I took my kids shoe-shopping. The 10-year old needed football cleats, so first we went to a sporting goods store. We had two choices and each box in his size had only one shoe. So, I sent one of my kids to find an employee.
Meanwhile, my 5-year old is running laps. I directed a 15-year old to keep an eye on her and before I know it, they are chasing each other around the store, whooping and hollering and being a nuisance. They were the kind of kids that would provoke a raised eyebrow, an eyeroll and cause me to wonder, “WHERE IS THEIR MOTHER?!” in that special judgmental way I have.
When my twins were younger, they could not be still while shopping. They’d climb under racks of clothes, they’d poke each other, they would disappear. They would tackle each other, shriek and annoy me until I broke out in a sweaty rage. And, lo and behold, great tidings of anything but joy, they still do it. They still joke around and put each other in headlocks and block the aisle.
After an epic struggle, we bought a pair of cleats and headed to Famous Footwear, my favorite shoe-store. I love that store because they have excellent clearance racks and they send me coupons based on how many shoes I’ve purchased. Also, they have a buy one, get on half-off sale. (Once, I bought a $5-on-clearance pair of shoes with a $5 coupon.) Since I must shod eight feet, that’s where we go.
This time, Grace veered immediately toward the girl shoes, so I gave the teenage boys instructions: “First, check the clearance rack for your size. If they don’t have what you like, check the regular shelves. But watch the price.” They were to each get two pairs: one for gym class and one for every day.
To my surprise, they each picked out reasonable shoes at reasonable prices without my assistance. This was a first. Meanwhile, Grace found two pairs she liked, so all in all, I purchased six pairs of school shoes, plus a pair of cleats. And I will not have endure that again for another year.
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Last night, Grace and I were watching “Unwrapped,” a show about how snack foods are made. The segment was about beef jerky. “Beef turkey,” she said and I corrected her. “No, it’s beef jerky.”
She paused and said, “Beef jerky? What is that? Beef that is a jerk?” And then she laughed and laughed a contagious laughter that had me giggling along, wiping my eyes at her hilarity. When she simmered down I said, “And there’s also turkey jerky.” She found that equally amusing and we laughed some more.
She’s been having nightmares lately and has been waking me up two or three times in the pre-dawn darkest hours. I am not Ma Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie fame and I do not respond with any sort of grace in the wee hours of the night. I’m not sure what incentive she even has to wake me up repeatedly because I am not happy at all to see her before 8 a.m., and at 3 a.m., I am downright annoyed. Last night, I stepped on the pointy end of a plastic doll pacifier and screamed in pain. I fell asleep to the rhythm of my throbbing arch.
I wonder what Ma Ingalls would have done? She wouldn’t have left scattered toys on the floor, I bet.
If you could be a mom of literary, television of movie fame, who would you be? And why?