Filed under: Consumer / Retail, General Peevery, Parenting | Tags: annoying, cereal for dinner, children, christmas, drive me up the wall, elves, grating, nervous breakdown, parenthood, parenting, peeve, pet peeve, pet peeves, pre-teen, sarcastic, shopping, vent
I’ve been trying to wrap up all my Christmas shopping by the end of this week. I plan on spending the time off I have doing fun things around town with the kids, not last-minute running around in crowds. I HATE crowds. LOATHE crowds, actually. I also can’t stand shopping unless it involves margaritas or shoes for me. So, I’ve been doing a lot of lunch-hour power shopping and stopping in to a single store between picking up the kids and heading home. The other day, I needed to run into Macy’s for three very specific things: handbags for Smalls’ teachers. I knew exactly what I wanted. I was a woman with a coupon and a mission.
Peeved: Okay, girls, Mommy has to run into Macy’s real quick and pick up some presents for Smalls’ teachers.
Smalls: Are we getting them Zhu Zhu Pets?
Peeved: No, Smalls, I think they’d like purses better.
Smalls: Oh. Can we stick a Zhu Zhu Pet in the purse?
Peeved: No. Let’s just get them purses and then you can make a nice card for them.
Biggie: Where are we going?
Biggie: Oh, cool. I totally need skinny jeans. Macy’s has the best skinny jeans.
Peeved: We are not shopping for skinny jeans. We are going to get out of the car, go directly to the purses, select three purses, pay for them and leave. Understood?
Biggie: But the skinny jeans are right next to the door closest to the purses. I could just…
Peeved: Here’s the deal. Ready? I just need to grab these things real quick. You all need to behave because Santa is watching and if you don’t behave you’ll get coal in your stocking. Smalls, you’re in the stroller. Biggie, you’re pushing the stroller. You both stay right next to me and offer your opinions if and only when asked. I need you to be my elves tonight. We are not shopping for ourselves, we are shopping for gifts for others. Got it? Elves. Helpers.
A condensed version of the events that took place inside Macy’s on December 13th at approximately 7:03 p.m.: touch, touch, touch, drop, yell, whine, whine, whine, yell, disappear, reappear, yell, skootch, skootch, skootch the stroller, heart attack – where the hell did Smalls go?, yell, cheer/dance, cheer/dance, cheer/dance, yell, stroller derby, near fatal collision with purse rack, yell, don’t touch your sister-stand right there and don’t move-Smalls get your feet off of the stroller wheels, purchase of the closest three purses, step routine, step routine, step routine, yell, time out in the corner, whine, whine, whine, yell, touch, touch, touch…
[In the car on the way home]
Peeved: I don’t want to hear a word – A WORD! – from either one of you. Biggie, that was embarrassing and disrespectful. You are twelve years old and I had to put you in time out in the corner of Macy’s. You should be ashamed of yourself. How hard is it to stick your hands in your pockets and behave yourself for five freaking minutes? I asked you to help me. You did exactly the opposite. You think it’s okay to misbehave now because I’ve already done my shopping for you? Well, you have another thing coming. Santa doesn’t bring trampolines to kids that don’t behave. Get my drift? You need to learn to listen. I told you not to touch anything and I don’t think there was one item in that store that you didn’t leave a fingerprint on.
Smalls: Yeah, and she…
Peeved: I don’t want to hear anything from the Peanut Gallery!
Smalls: Yeah, well I don’t want to hear anything from the Peanut Butter Jelly Gallery!
Peeved: Oh no you don’t. I’m mad at you too. You were not wearing your listening ears. Mommy told you to sit in the stroller and what did you do? You skootched halfway across the store. I look away for one second and you’re over in Petites walking around with the stroller hanging off your butt. When we get home, it’s dinner and bed for you. No show tonight. Biggie, it’s homework and bed for you, too. Give me any lip and I’ll take away your electronics for a week.
Peeved: Here, eat your dinner.
Smalls: That’s not dinner. That’s cereal. I want dinner.
Peeved: Well, we don’t have anything in the house. And, after the way you acted in the store, I’m certainly not going food shopping with you.
Smalls: I want dinner. [lip quiver] Cereal is not dinner. [start of cry] You need to have something with bread for dinner. [full on crying, now]
Peeved: Fine! I’ll go make something out of nothing.
[in the kitchen]
Smalls: [sobbing in the other room – then… silence]
Peeved: Smalls… what are you doing?
Smalls: [in the most pathetic four-year-old voice you can imagine] Looking at a picture of you [stifled sob] … when you were happy.
Smalls: You’re with daddy… [stifled sob]... and … you’re smiling [full on crying again]
Dear Future Therapist of Biggie & Smalls,
It is all exaggerations and half-truths, I swear.