Tonight has been a true testament to my mommy strength. Between you and me, I was a little shaky. Here’s how it began. I worked until 7P and relieved the nanny promptly. Hubs is away this fine evening so I thought it would be nice [and easier] to take the kids out for a quick bite. Mo’ had asked if we could go to Rita’s afterwards so I consented, agreeably. I additionally felt really brave and thought I could swing by the grocery store and grab some lil’ snacks for Ox’s class (his real birthday is tomorrow). Sounds simple enough….
En route to our lil’ pizza joint down the road, Maddox made a plea for McDonald’s since he likes chicken McNugs and the pressie that accompanies. I agreed and ventured to Fast-food mayhem. We succinctly ordered dinner. It was going rather smoothly, until Maddox had his last bite of his processed chicken nuggets and he began to unbutton his jeans at the table. “Mom. I have to go potty.” “Wait. Wait! Let me take you to the loo!” I swiped him off the elevated booth and off we went before he dropped trousers. He quickly recognizes the “Women” sign on the door that I am opening, and swiftly performs the well known 3-year-old-dead-man-drops and slams to the floor, almost bringing me with him. “I’m not a Guuuurrrrlllah. Help. Help me.” This my M3 friends is a heart racer, I assure you. Nothing more panicking than a male child, screaming for help, while a (possibly strange) woman is wrestling him into a bathroom. God only knows what people are thinking. I scramble to scoop him up, trying not to throw my back out, and deftly cover the “Wo” in the sign and tell him “See it says Men, Maddox. You can go in here.” Now he can’t read, but some how that placated his illiterate sensibilities and he walked in. Easy enough, I thought. Jesus-Christ!
At this point in the eve’, I was starting to feel the warmth rise to my face. Perspiration was appearing on my upper lip. The lil’ man sat on the pot, looked right at me, eyes locked, for about a minute and then said “Some privacy, please!” He would not poop until I had turned my face to the icky stall wall. We were, seriously, in that stall for 5-7 minutes. Who poops that long? Answer: Men. Women are so different on this front. Women cop a squat, feel the urge, and vagal the stinkers out, swiftly. Wipe. Wash hands and Audi 500. Men (and I believe it is genetic) don’t know how to push poop out. They use gravity and the natural peristalsis of the colon and take their sweet ass time, literally. Some write texts, read novels, the New York Times, or even fall asleep. Bloody disgusting. It starts early, people. How they experience so many problems with hemorrhoids is beyond me.
OK Back to the saga… Maddox wraps up shop on the commode and I am beckoned to “wipe me!” and not even a ‘potty please‘? Little ingrate. We wash hands, and quickly return to the table to find Marvelous Mo’ peacefully sitting in her seat. I fear she’s been drugged. I thought for sure she would’ve taken the keys to the car and driven to Rita’s by herself because we were taking so long. I congratulated her on her good behaviour, patted her bum, and off we went to Rita’s for a sugary night cap.
As we pull onto the main drive, I start noticing traffic, cop cars, one lane of traffic and a lull that was nerve destroying. We pull into the Rita’s parking lot after it took 20 minutes to go two city blocks. The parking lot was jammed packed with cars; it was totally unreal! Mo’ then decided to share:
Mo: “Wow. I guess they were serious!”
Me: “What?” [completely unaware of the real world]
Mo: “First day of Spring. Rita’s is giving away free water ice!”
Me: “How do you know this? How did I not know this?”
Mo: “Do you want me to answer that really Mom?”
I started to white knuckle the steering wheel. The three of us, independently eyed-up the long line at Ritas and I (generously) calculated that there were about 100 or so people in line. For water ice! This is astonishing to me. No. It was stupefying me. How can people think this is normal? Thank Goodness Mo’ was channeling “Good Mo’” tonight because she then gracefully contributed, “Maybe we can go somewhere else? What do you say we just get ice cream/snack at the grocery store?” “Done.” was drowned out by the squealing of my tires as we scooted out of the parking lot and progressed to the last phase of our journey.
