Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is it the weekend yet?

Thursday is totally the new Friday.

Let it be written. Because I say so.

I am more than ready for the weekend, because it has just been one of those weeks. Not in a bad way exactly, but in a my-brain-is-fried-and-I'm-surprised-I-can-still-come-up-with-any-coherent-thoughts kind of way. As with any week, there were many bright spots and hilarious moments. But as usual, I had moments that made me go, "Hmmm?"

This week started off with the discovery that my children fart in British. But it's not like they are bilingual, because as you know, the Brits do speak English, so really, my children just fart with an accent.

Enough of my bragging. I'll let you know when they fart in Spanish. Or Farsi.

Minivan cleaning day was this week as well, and as you may have seen on my Facebook page, I found unspeakable things underneath the seats. The kids helped, and surprised me with their mad minivan-cleaning skills, but there is no earthly reason that cleaning out our car should have taken the three solid hours that it did. But alas, it did, because we are car slobs. Every time we clean out the van, we resolve to change our ways, but all it takes is one stray granola bar wrapper, or a package of fruit snacks, and we slide back down the slippery slope into car slob-dom. It is now Day 3 of a clean car, and I am happy to report that so far so good.

I am a changed woman. I have resolved to keep my car clean at all times.

If I write that, does it make it true?

I didn't think so.

There was an "incident" today at swim lessons, which left me feeling frazzled, to say the least. But I'm not ready to talk about it yet, because I'm still processing. I will write about it when my brain is much less the consistency of Jell-o, which is what it feels like at the moment. Don't worry, none of my children almost drowned. Thankfully, it wasn't quite that dramatic.

I was reminded today that although I have my occasional shards of brilliance, I also have shards of stupidity. For example, what brilliant woman takes four children bathing suit shopping for herself?

Trick question. Only stupid women do that.

It's not like I planned on taking them bathing suit shopping for me. We actually went shopping for a present for my Dad, whose birthday is next week, and we successfully went to a few stores until we finally settled on a gift for him. But do you remember that episode of "Seinfeld" when Kramer and Newman decided to drive a car while the yellow light on "E" is flashing, indicating that the car was just about out of gas? The two friends kept driving and driving, and living on the edge, never knowing when or where the car was going to sputter out and die. Today, I was that episode of "Seinfeld" personified. My kids were the yellow light on "E", and I was the dumbass driving the metaphorical car.

I just never know when to stop. I should always quit while I'm ahead.

But in my defense, as I said, my children were behaving wonderfully as I dragged them from store to store, looking for a gift for my father, their grandfather. However, I soon spied, with my little eye, a sign in a window that said something to the effect of, "All swimsuits and separates 50% off!"

Have I mentioned that I am a sucker for a sale?

Have I also mentioned that I need yet another bathing suit like I need a hole in my head?

But I haven't bought a new swimsuit in over a year, and mama gets bored at looking at the same old stuff. And these suits were on sale. My kids get new bathing suits yearly, and it was my turn to buy something fun for myself.

I said to my kids, "Come on. I just want to look in this store really quickly. The bathing suits are on sale."

Famous last words. There is no "really quickly" anything with four hungry, tired, over-stimulated children, who, although they might have been displaying angelic behavior at the time, clearly had cranky simmering invisibly underneath their calm surfaces.

I'm not a fan of cranky. Cranky and I are not copacetic.

I grabbed a few tops, and a few bottoms, barely checking the sizes, and dragged my brood to the largest dressing room in the store.

I locked the door and said, mostly for the benefit of my three sons, "Alright. Everyone turn around. I need my privacy."

Oh, the sweet irony. Shouldn't I have thought of that before I decided to drag my 9-year old, 8-year old, and 5-year old sons, along with my 3-year old daughter BATHING SUIT SHOPPING, which is the least discreet form of shopping there is?

See? Shards of stupidity. I told you.

All 3 boys politely obliged, with a "Sure, Mom," and turned around, letting me have my privacy. But since they were stuck in a small, confined space, only able to stare at one plain, white wall for 15-plus minutes, they soon became bored and started fighting with each other in the dressing room.

Can I get a what-what for "Duh"? How could I have not seen this coming?

As I continued to try on more suits, I started hissing out threats of punishment to the backs of their heads. One boy pinched his brother in the arm. That brother pinched back. One told the other he was going to steal all his video games when we returned home. One boy started wailing, and my daughter joined in.

Surely, at any moment, the entire store was going to start assembling outside the dressing room door, just to gawk at the train wreck commotion brewing.

Feeling completely exasperated and defeated, as I stood in a dressing room half-naked with four young, impatient children, I whined, "You guys! Stop it! Can I just go swimsuit shopping without you fighting with each other?!?!"

Then it hit me. No, Clare, you cannot go swimsuit shopping without these children getting antsy, because only stupid people take four young children, three of them little boys, swimsuit shopping. It is just way too much to expect out of a shorty.

And lordy knows I have me some shorty expectations. But really, this should not be one of them.

I was blessed with four great kids, who are mostly well-mannered, and mostly well-behaved. Shame on me for expecting them to fall in love with the idea of hanging out in a dressing room with me as I tried on bathing suit after bathing suit. Kids have their limits, and my chidren were done with a capital "D".

It's all about setting reasonable expectations, and there is nothing reasonable about swimsuit shopping with four kids. Nothing.


Lesson learned.


  1. I have a thought on this. In the summertime, stores whould offer free kid watch when you enter the dresing know, kind of like Kroger and Giant Eagle do. They wouldn't even have to put stuff on sale...just to be able to try on in peace a quiet. I would probably even buy more stuff...

  2. Well, I started hissing out threats of punishment to the backs of their heads. One boy pinched his brother in the arm. That brother pinched back. One told the other he was going to steal all his video games when we returned home. thanx for sharing.


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