My girls are adorable. No, seriously. and I don't say that just because I am their mom. I have proof. Old ladies walk up to me all the time and tell me how cute they are. It's practically written in stone.
I always thought it had to do with the great genes handed down by moi, and I guess you have to give a little bit of credit to my husband...they have his eyes, and our youngest could be his stunt double. Or maybe that their cute sweet exterior was a nod to my brilliant parenting efforts. But, who am I fooling...I have yet to have a day where the 'Mommy of the Year' award people are knocking at my door. I am holding out hope though...
No, it really has nothing to do with any of that. The truth is, they have to be cute, so I can keep from strangling them when they act the way they did yesterday! Their sweet smiles, and gorgeous faces make their ridiculous behavior almost tolerable. I have to assume that when these incidents happen, I will always look back and laugh. What a funny anecdote to share when they start making friends in school, or start dating...at 35. Perhaps their future in-laws will get a kick out of the crazy behavior they had as a child. To think the mild mannered, sweet, polite girl they know could ever be capable of these things would be beyond them.
Just like how every time I blame their crazy behavior on my husband (who was a wild child and crazy teen- compared of course to my pristine record in my adolescence) my Mother-in-Law reminds me of the ONE piece of incriminating evidence she has on me that she learned from my parents- I used to run out the front door and down the street every time my mom answered the phone. Seems super adorable to me...and if that's the worst they have on me, so be it!
Let me back up to yesterday to explain:
I am usually pretty impressed with how well I manage my life and drag 2 kids around with me. They go with me almost everywhere. Any errand I have to run, business meetings, classes, and occasionally Disneyland, the park, beach, play date, even Costco. I pride myself of instilling the wrath of me in my children so I can give them a look and they know to 'knock it off'. Now before I start sounding like Supernanny, let me just say that the look only works about 26% of the time.
I took yesterday morning off of teaching class to get some looong overdue work done. The girls played and, GASP, watched TV. I figured I needed to get them out to do something fun, and hey, run a few errands while we were at it. I took them to the library, and mistakenly tried to get a few books for myself too. Insert the very spirited Emma at 2 years old. She doesn't quite get the whole library voice concept, and my shushing was probably just as, if not more, annoying than her screeching.
I made it out with a few books on my list and we spent the rest of the time in the children's section. They both had their own bags, picked out a ton of books, played with toys, climbed on the furniture, and we even rented a movie. Feeling like a supermom, we headed out.
I only needed to run 2 errands. A quick few minutes, that I clearly pre-paid for with the fun trip to the library. I pulled into OfficeMax to return something...and it all began to unwind.
The store was closing so it was practically empty. Now, maybe it was the vast openness and lack of items on the shelf that gave my kids the idea it was a playground. From the minute we walked in the door they were all over the place. Don't ask me how, but no matter where we are my kids can spot Elmo, Dora, or the Backyardigans paraphernalia and instantly begin begging for it. I am trying to calm them down and tell them we are leaving as the clerk kindly lets me know that I waited too long for the return so now I could only use store credit. Awesome. I am pretty sure in that amount of time my kids have ruined $23.48 worth of items in the store.
I grab them making a beeline for the pen isle when, staring right at me, with a lovely 50% off tag, is a new corner desk that would fit perfectly in my 'office'. (I use quotations because it is more of an 'oh shit' room than an office) Suddenly this desk is the answer to all of my disorganizational problems, and I have to have it.
Insert problem here: They won't let me put it on hold, they won't let me pay for it and have my husband pick it up after work, and there is no way in you know what it is fitting in my car.
Meanwhile, Emma has kicked off her shoes, they have both found a pack of post-its, and I am sweating like I am doing speed work in 100% humidity. I am on the phone trying to track down someone to pick up the desk. My future organized and efficient self is so close I can taste it...I just need this desk!!!
I have my phone up to my ear, reaching down to grab Emma's shoes, yelling at Meadow to set the example...and off runs Emma, in her Minnie Mouse dress to boot, straight towards the fake wall in the front of the store. It is a metal frame with a canvas drape hanging down to serve as a partition of sorts, and there are about 8 linked together. She runs right through the first one, and in slow mo, as I run shouting Nooooooooooo, the rest crumble in a domino effect. The entire store stops on a dime to stare at the crazy kids and unfit mother standing front and center.
8 shades of red, with sweat now dripping from every pore of my body, I drop my phone, grab Emma, and stare at the mess. their staff, bless their hearts, told me no problem a million times and said they would fix it. They also asked me not to get mad at her. I guess they could see the fury unleashing in my eyes. And the manager kindly handed me back the label tape I needed to return with my receipt.
As I rushed to my car, I was yelling at them, actually myself, that I couldn't do anything anymore. I couldn't run one simple errand without the world crashing down on me. I put them in the car, turned on the AC and shut the doors...with me still outside. I needed a time out. I was so rushed and focused on the desk, and so uptight that I was responsible for their craziness.
Meadow rolled down her window(I didn't even know she could do that--it's all in the wrist, as she would say), and there Emma was, all smiles in her Minnie dress. I had to laugh. She's a wild one that girl...and lucky for her she will probably get away with it for years to come. She has no boundaries, no fears, no limitations, and she goes 100% all the time. I am figuring she will be the root of my first gray hair (who knows if it is already there or not, I refuse to look). But, I also know deep down that that will power, that strength, will teach me a few lessons down the road. I am going to focus on embracing their craziness and trying to roll with it. Soon they will be uptight adults like the rest of us. Don't we all wish we could be a kid again? Just for an afternoon? So I will let them enjoy it, and worry about the mess another time.
Oh, and btw, I got the desk. :)