An Open Letter For The Mom Who Has It All Together
Dear Mom Who Has It All Together,
I see you. I see your well-behaved children. I envy you. Or at least your trips to the grocery store. You haven’t even broke a sweat immediately upon entering the grocery store. Your kids are sitting still, patiently and lovingly waiting for the grocery trip to be over. Congratulations, you have it together. Not only do you have it together, but your little bubble of calm looks like heaven to my teary, tired eyes. Especially in the grocery store. Just writing about it gives me heartburn. I know what will ensue when I take both (yes, both. Only TWO. It feels like Duggar status when we go anywhere) to the grocery store.
Picture this: after the corral at home to get clothes, shoes and coats on, we take our last potty breaks. Finally, after everything is where it should be (hopefully) we head out the door. I have to death-grip my son, because if I don’t, he will dart directly towards the street. My daughter laughs and runs around filling the air with screeches. Both kids are crying by the time we get in the van, and all I did was lock the door behind us. Next I have to fight my three-year-old son who goes stiff-as-a-board when I sit him in his car-seat. I plead with both kids to just get in the car (using choice expletives). Finally, we are on our way.
When we get to the store, we are square again. Promises linger over us. Promises of good behavior for ice cream, or some little treat as long as they listen and stay close to the cart. I try to teach politeness, smiling and saying excuse me and thank you to all the other patronage. I always want to set a good example even if I’m dying inside because my son keeps screeching and saying people are tuna fishes. I know you all are thinking, awe tuna fishes that is funny. No it’s not, because he sprinkles it with, “Her butt is biiig mommy” or “you’re a bad mommy…mommy” and then tops it off with some god-awful pterodactyl screech that is mind-numbing. Real cute huh?
About half way through the store I have forgotten more than half of the stuff I needed for dinners. I am over budget. I am sweating. I am trying to keep it together. I continuously try to get to a happy place. Then my daughter runs in front of people who are speeding through the store. She takes off down the aisles. She wants this and wants that. Then she starts to throw a fit, looking very similar to the signature move of Angus Young from AC/DC, all because I said, “We’ll see.” My blood pressure sky rockets. Then I spot you, mom who has it all together, and your aura of white light. You are able to look at the coffee and decide which one fits your pallet best. Your children stand next to the cart in an almost Stepford Wives’ stance: quiet and attentive to your needs. Not only that, but you have on heels, full makeup, your hair is perfect, and your clothes are comparable to that of a runway model. Our eyes meet. I plead for a reassuring smile that it can be pleasurable shopping with children, and I get a look of horror. Immediately, my fantasy of having a super-model-mother friend is broken by the ever-lasting screech of my son. I jerk my head to find my kids halfway out of the cart, looking like BeBe’s Kids. I look around and you are gone. Probably done shopping and already at your immaculate house cooking steaks for your family, who probably eats what you cook and then gets their selves ready for bed.
Still working my way through the store, we finally reach the end of our journey. We, of course, have to put stuff back. I fumble for my wallet, as I try to keep my daughter away from the toy machines and keep my son from throwing all the magazines, phone cards and candy to the ground or on the conveyor belt. I can’t even make eye contact with the cashier, but we finally make it through. After we get in the car and I take a breathe I realize, that wasn’t so bad…and I forgot the damn chocolate milk. I cry a little inside and head home anyway. My daughter starts chatting with me and my son tells me he loves me so much. It’s almost like the nightmare grocery trip never happened. My mind is wiped clean of the memories of the trip. I am again filled with love for my babies. As I drive us home I am thankful that we were able to get groceries and that my babies are healthy. I smile slightly thinking how funny it was to see another mom so put together. Then I remind myself that I am pretty awesome even if I look like a sweaty wreck. I laugh a little thinking about how she got ready for the store. I’m not so envious. Then a horrid screech escapes the back seat followed by psychotic laughter. Okay, maybe I am.