Five-year-old Danny was having a hard time.He itched, he had a cold, and he had got out of bed at 3 a.m. I suppose with all of the factors, I would have had a rough go of it, too.
But, I know he’s a trouper so the three of us, along with 7-year-old Max, decided to go Christmas shopping after school. The boys have a gift exchange on Friday and it was the perfect time to buy presentsy.
I picked Family Dollar for my one-stop Christmas shop. I bought toys galore. Not for my boys mind you, but for schoolmates, cousins, teachers and friends.
For the first 30 minutes, the boys were fine with buying presents for their friends, but as time wore on, I could see them getting highly annoyed.
There was a restlessness to their personalities, not unlike natives coming in for the kill.“Moooooooooommm,” Danny whined, “let’s goooooooooo!” He was pulling on my pantleg.
“Just a minute,” I said, looking through the clothes racks. Hey! I can’t leave a store without taking a peek at the fashions, that’s just me! And my boys SHOULD know this, but nonetheless, they acted surprised when 10 minutes had elapsed and I was still rifling through racks of blouses.
“MOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!” Danny whined again, this time stationing himself under the clothes rack, so all I could see when I looked down was his shoes. The clothes swayed as he said “Can we pleeeeeeeeeeeeease leeeeeeeeeeeave?”I spoke sharp. “Daniel Wyatt, you need to behave.”
He didn’t care about my rather flimsy parental warning.
He began to go in and out of all of the clothes racks, and Max began to chase him. It was a free-for-all.
“Boys!!!” I hissed, “Stop it!”They ignored me and continued to run through the store.I decided to take the path of least resistance approach and ignore them, but as I’ve found in the past, that only compounds the problem.
Once they started putting ladies underwear on their heads, I couldn’t let their behavior slide anymore.“Boys!!! Get over here, now!!”This lasted for quite awhile as I kept remembering more things that I had to buy. My spending had reached a fever pitch, or so I thought.
Danny kept throwing more stuff into the cart, such as Pop Tarts, candy bars and Zoo Pals.
“Mom, I want this Santa hat,” he said, stuffing it into our already bulging cart.
“OK,” I said absentmindedly, as I was looking for other Christmas presents. I forgot that I had bought Danny a Santa hat just the day before.Finally, our shopping was over. By this time, Danny was holding himself and jumping up and down. “I have to go potty reeeal bad!”“Can you hold it for a bit, we’ll be home soon.”“Yes,” he said, grabbing a grape pop from the cooler.
So much for going potty. The clerk rang up everything. It came to $92.92. I was pleasantly surprised and told her so.“You forget where you are,” she said, “you can get a lot for your money here.”I smiled. “You take debit cards right?” I asked.“We sure do.”
Then I realized that I didn’t know my PIN and credit unfortunately was not an option. I told her this and tried to laugh it off as I searched through my purse in vain for a checkbook. I never carry one. I always pay with my debit card. I just push “credit” on the keypad.
So I was stuck, with a bulging cartload of STUFF.
So you probably know what comes next. Yes, I had to go home and grab my checkbook. We live way across town from that Family Dollar so it was quite a trek. The boys had already opened their drinks so we had to take those. The clerk said rather annoyed that she would pay for them if we didn’t come back.Well of course we came back.And Danny still had to go to the bathroom.And this was making him even more cranky. “Now we don’t have time for dinner and we don’t have time to wrap presents!” he wailed. Of course he screamed this in the parking lot of Family Dollar and everyone stared at me.
We drove back home.
Danny finally got relief but that didn’t help in his next ordeal. We bought presents for his teachers and I told him that he could wrap them while I made dinner.
He had a complete meltdown.
He screamed for the tape.He hurled objects at his brother.
He begged Max to help him hold the paper down so he could tape.
“Max hurry up, I’m wrapping a Nutcracker here!!” It was frightening to watch.
When Danny used up all the tape on one tiny Nutcracker, he decided to use band-aids. That is where I drew the line.
However, the pressent eventually did get wrapped. But unfortuntely my holiday spirit was as gone as the scotch tape.