Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Checkered Evening

We keep a pretty busy pace around here at the Fruit Basket so sometimes we have to take care of chores when we have to take care of them. We cannot always take care of chores when we want to take care of them. Sometimes we have to take care of chores we may never want to take care of. Other times we have to take care of chores we might otherwise actually enjoy except that the timing of it all makes it a bit of an, um, chore.

There is a good example of the last such type occurring right now: baby in the bath. Khubz usually adores bathtime. She gets to play with her patitios (rubber duckies), her dinosaurio (you can figure that one out) and she even gets to pee in the tub with immunity since I'm rarely in the tub with her anymore. But right now she is shrieking as Mama scrubs her clean. Why? Let's consider the evening in light of the opening paragraph.

I pick Khubz up from daycare about 5:30. She's had a great day, they report. Only one thing. . . She didn't take an afternoon nap. Oh. Remember that Khubz has a great need for sleep. She is the child who slept for 15 hours straight as an 11 month old when she was not sick & not medicated & the dr. simply chocked it up to her "growing." So Khubz missing a nap requires some sort of intervention. But no time for that now. We had to take care of a chore: getting some groceries for the week.

It is about 10 minutes across town in which time, Khubz falls asleep. This is really, really bad! A micro-nap for Khubz may as well be what listerine is to an alcoholic. You know you have a really, really bad problem but the listerine isn't going to help one bit. It's not going to give you what you want, it only demonstrates the depth of your problem to everyone you encounter.

So it is that child that unwillingly settles into a cart. With no seat belt. So I trade out carts once we're at the store and she refuses. Arching the back! Arms flailing! Legs kicking! Alert! Alert! Danger Will Robinson! Danger! She is screaming and not one person gives me the "oh, haven't we all been there" smile. Anyone who turns to smile or scowl is greeted with one-working-nostril flared as Khubz screams. The other nostril has been sealed shut with mucus. But, I forgot, I can't use that tag anymore. . .

Okay. You win. (always a good mommy strategy, right?) So I'm carrying her around while bitching in a nicey-nicey tone of voice. "This could take us 15 minutes but since I'm carrying you I guess we'll need to be here all evening." "We could zip right through the store, you know, Khubz?" And we walk in to the produce section where it dawns on me.

I am an idiot.

Khubz looks out upon piles and piles of apples, bananas, cucumbers, grapes and a lot more food she can't even recognize and signs "EAT." "EAT PLEASE." "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, EAT, EAT, EAT!" Her facial expression is not demanding. It is blatantly desperate.

What did I expect? This is the girlchild who is the first one at the table and the last to leave. The child who likes to have a pre-snack snack. The child who asks to eat before I kick my shoes off once we're home from daycare. I have brought her to the land of milk & honey and I am saying, "sorry, sweetie, we don't have any food."

Because we didn't. Where are the cheerios? The cheerios we never, ever leave without? They're gone. The blame game doesn't even matter now. They're gone. Gone forever. And we're all going to have to move on & pick up the pieces.

The crisis quickly escalates. We'll just get what we need for tonight and tomorrow! It'll be okay!

We grab some cheese, some tostada shells and race to the check-out. Where everyone else in the world is waiting with us. She sees the cheese in the cart and begins to panic. Mommy's cruelty knows no bounds. "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE" points at the cheese. points, points, points.

I worked at Wal-Mart for 7 years, ya'll. Did you know that? 7 years. We had words to describe the people who didn't even wait to pay before opening up packages of food. And yes, those words were disproportionately used in reference to very fat women with crying children who only had the proper use of one nostril.

I love my daughter. But I will not be that woman.

Once we're in the car, however, it is a different story altogether. She endured the torture of being buckled into her carseat and let loose the ear piercing SHRIEK!!!! once we're in the car. It was quite a site: me driving out of the grocery store parking lot while throwing fistfulls of shredded cheese into the carseat behind me. She'd quiet down for a moment and I'd think, okay. We're okay. I'm not going to throw any more cheese back there. She's okay and I'm the mommy. SHRIEK!!!!! Cheese! Cheese! Cheese! A flurry of cheese thrown blindly behind me as I drive down the street.

Because I'm the mommy. I exude authority and calm. Authority. And calm. And shredded cheese.

Thank god Mama got home sooner than expected. I'm heading back out now.

Wish me luck. I've got a lot of cheese to clean out of the car.


Anonymous said...

And hence was the story of the throwing of the cheese.

Veronica said...

Oh dear! I have been there.

dawn224 said...

I can only laugh and think of the day Alex lost it at the store and I came home with nothing but high sodium food in a box. I gag thinking of it.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to laugh, but I have so been there...

Anonymous said...

I'm crying from laughing. I imagine it wasn't funny to you at all, but oh my, I can just see you driving and throwing cheese....


frog ponds rock... said...

Absolutely brilliant.. hehehe

I have so been there. cheers kim.