Last day of school was Thursday.
Friday 10:45 a.m.:
The kids were already asking what they could dooOoo.
“Why don’t you go outside and play?”
“Good idea!” Buddy agreed.
Happy that they would be doing something active out on a beautiful day, I headed down to the dungeon to do some laundry. When I brought up a basket of folded clothes I could hear their laughter and good-natured ribbing out on the back patio. I looked out the open door and saw the boys playing Battleship at the patio table.
“A board game?” I asked.
“What?” Buddy asked innocently. “We are playing outside as you suggested.”
After playing the board game they came back inside to announce their new found boredom. I had allowed the boys to begin collecting Screen-Time Tokens prior to summer break. Both boys had about a dozen but neither of them wants to give them up. Without television or the computer to fall back on they were at a loss for what to do with themselves.
“You can read, you can ride your bikes, play Lego’s, draw, write a story. I bought some markers that work like paints. You can draw with a white crayon and then paint over it and you will see the cool picture you drew!”
“Nah. All of that sounds boring,” whined Bug and he flopped down on the couch.
I busied myself with cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen, doing laundry. I found that I was much more productive with the kids home then when they are out at school.
“It’s because you can’t leave,” Caren said. “By now you would’ve dodged house work with an errand outside of the home.”
This weekend Man and I did yard work. He reinforced Ft. Knox and I potted plants for the back patio. We both hauled bags of dirt and mulch. I reminded the kids that their help would earn them tokens but instead I found them laying on the couch listening to music. They clung to their Screen Time Tokens like greedy codgers but they also did nothing to earn new ones.
Last night they buzzed around Man and I while we tried to have a conversation with our neighbor. They would politely interrupt and try to change the subject.
“Boys, why don’t you go down stairs and watch TV,” I suggested.
“We don’t want to spend our tokens.” Bug said.
“Can we watch free-of-charge?” Buddy angled.
I looked at Man who gave a subtle nod.
“Free-of-charge. Go. Get out of here!” They ran off like sailors on furlough.
This morning I made a list of things I needed to do today. Grocery shopping was a “must” and I wanted to run to the craft store for canvas, paint, scrapbook materials, and picture frames for a photo project I’m working on for the guest room. I also thought I would get stuff for the kids to make tie dye shirts. For some reason Bug really wants a tie dye shirt. The project would be something fun for them to do when they declare that they are bored.
On Sunday I loaded my little…you know…that stick you plug into the computer and download pictures and documents on…with pictures from Disney World and of fun times we’ve had with guests here. Since I needed to print out a bunch of pictures and since we would be down the hill to go to the craft store, I decided to get the groceries at a Super Target. This way I could get the picture processing started and then shop for groceries.
And…since I’ll be down the hill, I can run by the dairy store.
My lists and game plan made I rounded up the boys and we headed out.
“Wait…” Buddy stopped at the door. “Did you say we were going to Super Target?”
“I need to run back inside. I have a gift card for there!”
I should’ve stopped him right then. I was not interested in spending 45 minutes slowly moving up and down the toy aisles while Buddy tried to choose a toy. The boy looks over every item as if he is buying an engagement ring or something. Then he carries one choice around while he goes back through to see if there wasn’t something better that he should’ve picked.
On the way to the craft store I reminded the boys that I had a list of things to get.
“I’m only getting what’s on the list. Please don’t be asking me to purchase other goodies.”
“What about a craft for us? Can you get a craft for us to do too?” Bug began his campaign.
“I AM getting you a craft! Guess what it is?”
“Paint?” Bug guessed.
“Mad Scientist Set?” asked Buddy. (Do they sell those at craft stores? Just…what?)
“Nope! I’m getting you a tie dye kit!”
The boys were pretty pumped about that idea. Once at the store I pulled out my list and headed straight for the frames. Nothing there was really what I was looking for. I passed through the aisles again. And then a again.
“Third time…” Buddy mumbled.
“Mom, can we get a craft to do too?” Bug asked.
“We already talked about that Bug.”
“Oh yeah! Tie dye.”
Next I checked out the paints and canvas. A few aisles up we found the tie dye kit and t-shirts. Each boy picked out a shirt for themselves and then some for the neighbor girls. Next was the scrapbooking papers.
“Mom, I know we got the tie dye kit but can we get another craft too? You know…for later?”
“K. I’ll just put the tie dye away too.”
“No, no, no! It’s not lame! I’m sorry Mom. The tie dye is great! I’m going to be greatful!”
Of course the one cashier opened was trianing another gal. She felt it necessary to verbally explain each step.
“Now type in 4-5-3-7-8. Then Enter….” It went on and on like this while Bug asked if he could have a Three Muskateer.
“Is that a healthy choice Bug?”
“A Hershey Bar?”
“Excuse me,” the cashier interuppted this rivetting conversation. “Do you remember how much this was?”
Fifty cents, I thought the lie.
“No.” I sighed. “Unfortunately, I do not.”
The cashier called a price check and explained to the trainee who to call for this department and that and also mentioned that they don’t usually let the line get this long. Behind me were about 7 other people who were shifting their weight, folding their arms, and sighing.
“Snickers?” Bug asked.
“NO!” I leaned in close to Bug and through clenched teeth said, “Do you see all of the candy there? None of it, and I mean NONE of it, is for you. Got it?”
“OK,” he said as if it was unreasonable for me to be so upset. “I was just asking.”
Oh. My. Lands. I may hurt someone today. Please God, not my children. It may be this cashier though.
Tell me, why can they not give the training a rest when they see antsy children who are pick, pick, pick, picking at their mothers?
