On the four minute drive from the elementary school carpool line to Wal Mart, I felt like I did a sufficient job prepping the kids for our mission. What do we need? Soap and Pull Ups, Drill Sergeant! The first five minutes of our trip were largely uneventful. Scout and Camden were slightly distracted by the point of purchase sunglasses display, but it was nothing I couldn't handle. As we neared the Pull Up aisle, I swore I could almost see the imaginary band of angels crooning to my children as they walked up on a seven foot high stack of bean bag chairs covered with the likes of Spongebob and Lightening McQueen. Seriously, what are doing to me, Wal Mart? Hudson and Lawson hopped right up on a chair sitting on the outskirts of the display, and I thought I'd roll with the moment and take a little photo. Look how cute they are.
Moments later, all four sat down, and I thought, "Oh, how cute would it be to have a picture of all of them together?" That's right. I broke a cardinal rule of motherhood. Never ever break out a camera like an amateur Wal Mart mommy on a touristy shopping trip. I had a mission, people, and I detoured from said mission. The cuteness sucked me in, and before I knew it, Scout was scratching and pushing Hudson off her chair, and Camden and Lawson were barking out which version of the chair they wanted. The highlight was Scout pushing the stack in anger and the slow motion domino effect that sent multiple chairs toppling to the floor.
A passerby in a Memorial Hospital polo shirt did offer to help me stack them back, but her unsmiling face said what her kind gesture did not--that I was a train wreck mommy who let her kids destroy property at the local Wal Mart. Ugh. Guilty as judged. When all character chairs were secured, we walked twenty feet away to the Pull Ups where the employee stocking shelves watched in silence as Hudson and Lawson exchanged blows and Hudson flung his Power Ranger under the shelf. He then crawled all over the nasty floor and reached under the shelf to retrieve it (yak!). Suddenly I found myself wondering if soap really is absolutely necessary for good hygiene.
On the way to the soap aisle, Scout took off running, her tiny fanny cheeks shining because her suit had ridden up while I was carrying her. For the next
I'll spare you the details of the frustration I suffered in the ten remaining minutes it took for us to exit the store. They can be summed up quickly by saying Hudson filled his arms with ten bottles of hand soap rather than agreeing to carry the 3-pack of Ivory I had to dig out from behind all of the pricier soaps on the shelf, Camden kept running back and forth to the snack aisle for random items like Goldfish and fruit chews when he was supposed to be carrying the Capri Suns and then laughing hysterically when I told him to put his loot back, and Lawson was violently assaulted by a rogue box of Kool Aid Jammers.
My silence as we exited the store instilled more fear in my children than an angry lecture could ever do, and as we pulled out of the store parking lot, I said these simple words. You.Will.Write.Sentences.
I got my sentences (justice!) and some very sincere apologies. Our next trip to any store is likely to be just as disastrous, and I'm just going to have to learn to live with sneers and open mouthed stares from innocent bystanders. I've got three boys. Three. I mean, there's no real hope for my life to be anything but hilariously chaotic, and the fact that Scout relishes an opportunity to make her brothers laugh just makes it all the more diabolical. Judge me if you want, random strangers. I wouldn't trade them for any amount of normal.