I don’t know what was in the air yesterday, but Campbell and Elizabeth spent the entire day whining and complaining and crying. I was ready to tear my hair out by the afternoon. Unfortunately, because B had a meeting, I had to take all of the kids with me to Ella’s climbing practice. Even though all of them whined through the whole car ride about having to be there, I decided it would be a good idea for us to go to Target to grab a bag of dog food.
I should have realized that this was a disaster in the making when I went to get Elizabeth out of the car and she didn’t have any shoes on. Normally she has a pair floating around the car, but not yesterday. I put my barefoot, screaming 3 year old in the shopping cart and pressed ahead; Campbell complaining that he was tired and Lily saying her head hurt, in tow.
The whole trip through the store was the kids begging for some item, me saying no, and them crying. We got stares. I was THAT mom in Target.
I had promised Lily we’d look for some fun flip flop-type shoes because her favorite pair has finally bitten the dust. While in the shoe section, I made the mistake of parking the cart, with Elizabeth in it, too close to the shoe racks.
As I was helping Lily try on shoes, Elizabeth spotted a pair of Hello Kitty flip flops and began begging for them. I told her she had just gotten new shoes and we weren’t buying her flip flops. She, of course, screamed and cried.
I carried on with Lily. But then Campbell, who is always on the lookout for injustices, started pulling on my shirt. “Mom! If Elizabeth gets new shoes, I do too. Otherwise it’s NOT FAIR!” When I told him that Elizabeth wasn’t getting new shoes, he said, “She’s got flip flops under her dress! She’s getting new shoes.”
Sure enough, Elizabeth had pulled the Hello Kitty flip flops off the rack and shoved them under her dress so I couldn’t see them. I yanked them away and herded everyone towards the exit, ignoring all requests for toys.
I purposely got in a check-out line with another screaming kid in it, figuring misery loves company. A third mom had the same idea and lined up behind us with her child. The checkout clerk looked a little freaked at the number of whining, crying kids, and I just shrugged. I told her it was the “witching hour” and the other moms sighed and nodded agreement.
At long last, we made it to the car, and I heaved everyone in, including Elizabeth, who was still crying about the flip flops. I am so glad Campbell felt the need to tattle on her. I was so frazzled and distracted that I wouldn’t have noticed Elizabeth’s shoplifting, but I’m guessing a security guard or two would have. My daughter was thisclose to having a criminal record before she turns four.