I gave each child a bag to carry out to the car and we finally left. Bug and Buddy immediately began to plan their designs for their tie dye.
Before heading into Target I reminded the kids that I was buying groceries and only the groceries that were on my list. We first stopped at the deli to have lunch meat and cheese sliced. While we waited I sent the boys back and forth into the produce section to get various things on the list.
“Mom, I’m getting hungry!” Bug annonunced. I looked at the clock and saw that we were nearing noon. “What’s for lunch?”
“Mmm! Can’t wait!”
We went through the store collecting the items on my list.
“Ooo! Suasage!” said Bug. “Can we buy sausage?”
“No. That’s not a healthy choice Bug.”
“What about this? I want to try this chicken sausage. Can I Mom? Huh? Can I?”
It seemed like a good compromise and so I added it to the cart.
“Mom, what’s for lunch?”
“Sandwiches,” I said again.
In my attempt to eat “clean” I thought that I would make our own ketchup. The store kind is so full of corn syrup and other sugars and preservatives. The recipe calls for several spices that I am out of and so I stood in front of the spices trying to read labels. Meanwhile, while keeping one hand on the cart, Bug walked himself in circles. Buddy wrapped his arms around my waist and nuzzled into my side. I looked down at him.
He blew a kiss up to me and smiled.
While this should warm a mother’s heart I thought my head may start to spin. With Bug playing May Pole with the damn shopping cart and Buddy choosing Snuggle Time there in the middle of the aisle I couldn’t concentrate on the task at hand.
They grow up fast. They grow up fast. They grow up fast. Do people tell mother’s that as a reminder to cherish these moments or as a promise that it will soon pass?
“Buddy,” I said trying to coo more and growl less. “I love you so much!” *squeeze* “And I love your hugs and kisses! But right now, here, in the middle of the aisle of a grocery store, is not the time for us to snuggle. K? Sorry Bud.”
“Oh. OK. Sorry,” he said as he peeled himself away.
Time to engage these guys!
“Let’s see who kind find the paprika the fastest! Go!”
We raced to find each spice. I totally kicked their butts because they don’t know that spices are alphabetized. *blows smoke off the barrel of my finger pistol*
“Mom?” Buddy asked.
Here we go. He’s going to ask about lunch again.
“Mom? What’s for lunch?”
SON OF A…..!
“Bug, how many times have you asked me that now?”
“I don’t know. Once?”
“Three times. At least. And what has been my answer every time you’ve asked?”
“Sandwiches. If you ask again, what do you think you will have for lunch?”
“OK, Mom. I promise to never ask what’s for lunch again! Thanks for my tie dye, Mom!”
Ug. He was laying it on thick. Passer-bys all smiled at the little angel.
As we hunted for the things on our list Bug and Buddy tried to persuade me to buy everything else.
“Tostito Lime chips Mom…” Bug sang temptingly.
“Oo! Mom! Can we buy some new cereal?” Buddy asked. “I promise not to choose sugary kinds.”
“Can we get this?”
“Oh boy! You guys have broken the cardinal rule of grocery shopping: Never shop hungry.”
Before we left I remembered that I needed to get a new ball for our weekly kickball games. The other one popped. On our way to the sporting goods section we passed a few other things.
“There is the toy section for babies…” Buddy quietly observed.
Then while choosing a ball in the sporting section:
“Hmm…we are right across from the toy section…”
“Buddy, stop being passive. Do you want to go and shop for a toy?”
“Then do it,” I jumped at the opportunity for the boys to be on the opposite side of the big aisle. Oh the glorious space! My mind could opperate again! The vacation was very short lived as it did not take long at all to find the kick balls. I pulled up next to the kids in one of the action figure themed aisles.
“Mom! Would you stop following us?” Bug scolded.
Seriously? Buddy kept perusing his options.
“Bud, do you have something specific in mind or is that money just burning a hole in your pocket?”
“Pretty much it’s burning a hole in my pocket.”
“Well, maybe this isn’t the time to spend it then. You should wait until you have something you really want to get and that way you don’t have to ponder over each and every item.”
“But maybe I don’t know that there is something here that I really want because I haven’t seen it yet.”
“Buddy, I have frozen meat that we need to get it home to the freezer.”
“I will just be a minute,” he said with a raised finger.
Sweet Father God! When do they go back to school?!
After 2000 years Buddy finally chose a Battle Droid.
“He’s only $9.99!” he raved.
“Wonderful!” I began to push the cart toward the cash registers.
“Wait!” Bud’s voice stopped me in my tracks. “I want to get one more. I mean for $9.99…” My little old man marveled at the amazing price as he shuffled back to where he found his treasure and got one more.
“Excellent. Let’s go.”
“Mom?” Bug asked.
He’s going to ask for lunch again! Un-freaking-believable!
“Oh wait. Never mind,” Bug caught himself.
As I ran my credit card through to pay, a picture of my list flashed through my head.
“No. I am going to lose my mind.” I completely forgot to start the processing of my photos before I started to shop. Now, with two hungry kids and I having no more patience, there was no way I was going to try to load and print 50+ photos now.
I loaded the groceries and kids in the car and growled internally. The whole reason I did the shopping down here was to get the photos! With the kids orbiting around me and their constant questions I just made a quest to get the groceries and get home. I was still fuming to myself when I took the exit to our hood and I suddenly remembered “milk.”
“Argh!” So much for my lists and plans. I slammed my head on the steering wheel until unconciousness rewarded my deligence. K, not really but I did decide that I would have to talk to the other moms and create a Errand Run Co-op so we can all have a chance to get our stuff done in peace and quiet.
I looked over the calendar for the summer. 84 days to go.