1) I will never again run at the high school track during school hours, or maybe, I will still.
Yesterday, I took advantage of my mom’s nap time babysitting availability and ran to the track and then on the track in my last desperate attempt to begin training for Sunday’s half marathon. It was 2pm, directly in the middle of a lame looking gym class. There was a group of non-participators sitting on the bleachers. The gym teacher was leading a group of lazy looking butterfly stretchers on the field, while the bleacher crew rebelled from doing any athletic activity whatsoever. “Leah!!!” they called to me. I looked at them confused and borderline dumbfounded. It was surely impossible. They couldn’t actually be confusing me for one of their friends. Yes, actually, they could be. “Leah!! Come sit with us!!” I apologized for my not being Leah, and ran on convincing myself that it was just a fluke and they had probably been smoking pot in the bathroom. Approximately, thirty minutes later, after gym class had been dismissed, and after school sports had commenced, I suddenly found myself with a side by side, and uninvited teenage boy running buddy. “Hey,” he said. “Hi?” I replied.
“So what grade are you in?”
My mortification prevented me from responding right away. I began to shake my head and squint my eyes in disbelief. “My kids are in preschool!!!” I blurted as I began to sprint as fast as I could right off of the track never to ever ever return during school hours, unless accompanied by another person who actually looks like an adult ever again. Then again, I’m sure I’ll be there next week. Maybe, by then, I will finally hit puberty.
2) My kids are no longer allowed to go to Marshall’s during lunch time.
Its a common issue among all moms. We make rules, we abide by them, and grandma’s do whatever they want. Thus, every time I go to a store alone, all packages of food, unless I’ve packed my own snack, remain closed until I buy them. My mom has a different philosophy called “I give my grandchildren any kind of treat they want at all times no matter what.” Its generous, actually. On Monday, our emergency Marshall’s trip to find a new pair of half-price crocs for Josie’s birthday, ran slightly into the beginning of quessadilla time. James happened to be in Mammy’s cart because Marshall’s carts are too small for three small people, and she’s way more fun than I am. He ate an entire bag of something out of the Marshalls gourmet treat section. He shared one or two crumbs with Josie. I didn’t think all that much about it. Then, today, upon finishing playing at the park, we began heading home for lunch. “I want to go to Marshalls,” James said. Josie cheered along too. I was excited and impressed. Marshalls, my very favorite place to shop, next to TJ Maxx, is also a child fan favorite. I rejoiced in my parenting thrift shopping success. “No, kids, we are going home.” “But I’m hungry!!!! I want to go to Marshalls!!!!!”
3) I’ll keep my “tacky” ideas to myself, or maybe I will say them louder, because a Pittsburgh mall is not Project Runway and you don’t really look like Michael Kors, and definitely not like Heidi Klum.
It was a dream somewhat true. I made it to the mall for the first time in ages, and while it would have been particularly nice to be without a stroller, I only had one kid with me. Somehow, I still elicited several “you have your hands full,” even though they weren’t. Sometimes, like when I pick up or drop off James from school, I deserve that remark. Other times, when I’m at the mall and Josie is behaving perfectly and even offering impressive fashion advice (she always chooses the brighter color) I don’t. Maybe it was the stroller that screamed tacky. I’m not sure. I asked if a particular higher end store sold matching or coordinating family outfits. The fashion enthusiast male employee answered, “we would never recommend that an entire family match. I can only in good conscience point you to our window fashion stories so that you can gain inspiration to tell a relevant family fashion story with our clothes.” I wished Rita had been present in the same exact outfit that Josie was wearing, grabbed two perfectly matching father-son shirts and headed to the counter to enjoy the 25% off of all purchases in full defiance. Matching outfits are adorable!
4). I’ll hide the candy. (No, I won’t, stop judging).
In the same store, 2 minutes after I was denied help, I handed Josie a sucker because, as already mentioned, she was being perfect, and our style preference had just been insulted. She was finishing her broccoli baby food pouch, that somehow she still chooses to enjoy.
“Juice and candy at the same time?” the young woman said behind me with a staggeringly condescending tone .
In her defense, the vegetable pouch could be confused with a juice box. But, it wasn’t a juice box. Then again, who cares if it were? With my mall high deflated, I walked out of the store with two matching shirts in my bag and two big insults on my shoulders, and headed to the ice cream counter.(I didn’t really. I actually went to Bebe and bought the cutest little romper in all of stores in which mom’s of three should probably stop shopping (maybe soon). It is interesting to me how quickly we pass judgement and voice it, though.) I sort of wished all three kids were there so I could have smiled off a “have you ever heard of birth control?”, “are you done having kids yet?” or “get it out of the way while you are still young.”
5) I’ll remember to bring in my credit card, or try to remember, I have a lot of people to move.
It was our weekly Tuesday Target trip to stock up on baby food pouches so that I can endure more public insults regarding my kids sugar intake, and other household essentials, like dinosaur birthday pinatas. I piled my cart high and wide, Rita made friends with strangers (as always) and Josie threw her shoes at other unsuspecting strangers because she thinks its funny and she’s sort of right. Upon checking out and bagging all of the bags into the cart, I realized my wallet was not with me, but in the car. Since it was my first ever offense at this sort of thing, and with full confidence that I will probably do it again several times, I wasn’t too hard on myself. The store clerk had other opinions. I de-bagged my cart as she suspended my order and non-purposefully annoyed her to the brim by “taking all of her space.” I ran out as fast as a mom with two kids in a shopping cart bigger than a car could go. When I came back, I paid, and apologized, trying to make light of it and thanked her for her patience that she didn’t actually have, but hoped, in saying it, that maybe she would start having some. The jokes fell on annoyed ears and rolled eyes. My patience talk just seemed to irritate her more as evidenced by her asking a young man to “please assist this young woman to her car. She seems to need some extra assistance.” I accepted, and hoped she wasn’t further offended by how funny I found the situation to be.
How is your week going? Any one else gone running and been confused with a 15 year old?
hahaha LOVE it. I read parts of this post out loud to my husband.
Thanks Natalie!! Maybe I can meet your hubby at the half…doesn’t look like anyone is buying my spot!
Don’t you love those, “You certainly have your hands full” comments? I like to just smile and acknowledge that while that is true, it sure beats the alternative. Who wants empty hands? 🙂 Blessings on your VERY full, 15-year-old hands:)
Yes!! If I had a nickel… Miss you Ashley!
What grade are you in?-classic
Some day you will be glad people think you look like a 15 year older! Enjoy!
Regina, there are very few times that I have laughed and cried at the same time. What a special gift you have with expression. Prayers for safety for all of you!!!