So it’s been a few weeks since my last post and in that time my family has managed a rather nice vacation. The kind of vacation that the older girls will probably remember fondly. A few days in DC walking non-stop to all the must sees, a few days in Williamsburg time traveling back to the 1700’s, going to amusement parks, water parks, and viewing large and tacky statues of All the Presidents’ Heads (note my humorus spin on All the President’s Men – no?) at the Presidents Park, frying our lily white hides on Virginia Beach, and then spending evenings at The Great Wolf Lodge (most kid friendly hotel evah!). Good times. Even Olivia was in good spirits for almost a week.
So, my only defense for this next tale of Target woe is that I was in such a blissed out state of me-ness resulting from our awesome vacation that I forgot exactly why it is I’m not supposed to take Olivia into major discount stores. That and they rock the clearance houze and my wallet was in the mood for cheap processed foods found on the clearance endcaps. Plus I had the two older girls with me so I figured that they could wrangle Hurricane Liv while I shopped for a bunch of crap we neither needed nor could afford.
Again, it started off well enough. She wanted to sit in the cart that had the baby seat attached to it, which I was totally fine with thinking that I could strap her in nice and tight. Let’s do the math here. Weight limit for seat is 18 pounds. Liv weighs 30 pounds. Hmm. Seat is designed for infants. Olivia is nearing 3 feet tall. Hmmmmmmm…. We did not let physics deter us and set out boldly on our shopping trip, her looking like Jerry Lewis inside a pram.
Not even 2 minutes later she’d decided SITTING STILL IS FOR PUSSIES, and stood on the seat – much as a surfer would – while I pushed the cart. I might be a complete wimp when it comes to disciplining my daughter (she scares me when she makes her eyes glow red!!), but I do draw the line at some things, surfing on a shopping cart being one of them. I sent her sisters to get another cart and explained very carefully that it needed a seat belt. Not one of those mammoth RV carts, but a normal cart with 1 seat and four or five seatbelts if possible.
10 very looong minutes later they returned, pushing the RV cart, crashing into shelves, fighting over who got to steer, earning many much deserved hairy eyeballs from workers and patrons alike. “We got the one with the most seatbelts like you said,” Amelia announced proudly, skidding to a halt centimeters away from my shin.
“No no like dat!” Olivia exclaimed loudly, already gripping her original shopping cart. “No no like dat cart!!”
“It’s fun,” Amy said. “You can swing on the bars. Wanna swing on the bars Olivia?”
“NO. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARS!” Olivia wailed and then completely lost her shit and melted. I tried scooping her off the floor, but she slithered out of my arms each time and then she ran. “No baaaaaaaars!” she screamed. “No fuuuuun!” “No no liiiiiiiiiike daaaaaaaat!!”
I caught her, and dropped her in the basket of the cart. Dogs everywhere whimpered and covered their ears as Olivia’s protests could no longer be heard by human ears. To punish her I grabbed a wand thing off the shelf and shoved it into her hands. “Here! Look! Look!” I tried desperately. “Pretty wand! It makes lights!! Look at the lights!”
She stopped screaming long enough to take it from me and then she threw it and beaned Amelia on the back of the head. “OW!” Amelia yelled.
“Olivia! NO!! Bad girl!!” Amy scolded as only a 10 year old mother could. “Bad! We don’t throw the magic wand!”
“Stop yelling at her Amy,” Amelia yelled. “She’s only a baby!”
“Stop yelling at me Amelia,” Amy yelled back. “You’re such a retard!”
“We-tahd! We-tahd!” Olivia shouted, jumping up and down in the basket.
“All of you stop it!” I commanded and then said some very coarse, unladylike things.
Fun I tell you!
Then lunch kicked in and we had to take a trip to the family bathroom. Amy and Amelia were content to take their blood pressure over and over and over, and I took Olivia with me to the toilet thinking at least in there she’d be contained. Which, you know, she was long enough for me to sit down on the toilet and commence with the poop making and then she decided that privacy was way over-rated and opened the bathroom door.
“You makin’ a stinky Mommy?” she asked. Loudly. I heard snickers.
“Close the door,” I hissed willing myself to go invisible. “Close the door and come play in the sink.”
“I go now? ‘kay Mommy? I go now. Gedda pretzel.”
“Livvy!” I hollered. I knew that if she left the bathroom I’d be royally screwed, because she’d totally disappear, BUT I was in no position to go after her if ya know what I’m sayin’ and I think you do. But, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, ya know? So mid-shit and bare-assed I bolted across the family bathroom, grabbed her and pulled her back into the room with me. I know at least 2 women and 1 teen-aged boy saw me.
Do you know how difficult it is to finish “the job” when 1) you have a screaming, writhing, kicking troll of a toddler on your lap, and 2) when you’re positive any moment store security is going to bust in and accuse you of dragging kids into the bathroom for nefarious purposes? Not to mention the fact that things were a little… messy because of the mid-shit sprint. More than you needed to know probably, but there it is.
More happened, but just typing it makes me tired and sad, so I’ll end this with this: by the time we reached the register, the lady checking us out said, “You must be Livvy.” Do you get that people? She knew my daughter’s name just by the number of times throughout the store that I had to yell it.
At least this time she didn’t try to shoplift.