Time to pull out the ‘ole parenting books (and search for some relevant scriptures)

To say that this weekend was a roller-coaster would be an understatement. We are still in the midst of hunting season, and since next week is the end of it and we’d like to get some more venison in the freezer, it’s taken on a sense of urgency for Sean.

Hence, the crazy lady in aisle 4 at WalGreens.

“Excuse me, we have a clean up on aisle 4. Some lady has pulled out all of her hair.”

Saturday started out well enough. I knew I needed to get to the grocery store because, once again, the cupboards were bare. And, boosted by our last successful jaunt to the grocery store, I felt confident that we could do it.

And we did do it. The kids were great. They listened, kept their hands relatively close to their sides and there was no crying. (For those of you wondering: I wear Declan, Seamus sits in the seat of the cart, and the older two walk)

I even felt comfortable enough to pat myself on the back for some last minute quick thinking. I go to Aldi’s for my shopping. For those of you not familiar with it (which is a shame, because they are a budget saver. Excellent quality food, excellent prices) you bag your own groceries. This is usually where the kids melt down. Rather than torture all of us with that, I gathered my things, went to the car, got everyone settled into the warm car and turned on the DVD player. This allowed me to bag my groceries and maintain my sanity.

Everyone was happy.

We went for a healthy, nutritious quick lunch at Taco Bell. Again, the kids were well behaved, even striking up a conversation with the elderly couple sitting next to us. (I usually end up wondering if these are angels placed about my day, because often, when we are out to eat, I will be so stressed that my children are acting up, and inevitably, someone will stop by our table on their way out and compliment us on our well-behaved children.)

Unfortunately, I had one more stop to make that couldn’t wait – Declan needed diapers. But I was confident we could do it.

We were doomed from the moment we walked in the store. There was a toy car display near the registers that sucked Seamus right in. From that moment until we got back in the car, I uttered “no” exactly 3.4 million times – give or take a few. Probably give.

It was like my kids were drugged up on sugar. C.R.A.Z.Y!

It’s all a blur to me. The only thing I know for sure is that I tried to keep the lid on my boiling temperament. We all know what eventually happens to a pot left to boil with a lid on it.

The lady at the check out probably went home and told her sweet, unsuspecting husband that she DID NOT EVER EVER EVER WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN! NEVER! DON’T TOUCH ME!

I can’t even begin to describe what happened at the end. But it involved a broken toy car and me on the floor looking for pieces of it and me paying for said broken toy. The lady said I didn’t have to, and frankly, I don’t know what lesson I taught my kids other than, if there is something you want, throw it on the floor and break it and then mommy will have to buy it for you.

I left mumbling under my breath, dragging my kids.

There was probably some froth spewing from my mouth too.

People probably stopped their cars to watch the crazy lady rambling on and on incoherently in broken words and sentences.

It wasn’t a pretty sight. In the back of my mind, I knew the kids had held it together as long as they could, but I lost it in the chaos. Even thinking about it two days later, I can’t decide whether to cry about it all or get angry again. It’s still too close to the surface and raw to consider laughing about it. When I do, I feel guilty.

But I must laugh or the guilt will kill me.

I’m off to snuggle my kids now and be thankful for them – craziness and all.


  1. Oh, Karla. Those days are the worst kind of days. We’ve all been there and felt those same things. You’re doing a great job.

  2. Laura/DaPFG says

    i watched my friend’s 3 kids all day yesterday, took them out lunching and churching and shopping and the whole bit, and they didn’t really behave, but i took comfort in knowing that they weren’t mine, and i could return them at the end of the day. lol.

    the Lord grants much patience to parents, i think ;)

  3. Oh Karla, some days you and I are just doing our community service.

    Sure we have contributed to the population explosion, but think how many people we have PREVENTED from reproducing just be going out in public with four kids??


  4. Megan (FriedOkra) says

    You’re a great Mom, I’m sure. One little hiccup in an otherwise great parenting record won’t ruin anyone or anything. I hope they are all back to their normal sweet selves now and you’re enjoying the snuggles. :)

  5. Cindy Swanson says

    Karla, I was in the doctor’s office last Friday surrounded by sick, crying and cranky children and babies. Finally it got down to just me and one weary-looking young woman with a particularly bratty and sick two-year-old. She was doing a terrible job controlling him, and my heart just went out to her. She had just asked the receptionist if there was a separate room they could go to, and was told no. I just told her, “Don’t worry about me. I have three kids so I’ve been there and done that. He’s not going to bother me.”

    She immediately opened up to me and told me how she’s been working 55 to 60 hours a week at a factory job, and just doesn’t get to spend enough time with her son. My heart went out to both of them. Yes, he was an abominable little tyrant, but there’s a reason for it. I tried to encourage her as much as I could on such a limited basis.

    I can clearly remember my own kids being less than stellar on many occasions, and being embarrassed and dis-heartened. It happens…and those of us who don’t have kids, or whose kids are all grown up now, need to work on being patient and kind about it.

    Hope your coming days are much better! :)

  6. I remember on Sunday when the boys had been particularly wiggle wormy in church. In fact, I had already considered the punishment that would be applied when we got home. When church was over,the woman behind us leaned over and commented on how good our boys were. Mothers and others see things from a different point of view–thank heavens.
    Love you and those sweet little ones.

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