I spent two and a half hours running Christmas errands with my three gremlins this morning. I remember a few years ago when I completed my first year of shopping with a 6 month old in tow. I thought life was soooo hard.
This morning, I spent 45 minutes in Hobby Lobby only to walk away 1 piece of black felt. I had spent a whopping 27 cents (note to husband: not that my success while shopping is determined by the amount of money spent, of course...love you, baby). Next, we went over to Target where the goal of my children was to impress upon every stranger passing that I was an abusive mother who had not showered in three days. OK, maybe the not-showered-in-three-days impression had more to do with me than the kids, but you get the idea.
I'm not sure what drove me most nuts. Was it when my 4 year old shouted out, "Mommy, that guy smells like the Stinky Cheese Man!" while pointing to a Target employee? Perhaps when my twin boy kept throwing out every single thing I put in the basket forcing me to carry (and constantly drop) socks, toy cars, and lady stuff even though I chose a cart the size of Texas itself. No, despite the heavy competition from her brothers, the thing that I think drove me most nuts was the constant high pitched squealing from my daughter. Put her in the basket - cry. Hold her - scream. Put her in the seat of the cart - wail. Some times I wish I had a t-shirt that said, "Please don't call CPS. I promise I don't beat my kids."***
During our crazy shopping time, I kept looking for the good. "Sure," I told myself, "these kids make shopping insanely difficult, but it's all worth it because they are so adorable....right?" I kept looking for adorable, cute things that they'd do, but they didn't really do any cute things. It was mostly just wailing and hitting and pinching and biting.
However, once we got home they reminded me, as they always do, why I don't sell them to some under staffed sweat shop in China. Merrick went to the restroom and, as he always does, came out with his hands held out proudly. "Smell my hands, Mommy, " he said. He loves for me to smell the candy cane soap after he washes his hands. Then, my daughter, as she always does, imitated her big brother and held her hands out for me to smell as well. "Mmmmm...." I said, even though she had not washed her hands and they smelled like boogers and mac and cheese.
I truly dislike shopping with my kids. But, man, I loooooove, looooove, looooove my kids.
***As a side note, I think it would be hilarious if the back of the shirt said in very small print, "though if I did beat them, they probably deserved it..."