An Evening Of Too Much Togetherness

I played hookey from church tonight and took the kids shopping. I needed to pick up a few things and gave them the choice of church or an outing with me. I do things like this when Sam's working nights. They chose an outing with me. I feel so flattered.

We had a quick dinner at Panera because bagels are awesome. The last time we were there Luke complained about the hard butter. He had a solution: bring our own next time. We chuckled over it then, but it was slightly less funny when he announced tonight that we forgot to bring our own butter. You have to understand that Luke's only volume is his scream-across-the-playground voice. People several tables away were looking our direction wondering who on earth would bring butter to a restaurant that gives it for free.

At Target things really started to get interesting. Micah wanted to run ahead, which is fine, except that his hearing is slightly impaired since his ear tubes are out and he couldn't really hear us asking him to stop. Yes, that was us screaming at the boy running through the aisles. When I finally decided to corral him into the cart I thought our incident factor dropped. Silly me. We walked by the card section and saw a cute little one with a dachshund on it. My in-laws have one and we're always on the lookout for tacky things to gift them. The card said "Hope your birthday is a weiner." Luke found this quite amusing and announced loudly to everyone within a 3 aisle range that he was going to make a card for Pappy that said "Hope your birthday is a weiner just like you!" (What made it really funny was that he thought that's what the card read. He wasn't making fun of Pappy.) And just as we were walking into the cosmetics aisle he saw a doxie shaped bath rope/net/sponge thing. He asked what it was and before I thought I said, "it's a bath weiner." He found this even more amusing and shouted that for the entire store to hear. And because we weren't done there yet, Luke boomed, "whoa! What stinks?" To which Josh answered, "that would be me. I farted." Niiiice. Just keep walking, maybe nobody will know they belong to me.

Since we successfully stunk up that joint we headed to the mall. In the parking lot Luke nearly got ran over and we had a lively discussion about whether or not the lady would have been arrested. Only the discussion focused more on the word arrested. Luke said she'd be erested. Becky, with her I'm-a-teenager-and-know-everything attitude, corrected him. "It's unrested you idiot!" No, I'm pretty sure that's what parents are. She would have been arrested. It felt good to correct the know-it-all. (But we all laughed over it, including her. I try not to make fun of the kids. Much.)

We had more of the Deaf Boy Running scenes played out in the mall because we did not grab the stroller in our haste to have so much together time. And I had to send a few kids in after Micah when he crawled under dressing room doors. I'm just thankful that they were unoccupied. As we were strolling the halls I saw a sign in a window on the bottom level and asked Becky to remind me to stop in there on the way out. She declared that she would definitely remind me because "this is a face that never forgets." I just looked at her. We both burst out laughing. Of course we had the few boy tussles that must happen in public and at one point I said just a little too loudly, "get a grip! On something other than your brother!" I heard snickering a few clothing racks away.

But it's the ride home that separates the good from the bad and the ugly. After all that together time the kids were giddy with love for each other. It started innocently enough with Luke helping Micah to learn his addition facts. "Micah, what's 5+5?" Becky coughed "10!" and Micah uttered some sort of grunty sound. Luke was all offended that Becky told him the answer. "You told him! That's not fair." We're not even sure the kid can count, much less add. But maybe Luke knows more than we do.

Becky was convinced the Auntie Anne's punch she got was spiked because she was so giddy. Teen girls. And when we saw a policeman in an unmarked car pull someone over there was an animated discussion as to whether or not it was a policeman. Becky finally settled it with Josh once and for all. "What, you thought the flashing lights in the dash were the Flea Control?" That got me going. Yeh, because packing fleas is illegal in this town. I saw one jumping on your head through my windshield which is actually a large magnifying glass. But I'll paper airplane your ticket to you because I don't want infested.

And then things turned ugly. In the spirit of true sibling love, they began the "who's uglier" contest. Things went downhill fast. I get so tired of hearing the kids tear each other down and was trying to dream up a suitable punishment. I know it's a sibling thing and is expected to some extent, but there's gotta be a limit. And I wanted something for when that limit was surpassed. The kids solved the dilemma for me and perhaps came up with the most genius plan ever. I asked them to take it down a notch and Josh thought he was being funny when he said "yeh, or she'll make us do a group hug." Becky declared that I wouldn't. I remained silent, soaking in how much this seemed to terrorize them. My silence triggered their alert systems and they became a little more serious. "She wouldn't, would she?" I reassured them that indeed, I would. And I'll file that one in the back of my mind for future punishment.

I can see it now. They're laying hands on each other in the middle of Wal-Mart and I loudly proclaim it to be group hug time. I'll even wait until one of their friends walks by. It'll be so good.

30 comments:

Debbie Yost said...

I'm exhausted just reading that. I only had two at each other's throats tonight and I wanted to scream. I can't imagine 4! I made MA tell me something she liked about Diva trying to get her to concentrate on the good. It took her about an hour. Of course, in between she kept bickering with her. Siblings!

Kari & Kijsa said...