We, all holding hands, walk into the grocery store. Mo’ grabs the little buggy to hold just a few items. Maddox starts marching towards the first thing he sees; Juice. Now for some of you parents, you know exactly what I’m about to share with you. However, let me set the scene for the novices. The kids have eaten. It is 830PM which is bedtime at the M3 house, and I (stupidly) have my kids traipsing around the grocery store to innocently grab some snacks. We all know, after the fact, that with full bellies their intentions go from satisfying hunger to “Get whatever you can!” Their purchasing sense, if it existed, is totally skewed. They go for any and everything; crying with REAL tears in their eyes: “Can we have this?” “Can we have that?” I tucked in my elbows, guided the grocery cart, my hands horizontally at 9 and 3, and whisked them through the aisles.
All was yet again smooth, as far as that goes considering the variables. Then we hit a bump in the road. We passed a tiny display of Hot Wheel Trucks and Maddox was on his game. Why the hell do they sell toys at Grocery Stores? Grocery store planners are bastards. Maddox wouldn’t let the truck go. “Pa-weeese Mom Paweese!” I said “NO” and continued walking, holding his hand. Mo took over the cart, as if we had practiced that wheel handoff previously. Smooth. The girl was smooth. A god send. Maddox however, had other intentions. With some oomph this time, he performed a double dead man drop to the hard grocery store floor and I barked my big toe on the shopping carts’ back wheels. I think I tinkled a smidge, gritted my teeth and possibly (since I know I’m capable) grunted “Fuck.” I almost dropped to my knees, and in a really awkward angle I thought I could wrangle that stupid truck out of Ox’s grasp. Poor decision M3. Poor decision. All while this whirlwind was going on, I even had a thought… “I’m being filmed aren’t I? M3 please don’t hit him. Crap! Let go of his arm, it may look like I am abusing him. Am I abusing him? FauxNews 9PM is gonna get an APB out on you, posting ‘Mad mom performed a Superfly Splash* off the cashier at the local Giant Grocery store. More at Eleven’.” Now, one must be truly on the verge of committing some helter skelter if their first thought is to do a lefty-righty looksee for evidence capturing cameras. Some shit was about to go down people. (*WWE Suplerfly Snuka’s signature closer)
How I regrouped I have no idea. I regained what little composure I could muster, and joined Mo’ limpingly at the line. I then “permitted” my three year old child to run from the produce end of that store, to the opposite dairy end of that store screaming “Help”. I think I even kissed lil’ Mo’ on the head for being so composed. Bonus points Mo’. Bonus. I let him rant for a minute (or 5), readjusted my belt, tucked a wisp of dangling bang from my eye, and turned to Maddox who was 6 aisles from us and exclaimed with all the Mommy-gusto I could manage: “Maddox Pritchard Townsend… You better get over here right this instance OR we are leaving and there will be NO Birthday tomorrow!” (I think I meant ‘Never’, but lets not tell him that.) I turned my back to him and yelled “ONE…. Tuuu..” and wouldn’t you know that lil’ bugger was right at my side, no Truck in his hand and he was crying, softly. Holy crap! It worked!
I looked behind me to assess the on-lookers and found a young 27 year old preggers lady with her shell shocked husband standing behind us, and I think they had tears in their eyes. I so wanted to say “You are fucked.” But I didn’t. I turned back around and a well dressed, middle-aged man was in front of me, buying one solo pack of batteries. He looked at me with a softness that then made me well up in tears “I’m sorry” he said, “It will pass. I have six kids. You are doing great.” We then checked out. And we drove home in silence.
Now I think I generally wrap these things up with a lesson or take away. However, I will just say, Hubs better bring me home some flowers and a diamond when he returns. I am going to bed, as a new day starts tomorrow. Let’s see how we celebrate the day of Ox, huh? Boy do I love that kid though. In spite of all his hell-raising, he’s my baby boy. It is amazing how drastically different these two children are — and they are loved for exactly what life they bring to the clan. And last by not least; How about that Mo’ tonight? What a girl! A smart ass, but a gem nonetheless.