Actually, I don't think life "handed" me lemons today at all. Life threw them at me full force, catapulting in my face. It was a rough morning, to say the least.
I think my kids are pretty good kids. They argue a lot but love a lot ( the woes of being a parent of kids 13 1/2 months apart.......I might as well had twins). But anyway, their togetherness brings me double the joy but sometimes their togetherness brings me quadruple the madness.
So today I tell them, "We need to get dressed to go to the grocery store. We are going to have a nice time and come home and straighten up our house."
I don't need to bore you with all of THE STUFF I needed to do today. Matt's Dad and stepmom were coming, I'm planning for Bible School, I have 2 kids that act like they have been living in the jungle with no rules...
The minute I told them we were going shopping the tantrums started. I know they don't like to shop. I know they want to play. That is why for the last month I had done all of my shopping ALONE......IN BLISS......
But today, we HAD to go. No ifs, ands, or buts. I was prepared. I was going to be the most patient mom. I had a plan. I gave them each 3 stickers and said, "The stickers are going to help you get rewards. If you have 3 stickers by the end of our trip you will get a book, a pack of gum, and a trip to the park. If you have 2 stickers you will get a pack of gum and a trip to the park. One sticker, trip to the park. No stickers.....nothing. (I put park at the end of rewards because I was secretly wanting to go there to spy on the movie stars filming a movie in our neighborhood...more on that later).
Well. How do you think our trip ended? We didn't go to the park. The kids also got their tv show priviledges taken away.
But wait......you are probably thinking I am SOOOO STRICT. I thought, I'll make this fun because I know they hate the grocery. The first fifteen minutes were great. I was making a game out of our shopping experience. They were so excited because I would say, "Zan, can you help me put 10 lemons in our bag." Then it was Kaya's turn, "Kaya, can you put 6 ears of corn in our bag."
They loved that but then got a little restless. So then I said......"Let's pretend we are Special Agent Oso. Zander, see if you can find the bacon. Kaya, see if you can find the sausage."
This part of the experience was all good. A worker was even grinning at us at our "Special Agent" mission.
Then we turn the corner into the eggs and dairy isle. And that is when it all went to hell....
Kaya was trying to throw eggs (luckily she didn't) then Zander saw a display of cookies and told Kaya to throw those (unluckily she did). They then proceeded to pull hair, scream, and cry the most loud, obnoxious cry known to man.
I separated them. That didn't work. Kaya would unbuckle and go pull Zander's hair. When Kaya was buckled in he would go and get in her face and say, "Hit me Kaya." Then he would hit her back.
Finally.......I was at the checkout lane. I thought.......I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. But suddenly they BOTH start screaming, "Pee on the floor with your penis. Pee on the floos with your penis. Pee on the floor with your penis."
I was mortified. I told them to stop and then told them that TV was taken away for the rest of the day. That resulted in a screaming cry from both that would make people think I had a hot iron on top of their bodies.
And that was when I lost it. I was almost in tears already. I got down into their car and yelled, "Stop it! Right now! That's enough!!!"
So then the manager came over to pacify them. I'm really thankful she did BUT when she did I lost it even more and started crying right there in the store. She asked me can I give them a sticker and show them where I work at the manager's desk? I said sure, because at that point.....why not?
I think I was crying because it took a total stranger to calm them down. I think I was crying because I am sick and tired of spending 2 hours in the grocery store when it should only take 30 minutes....tops. I think I was crying because I felt like a total failure as a mom.
I try so hard to be a good mom. I try so hard to prepare nutritious meals for my family. But when you stay at home and do the shopping with the kids it is almost impossible. By the time I leave, I am so stressed I will buy anything just to get out of there.
When I left the manager took our cart to the car and said, "Take a deep breath, mom. In a few years you will want these years back."
And that made me feel even worse. I'm sure the manager would be shocked to know I was ever an elementary teacher OR that I'm planning on teaching a preschool Bible School class next week. She would be even more shocked that I ignore the comments of disbelief that I'm going to keep Zan at home next year instead of sending him to preschool because I just want one more year with my baby boy.
I came home though.....still frustrated........fed the kids lunch and put them down for nap. Then I fixed myself 2 packs of ramen noodles, went to my bedroom with the door shut, ate my lunch, watched my shows, and cried. I cried for a long time......
I then felt a little bit better. Zander woke up from his nap and was the sweetest thing ever. He wanted to help me clean and make fresh lemonade for Pappaw and Grandma Texas. We had the best time making our lemonade together. I love my little tots.......just not when we buy groceries.
Isn't it ironic............when life hands you lemons----just make lemonade?