Whew!! What did we do without children (maybe aimlessly stroll the aisles, looking at what we wanted, sipping what we wanted to drink, and leaving when we were done!!) However...we were sure missing out on lots of sticky kisses and wonderful hugs! Hope you had a chance to kick your feet up after your night!!!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

<---That Girl said...

Nice to meet ya...I found you at Topmommas.
You're one brave mama. Funny story though!

pb&j in a bowl said...

when my sisters and I were being obnoxious in stores, we would wait until our mom had escaped a few aisles over, then ambush her with a group hug. Ah, fun times.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Every once in a while my mother would treat my brother and I to a dinner out. Usually our favorite local pizza parlor. And we'd get all wound up and one of us would get sent to sit in the car. Of course, that was back in the day that you could do that.

Queen Mommy said...

BRILLIANT! I will be using that from now on! Group hug! EXCELLENT!!!

The Sports Mama said...

The best punishment ever divised for when my boys have simply driven me up a wall with their unending love for each other?

They are forced... I mean, they willingly sit side by side on the couch and sit through the entire Care Bears Movie.

Where I remind them that they should just be thankful I'm not making them hold hands anymore.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Let me explain to you the joys of putting your kids to bed early the evenings your husband works late....

Flea said...

Oooo ... I like the punishment. And Sports Mama's is even better!

You already know about your major award. :( Yay for awards! :)

Lori said...

I love reading your posts.. they always make me smile

Sounds like you have an adventure last night... hope you got a good night sleep after

Irene said...

Wow. What a crazy evening!

I do have to say that Panera Bread is one of my absolute FAVORITE places to eat. Unfortunately the closest one is 60 miles away. But I guess that is good because I know I would spend way too much money there!

Madame Queen said...

I'm with Luke. I don't like hard butter either. But I have found a solution, if it's the kind that comes in the little foil packets -- just hold it in your hand for a minute or so and it softens right up. BEFORE unwrapping it, of course!! :)

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I think Becky is on to something--that Auntie Anne is pretty much a drunken slob herself, so there's no reason to think she wouldn't spike the punch.

Also? You have reaffirmed that I do.not.want four or more kids. No thank you!

Maria said...

That's great! My older kids say that I embarass them, but they embarass me too!

Andrea said...

Oh the adventures of venturing out of the house!! LOL!! I love it. I am the mother that everyone stares at because the two year old is hanging by one leg off the cart and happily yelling things that only I can understand. We make scenes everywhere we go. I love the group hug idea!! I will have to remember that one for when they get older!!

Tanya said...

Group hugs and the Care Bear movie. I need to file these for my future children.

Cecily R said...

You are a brave, brave woman. Shopping with the kids is as easy as putting pants on an elephant!!

Ugly contest aside, it sounds like your kids are happy to hang out together. How cool is that??!!

Cecily R said...

Oh, and Sports Mama, you are stinkin' BRILLIANT!

Fannie Mae said...

Gah! My boss is inquiring as to what's so darn funny. I hope I don't get fired over this.

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

You are a glutton for punishment. And, the Starbucks & Panera were totally justified. Diets deserve to break when ALL of THAT takes place.

utmomof5 said...

I am again reminded why I do not go anywhere with all 5 of my kids. I love the farting line -- be there with my kids before.

Sandy C. said...

Oh man! The group hug threat is genius :) Definitely save that one for later use! And yes, bagels are awesome :) We are such Panera addicts.

Jennifer said...

Group hugs - that is something that we have to do at our house. We start with 5 minutes, first offense, and with each offense (on the same night) the time is doubled. So it goes 5, 10, 20, 40 minutes, ,etc. etc. And none of that barely touch eachother - feet 4 feet apart hugs either. It has to be one of those I really really love you and I mean it hugs. It is my kids least favorite form of punishment, and after the first day (and 40 minutes of hugging) we no longer go past 5 minutes on the days they act up.

Love it.

Oh yeah, and I take pictures of the hugging each time, and threaten to blog about how much they love eachother.

Works like a charm.
~Jennifer

Jennifer said...

oh yeah, it only works *right now anyway* on the 10 and 12 yr olds. The little kids enjoy hugging eachother, so I can't use it on them yet.
~Jennifer

Melissa said...

LOL! Even better, get a picture of it! Oooh, I see blackamil coming!

Pam said...

I'm so glad I am not the only one who dreams up creative punishments....though I don't usually come up with any so then I just dream up places I can hid from the kids.

caramama said...

While that sounds like a very busy, very crazy evening, it also sounds like a ton of fun! And it's so funny to hear about! :-)

Shellie said...

Oh, I got great belly laughs out of that one! Thank you so much for reminding me why I try to leave my kids at home.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Hah! Except for the Walmart and Target references, that could've been us. And the punishment-- it works! (In front of their friends--deliciously evil).
We make our boys sit forehead to forehead with their noses touching. They giggle all the way through the "punishment".
I'm reading my way through, so sorry if I comment too much!

Colleen said...

wow...sounds like shopping trips with my uncles (they're only a couple years older) and cousins...they'd fart and run, usually at my expense since I was usually the only girl. good times.