So yesterday we were supposed to go to the FFTIA trip to the zoo, only Jim wasn’t able to be off and I just didn’t think it was wise for me to wrangle all 3 kids by myself now that the boys resist staying in the stroller and the zoo is… well, a zoo!
Since Sophie and the boys were so upset about missing the zoo, we decided to go out for pizza instead. It was a small consolation, but they seemed happy about it. About the only place that Sophie can safely eat pizza is at Whole Foods, and sometimes going in there with my crew is… frightening! They LOVE that store and can get really hyped up with all the bright lights and colors.
So as we were getting out of the car I lined all 3 kids up at the back of the Rover and had my “pep” talk. It went something like this:
“There will be no running, screaming, disobeying, or yelling. If there is any infractions (and I did say infractions btw) we will IMMEDIATELY return to the car and depart (and I said depart too). There will be no whining, wheedling, or wingeing. No crying, no begging, no hissy-fits. We will stay together as a group! We are going to go inside and ACT like a normal group of people, we are not going to act like hooligans. Aim for normal! Pretend if you need to!! Do you understand?”
To which they all replied “yes Mommy”.
It was then I noticed the man in the car next to us with his window rolled down. Oh yes, he heard it all. And yes he was laughing. Really laughing.
When he saw me looking at him he said “Sir, Yes Sir!” and gave me a smart salute.
I’m certain I blushed, but I rallied and replied “there’s only one of me and 3 of them… I’d rather start off with them knowing what I’m expecting than correcting them after the fact.” I didn’t feel the need to explain the dynamics of my children and how re-upping the rules of conduct are pretty much an HOURLY occurance!
He smiled and went back to reading his Wall Street Journal, but I could still hear him laughing.
Seriously, taking my guys (and let’s remember that only Beckett is remotely “normal”) alone anywhere is an exercise in control. People see Sophie and assume she’ll help tend the boys, only that doesn’t happen, and invariably Dandy feeds off of Sophie’s manias and Beckett is just a 2 and a half year old!
I’ve found that if I’m taking them into a stressful situation (grocery store with lots of distractions, doctors’ office where they need to be quiet and well behaved) that if I give them a “pep” talk prior to entering the situation I have a much better chance of coming through the event with all my nerves intact. It’s not something I can do everytime we go somewhere, so I save it for trips when they’re already a little hyped up and I’m alone with them.
So anyway, we had our pizza and did a little shopping and as we were returning to the car I told the kids how proud I was of how well they had behaved. And they were all smiles and giggles as I loaded them and our bags into the car. I noticed the man parked next to us was still there (oddly enough) and was watching us over the top of his paper. He was still smiling.
Part of me wondered if he was hoping to see me coming back to the car, frazzled and annoyed with at least one screaming kid. Instead we were the picture of familial harmony, boys smiling and talking about taking the left over pizza home to Poppy and Sophie offering to help buckle Beckett’s carseat. I admit I felt the teensiest bit smug. So much so that I actually smiled at the man when he asked how my shopping trip had gone. I simply replied “brilliantly, thank you very much!” and then I hopped in the car and locked the doors because WHY WAS THAT MAN STILL THERE??? I mean seriously, we were gone over an hour! Weird!
From there we went across the road to BJ’s and discovered that they are closing on the 16th! The store’s already pretty bare and I was seriously afraid that they would already be out of Tiger Cubs. Sophie held it together until we got to the toy aisle and then had a mini-meltdown when there were no visible Tigers. I moved a couple boxes around and found a couple. One was sort of shop-worn and the other was pristine! Sophie was overjoyed and I was beyond thrilled to discover that instead of $45 it was $39.99!! WooHoo!! So yes we now have a White Tiger Cub!
It’s actually pretty neat, although the servos (at least I think that’s what they’re called) are REALLY loud! Everytime it moves it’s eyes or mouth there’s a loud whirring noise. But other than that it’s really neat! Sophie slept with it last night but sometime during the night she must have righted it as it woke up and started meowing and purring! I had to figure out how to turn it off (you hold down it’s ear to put it into a dormant state and then hold it down again to wake it up) as it was quite loud!
She’s named it Rintoo from NiHao Kailan and has so thoroughly enjoyed playing with it that I’m glad we went ahead and bought it plus it was a GREAT price compared to online!