Since changing jobs to be home more, I have definitely been home more. That's sometimes a really great thing. And sometimes not so much.
Today we went to Target. We had four objectives: (1) to buy a birthday present for a cousin; (2) to buy a birthday present for one of Casey's friends; (3) to buy a birthday present for one of Marcie's friends; and (4) to buy Thanksgiving-themed napkins.
As a side note, this was my third trip to a store to buy these stupid Thanksgiving-themed napkins for Casey's class. Why do they have to be Thanksgiving-themed anyway? They're just going to wipe their faces on them. You'd think we'd be able to find them with relative ease a week and a half before Thanksgiving. There sure are enough Christmas-themed napkins available. But no such luck.
Anyway, we start out in Target with Marcie complaining that it's not fair that her brothers got hair cuts and she didn't. Never mind that I had the woman look at her hair and tell Marcie that her ends looked fine and that Marcie did not need a haircut. Never mind that I felt guilty anyway and so let Marcie pick out a holiday shirt, even though her brothers were not getting anything from Target.
After she let up on the haircut thing, she began complaining that it was not fair that Casey got to push the cart. She ran off and hid. When she came back, she did so (literally) stomping. I ignored her and then Tate wanted to help push, so I took over the cart.
We picked out the cousin present just fine. We even made it through the toy section and decided on gifts for the two friends. But when it came to napkins, the wheels fell off the cart. Figuratively. I walked down an aisle to check on the napkins there, and while I did so, Casey decided to lay down, stomach-down on the bottom rack, with his head toward the handle and his feet dangling off the end. When I looked up, I saw Casey there, with Tate pushing the cart. Well, not really pushing. Careening the cart all over the broad aisle is more like it. I ran down the aisle, half hissing at them to stop and reached Tate just in time for Tate to crash Casey's feet into an end-cap. I admonished them. Told them they were embarrassing me. But Casey wouldn't let it go. Then he started in about how it wasn't fair that he couldn't push the cart.
I tried separating Casey and Marcie. Casey ignored me. I tried pushing pressure points on him without too much luck. And then finally Marcie moved. But Casey wouldn't let it go. Somehow, he thought it was all Marcie's fault that they'd gotten in trouble, and he reached in front of me, around the cart, to try and pinch Marcie. I grabbed his arm to stop him, and I tired to re-direct. "Let's get the cards," I said.
But on the way to the card aisle, Marcie began yelling at Tate. "Slow down! Wait for us! You know better than that!" I know she was mimicking me, but it's especially irritating because Tate has a mother-- and I was right. there. next to her. I huddled them close in and said, "There will be no Starbucks if you keep this up."
Then everyone was mad. Casey disappeared. Marcie began whining that she couldn't find a card. Tate ran off to hide with Casey. When I captured Tate, trying to ignore Marcie's whining, I tried sitting him in the seat of the cart and buckling him in so I didn't lose him in the Saturday Target crowds. But Tate was not having it. So he hauled off and hit me.
Now pause for a moment. What would you do? I think, given this chain of events, that I actually did something right.
I left. I pulled Tate out of the cart and carried him like a sack under my arm, keeping his arms tucked away so he couldn't continue to pummel me. I still managed to push the cart to a Target representative and explain that I would have to come back later to make my purchase. I counted backwards from 5 and told Casey that I was leaving. And the kids trailed after me, Tate in tow, screaming bloody murder all the way. Fortunately, everyone at Target has had one of these days, and instead of looks of horror, I saw only looks of sympathy as people (mostly) moved out of my way. (There was one oblivious shopper who actually stepped in front of me with her cart-- and slowed down!)
When I got to the car and I got Tate buckled in (which was a feat in itself), one of the other two asked in a small voice, "Does this mean we don't get Starbucks?"
There was complete silence all the way home. Except for Tate screaming like a girl in the backseat. Once I calmed down, I explained to the children what they had done wrong that warranted their loss of Starbucks. And then, when we got home, I sent them to their rooms. Tate continued crying after we got home. Marcie started crying after we got home-- why? She said it wasn't fair she didn't get a haircut(!). At least Casey fessed up to his inappropriate behavior. (Why does he have to do such inappropriate - but HILARIOUS - things?) If only he had better impulse control. Sigh.
Oh, and the kicker? I still don't have those Thanksgiving-themed napkins I was looking for!