 2 boys with me (ages 3 and 4) and as soon as they discovered there were no blue or red carts with steering wheels for them to ride on, they both burst into full on tantrum seizures. I proceeded to push a regular cart, which they both decided they would allow - only if they could ride it on the same side together, standing up. Great. I was now pushing a 300 pound cart that tipped over every time I tried to make a right turn.
Within seconds of making it into the actual food part of the store, my 5 year old on a whim decided to hop off the cart and check out a very enticing looking fruit roll-up display. At which point I gently ran over him. The usual crying ensued. Spencer happens to be a professional crier. For the last 2 years he has spent roughly 5-6 hours a day perfecting the sound that can only be described as a cat in heat combined with a rodent being eaten alive. Elderly people all throughout the store had to reach up and turn down their hearing aids. He laid on the (disgusting) tile floor, holding his heels, screaming with giant crocodile tears for me to check to see if "they were BWEEDING". Which, coincidentally they were not.
Out of desperation to peel him off the ground I suggested we go over to the bakery and ask for a free cookie. The crying came to an abrupt end, at which point both my boys started chanting: Cook-ie. Cook-ie. Cook-ie. Spencer hopped up (miraculously cured by the simple thought of sugar) and we made our way over to the bakery. Im not joking - the cookie guy literally tried to crawl into an oven to hide from us as we got closer and closer. He could sense the impending doom.
We approached the bakery and knowing what was coming, the cookie man held out two sugar cookies to my boys. This was akin to stretching his hands through the bars of a cage to feed two starving lions a piece of raw meat. Without so much as a chewing motion, my children inhaled their cookies with alarming speed. The cookie man stood there, backing away slowly, holding the little piece of waxed paper. I think he was in shock. I said, "What do you say boys?" and they sat there batting their eyes with a look of confusion on their faces. NOTHING. TOTAL SILENCE. The sprinkles and crumbs on their t-shirts just sat there as they for the first time ever in the history of their lives - refused to speak. I thanked the baker and we went on our way.
I quickly made my way to the medicine aisle, and along the way listened to "I want that cereal, I want a yogurt drink, we NEVER get chocolate milk, I NEVER get anything, I want goldfish crackers, I hate eggs." on and on and on. Every time I said No, someone cried. Every time I put something in the cart someone cried. And just when I had about lost my mind, Spencer had to go potty.
We abandoned our cart by the restrooms and went inside. Spencer carefully opened every single one of the 15 available doors, wondering which potty to use. Once he had found one, he proceeded to tell me not to look at him, and also not to leave. And then roughly 15 minutes (and 6 full length songs) later he gave me permission to wipe him - As long as I didn't see it, smell it, or figure out what color it was.
Once the bathroom break had come to an end we grabbed our cart and made our way to the check out, where once again I had to submit myself to hostage negotiations: "No you can't have a candy bar. No you can't buy that toy. No we don't need a lighter. That thing is called a handkercheif". etc etc. And then suddenly I got sucked into looking at Bruce Jenner's transgendering face on a magazine for roughly 30 seconds - and when the eerie silence finally made its way to my ears, I realized that dear sweet Benett (my 3 year old) had ripped open a package of trident gum like a wild animal and shoved all 20 pieces into his mouth at once. He was drooling profusely and making a terrible schlurping sound, whilst simultaneously trying to hit me away from him so I didn't take away his treasure. Upon seeing that Benett had successfully won some gum, Spencer started his supersonic crying sound mingled with heart-wrenching sobs: "Why does Benett get GUMMMMMM? I didnt get ANYFINNNNNG. You said NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" At which point I grabbed a Kit Kat, ripped it open and put it in his mouth. This was survival mode, and I just needed the crying to STOP. I was deaf, the checker was deaf, and I could practically hear the lady behind me offering to buy EVERYONE a candy bar if we would just leave the store.
After paying for the basket of crap that was totally not worth this - I angrily walked my hideous offspring to the car. The whole time telling them how naughty they had acted and that they were not allowed Netflix for the rest of the day, or mac n cheese for lunch, or a trip to Cabellas this weekend (the ultimate punishment.) I threw open the car door, hoisted the boys out of the cart, and instructed them to get in. Spencer obeyed and climbed in the car, taking great care to smear his chocolate kit kat hands along the door frame and chair on the way to his booster seat. But Benett on the hand, did not. Within seconds of throwing my bags into the trunk I saw his little blonde head bobbing away as fast as can be. The little stinker was RUNNING AWAY.
The parking lot was PACKED, it was lunch time, and people were zipping in and out of spaces all around me. I yelled an angry mom scream at him to STOP RIGHT NOW. Which he ignored. I started running after him all the while screaming for him to STOP. He was giggling and full of joy as he sprinted away as fast as his wee legs could carry him. I was angered beyond any point I have ever reached as a parent before. Finally, Benett stopped running. But only because there was a stick lying on the ground and he thought it would make a lovely weapon. Within seconds he was on the run again, but this time he was scraping his stick along the front end of every car he passed by. I kicked it into high gear and finally caught up to him. I gave his hair a sharp tug and told him he was in BIG trouble for running away and that he was in a TIME OUT in the car. Upon hearing his fate, Benett then proceeded to try and break free from my bondage. He swiped at my face, and then when I held down his hands, he began his trademark ninja kicking. By the time I had him buckled in the car I was winded, and sweating. And completely ENRAGED.
As soon as I started the 3 minute, 1 mile drive back to the house, the boys started whining for me to turn on a movie for them. I told them NO. Because they had just been very bad at the store, and Benett ran away in the parking lot, and there would be no more TV today. At which point Benett completely lost it. He started banging his head on the back of his car seat, crying, kicking, screaming, wailing and gnashing, and all other biblical descriptions of being possessed.
And then just like that - he projectile vomited. It splashed the back of the chair in front of him and flooded his shirt. 2 packets of pink 'strawberries and cream' oatmeal and a ball of shoplifted trident gum landed in his lap. I was stopped at a red light - And all I could do was lay my head on the steering wheel.
And that ladies and gentlemen - was my friday.
I love my kids. I really do. BUT OH MY WORD!!!! Today nearly killed me. I am looking forward to eating Superbowl food and self medicating with a variety of caffeinated beverages all weekend in an effort to recover. Ill probably make my way to the bookstore where I will peruse a shelf full of self help books on parenting demon children who wont listen, have a habit of trying to cause harm to you and other children, and who refuse to understand or respond to the word NO. *If any of you know if this book exists, please message me.
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