Thursday, March 14, 2013

Do You Ever Get Overwhelmed?

I do.  More frequently than I'd like to admit.  I took my guys shopping today because I needed to get some fabric for a window seat bench that is going in my bedroom.  The project has taken quite awhile to complete and I am the current bottleneck.  Once the fabric is in the upholsterer's hand, we will have a bench cushion in a few short days.  My mom mentioned that there was a new Hobby Lobby that had opened and she offered to come with us.  Even though I have a rule of two busy days followed by a home day, I decided to push the envelope.  Relax, I told myself.  You can be so uptight about their schedules.  What's one more day?

We picked up my mom and everyone was in good spirits.  I needed to run to the bathroom so my mom took the boys to pick out a toy.  I found my oldest in tears.  "The (sob) trains (sob) are too expensive!!!" he wailed.  He was trying so hard to be brave and hold it in but the disappointment was just too much.  He had apparently picked a $120 train set with a $5 budget.  The only other trains at Hobby Lobby were decorative and, as he put it, they don't chuff.  Chuffing is critical.  Meanwhile, my youngest decided that he would not be beat in the attention department.  "Mama!  Mama! Mama! Mama!" he yelled over and over again while I tried to work things out with my oldest.  My mom took over my oldest while I got my little guy a snack.  Snacks always seem to keep everybody calm temporarily.  Once everyone was settled, I headed over to get the fabric cut.

We got to the counter and my little "Mama" machine started back up full blast.  "Mama, mama, mama car!  Mama, mama, mama, ball!  Mama, mama..." You get the drift.  My oldest then lost track of his decorative train that does not chuff.  The tears started pouring down his face.  "My train!  Where is my train?!" he yelled with despair.  "Under my purse, honey.  It's right here. It's alright," I said feigning calm.  Between the requests and tears, I said quickly, "nine yards, please" then went back to the boys.  This is when things got really nuts.

"Oh, are you sure?  Nine yards is a lot for a window seat," she added trying to be helpful.  "MAMA MAMA EAT!" my youngest yelled.  "I'm sure it's nine yards," I said curtly.  "Where are we going to eat?" my oldest yelled above the litany of "mama's".  "At Panera, bud," I said.  "I don't think so, ma'am.  You should call that upholsterer and double check.  It can't be nine yards," she said.  "Yes, I'm sure.  Very very sure.  Thank you," I told her hoping that would be the end of it.  "Do you ever get overwhelmed with your life, ma'am?" she asked.

I can't make this stuff up.  I was careful with my answer because I know my kids are always listening to my responses in this kind of scenario.  I told her I would miss the noise when it was gone, even if it's sometimes overwhelming.  My thoughts, however, were not as sweet.  It can just get nuts sometimes.  It can be perfectly fine than ridiculously nuts in five seconds flat.  That is the nature of raising children.  And it always blindsides me.  

My mom gave them lolipops on the car ride home and they giggled as they pretended to be skunks spraying stinky stuff at each other.  In other words, my real children were back.  The ones that don't make me consider pulling a Thelma and Louise.  So, the next time you have a day that you'd like to just leave them in the cart, know that you can pull through.  They will become your sweet children again, as long as you are patient.  Or if you give them candy. Either way, I won't judge.

How do you get through the times when your children melt down in public?  What limits do you put on their activities to give them the best shot at enjoying your outings?

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