Thursday, December 2, 2010

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Yesterday was "one of those days." Ick from the start with screaming, mouthy kids and nobody listening and me finding myself at noon with nothing "done" other than putting away a bit of laundry and feeding my kids. I could think of nothing better than curling up on the sofa with some coffee and a good movie as the snow was coming thick and slushy, but I knew it wouldn't happen anyway and we were out of milk. I told myself that as soon as Tate was on the bus, Ellie and I were going to run to the grocery store, grab a few necessities and fly home so I could have more than two minutes to breathe before the boys came home at four. Tate was on at 12:30, but as things go I didn't step out of the door for another hour. One pants peeing incident (not mine) and one picking up of the clothes on the floor which were the ENTIRETY of Elle's dresser AND closet and several punishments due to lack of cooperation in the picking up department and some feet dragging and loss of interest in getting dressed and winter clothes and boots and letting the dog out and then getting her in the crate later, we managed.

Kids are funny. Ellerie wanted NOTHING to do with helping pick up the clothes she had dumped all over the place at home but, suddenly at the store, she was feeling super helpful. First she asked to ride in the giant cart with the truck attached to the front of it. That lasted all of 5 minutes before she just HAD to help me push. No, scratch that, she was all about pushing it herself. Seriously? I can barely push those beasts of carts. Yeesh. So between pretending I wasn't steering the cart with the hand I kept on it and walking slower than molasses in January while Ellie OOHED and AHHED at everything like she'd never been in a store before, I managed to get the 15 odd items we needed and proceeded, what felt like an hour later, to the checkout.

It should have felt like triumph, making it that far. I was moments free of shopping with a toddler and getting home to an awfully messy house but maybe a nice cup of tea. Having started my day a tad grumpy and agitated, every little thing was making me feel more and more stressed and impatient. The slower we went and the less I managed to do off the 30 different lists in my head, the tighter the rubber band in my chest pulled. So there, even at the checkout I couldn't feel calm. The fastest-looking lane was a narrow one and the cart barely fit. Then on top of it, Ellerie wanted to look at the candy and help me load things on the belt, but there was no room to squeeze by the cart. Of course we bumped the lady in front of us in the shins. Pardon us. But that woman parted ways with the register and I heard the beeps of the scanner begin. I was looking down, trying to convince Elle that she'd like to get back in the cart and ride. I flipped open the top of my bag, commenced digging for my wallet and a little pang of panic rose in me. I looked. Yep, no wallet. Bother. I started to ask the cashier to stop scanning and to tell her I had no way to pay for any of it, but I wasn't really looking up at her as I began to speak. I was still sort of rummaging for the wallet that I knew wasn't going to appear. The beeps kept coming. That got my attention and I made eye contact and started to talk again, to explain.

No, no, no, no NO. My cashier was....... wait for it.....


Please don't misunderstand, she was so nice. But NOW? She reassured me it was okay as she tried to speak to me and tried to read my lips and we had a hard time communicating. I had no issues that she was deaf, except that I was kicking myself for never learning more sign language. The Signing Time videos I did with Calvin as a baby wouldn't get me too far. Milk? Grandma? Eat? Dang. We did manage to get this sorted out and she held my groceries and my receipt until I could come back and pay. But I felt the stares of the lady behind me the whole while we navigated our conversation. And then there's the fact that I THEN had to load The Bird in the car, drive home, find the wallet, drive back, unload Birdie and go get the groceries in a snow squall.

I calmed down as I shoved the cart through the 4 inches of slush in the parking lot. I was done and it was sort of comical, but only in a dramedy sort of way: like laughter on the verge of tears.

But I recently made a new friend around here and we hung out at last night while our kids were at church and I didn't feel like crying anymore when I shared the story. We laughed together and pretty hard. Cuz a lot of us have those days. Especially those of us with multiple uncooperative kids. It feels good to laugh about the crud in our lives that we can't really do anything about. It's freeing and it keeps us humble. And to quote my brother-in-law: it's not supposed to be all fun, we're making memories.


Jen said...

Okay, this is funny! I wrote a very similar post. Then read yours, so I decided to link to you.

Sherrie said...

I have heard that brother in law say that quote on many occasions!

Anonymous said...

I'm not feeling so bad about my shoe story now! Although........I didn't have small children and a dog to help explain it all, now that I think about it.. Yikes!!!

Scented Sweetpeas said...

oohh I know those days, you get up and just know as soon as the first thing goes wrong it is going to be like that all day :-( Like you say I try to laugh at those days too - so much better for you than beating yourself up about it.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

It always happens when you are the most tired and there is nothing left to do but laugh. Thank God we have that! I love the description of Ellie "shopping". That's sweet.

Figures, I give myself a self imposed computer break and I miss a great post! Hey, that darn CD is still stuck in my head...wait..; )

Shauna at The Reed Life said...

love your attitude!
and you are lucky to have a friend!
you are very funny.

Aging Mommy said...

Oh my! That was one crazy morning. I got to the bit where you were digging in your bag and prayed the purse would emerge :-)

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

oh, god, elissa. i had to cry with you on this one.
off to slug back some wine in your honor! ;)