I like to think that I have a good head on my shoulders. I am not an intellectual who sits around quoting Shakespeare while sipping sherry, however, I graduated from college, have a job and can carry on a whitty conversation with others. Heck, I would even go as far as to say that I have common sense and some people skills. That being said, I have no excuse for what happened to me on Friday, April 13, 2012.
That Friday started off like any other Friday. I am “off” on Fridays. Let me clarify, I do not go into the office on Fridays instead I am home with my 4 boys, under the age of 6, and “work” all day catching up on laundry, cleaning and bus schedules. On this particular Friday, 3 of the 4 boys were home from school on spring break. It was the last day of spring break (yipee) and we had run out of “fun” activities to keep the kids happy and occupied.
They had been bowling, to the movies, Bounce U, the mall, out to lunch and on several Target trips. The weather was supposed to be nice, warm and sunny, so I figured it would be a good thing to keep the kids outside most of the day. Hmmmm, what can they do outside I thought as I sipped my coffee. Hey, I know, I can get sand to fill up the sand box!! That’s a great idea, the boys LOVE the sand box and that will keep them occupied for hours. We had a plan!
There was only one small problem the only store that carried play sand was Toys R Us (TRU). Up until then I had prided myself on avoiding TRU with all 4 kids at the same time. If there was an occassion where all the boys had to go I always had reinforcements with me. Not today, today I had to brave TRU alone with the 4 boys – yikes!
I gave myself a pep talk over coffee:
You CAN do this! You are an adult and they are kids what is the problem? Go early, just buy the sand and get out of there, no browsing and whatever you do, don’t let the kids smell fear! OK, let’s go!!
I hurriedly got the kids dressed and into the van in record time. We were on a mission and I was ready! On the trek up Route 1 I laid down the ground rules 1) no toys 2) no fighting and 3) no wandering away from the cart. This was a quick trip to buy sand and if everyone behaved there would be bagels on the way home. (Gosh I am a super mom!).
I pulled the van into the parking lot, found a good spot and took a moment to mentally prepare myself for the challenge. I took a deep breath and opened the van door. No sooner was my hand off the handle when the complaints started from the back seat and continued once we got inside.
Mommy, why didn’t we go to Target? Mommy, can I get a book? Mom, Mom, Mom, I don’t want sand, can I get a Lego set? I want to sit in the cart, why does L always get to sit in the cart? MOOOOM you NEVER buy me anything, why do I never get toys??? I never get anything that’s not fair!
TRU keeps the sand on the other side of the check out so we were forced to walk the entire store. The boys took off like they had never been to a store before. L had climbed out of the shopping cart and was loading his tiny arms up with sand toys. The twins were sitting on bikes begging for new scooters and J was trying to pull a 2-wheeler off the display.
OMG what have I gotten myself into??? The sweat was starting to form on my brow and suddenly I felt a tightness in my chest. Who were these children?! All I want to get is some damn sand for THEIR sand box!!!!
After what seemed like an eternity, we were at the check out. The cart was loaded with Matchbox cars, balls and books (so much for no toys). I was killing myself loading up the two 50-lb bags of sand as the kids took turns asking for lollipops.
I handed the cashier my debit card without even asking what the total was. All I wanted to do was get out of that store and back into the safety of my van. I walked out of TRU totally drained and defeated. I felt like a failure for having to yell my way through TRU. I was one of “those parents” with the crazy kids that can’t be controlled. I had a pity party for myself on the ride home.
Later I sat in the yard and quietly watched the boys playing. J&L were dumping sand on the ground laughing and the twins were driving Matchbox cars through sand piles. I guess the trip to TRU was worth it. Next time though, I am sending the husband.
Nicole is a married, full-time working mom to 4 boys and a long-haired daschund (her only girl) who also blogs at mommy&everything http://ndlarusso.wordpress.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @mommyeverything and Pinterest http://pinterest.com/mommyeverything.