I’m not kidding.

In the year of our Lord, 2013, on the 10th day of the 6th month,

(Monday, People. This past Monday.)

I loaded my children in the van and headed West.

After 35 minutes of bliss tempered by Babe on the DVD, we stopped at Meijer to buy a gift. Our friends, you see, had just returned from a land far, far away with a new babe and were in need of a highchair. I offered our own, but an evening of Abby throwing spaghetti quickly solidified her need of meal-time restraint for a few months more.

A NEW high chair, we all squealed! It will be a surprise!

Now, you are aware that Meijer is frequently the setting for Mulder miracles-

there was the incident with the fish,

and then the lady in the parking lot,

and who can forget Pam?

This morning would prove no different.


There were 2 choices: a minor choice and a major choice… and I left it up to the eldest. “Which do you pick, Rylie? Which one should we bring?”

She, of course, picked the major choice… because she is of my genes.

At the checkout, the kind teller rang up our purchases: the highchair, 2 bags of m&ms, a box of baby wipes (ABBY JUNE) and some emergency bananas. He sang out my total.

I tilted my head.

“Erm… did you beep the highchair in the cart here? I didn’t put it on the conveyor belt.”

“I did.”

*blank stare*

“Well, can I just see the receipt to make sure?”

He smiled and turned his monitor to face me. “See? Right here. Looks like it’s on sale. For basically nothing.”

“Yes and thank you. We’ll be seeing you in heaven.”

And off we went, with our beautiful brand-new gift for a beautiful, new-to-them baby starting a beautiful, brand-new life with a beautiful, lovely family.

Meijer, sometimes you are magic.

Gus Man

We passed on the gift (and m&ms) with much, MUCH glee and were quickly on our way back to the farm. As a reward for 2 hours of driving plus a trip to the grocery store, I pulled into McDonalds to let my herd frolic on the play land. It was a remarkable day, after all, and the kids were doing so very well.

Until they weren’t.

Until Gideon ripped off his socks and stuffed them down the webbing holes of the tunnel, never to be seen again.

Until Abby grabbed my Coke and poured it on herself.

Until Rylie decided she would take another girl’s shoes home.

Until Gideon told her she couldn’t.

Until Rylie smacked him with the force of an undiscovered fly-weight.

Until Gideon bit her on the arm and bolted through the emergency door in the play land, initiating a piercing BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! and lockdown sequence for all the lucky customers.

People, I did not even flinch. I grabbed all three shoeless children by their collars and marched them out to the van, alarms still flaring in the background.

Ry and Coco

I locked Abby in her seat. I nudged Gideon to GET MOVING, and his little legs began to climb in the van.

Which exposed his superhero undies waistband at eye-level with Rylie.

Who instinctively and with the vengeance of a girl scorned, bit him squarely on the butt.


Oh, we are not finished.

Before I could summon Jesus to return, my eldest pulled away from her brother’s buns in fear… because her mouth was pouring blood.

What is this madness, you ask?

Quite simple, Friends.


Her wiggly tooth that had been tormenting her for days… the tooth came out as she bit her brother. And so, she wailed.

We cannot go back inside to use the restroom because, well, see above. We can only go home. We can only go home- a mother, stoic, with her 3 whimpering children in the backseats.

We can only go home and THINK ABOUT WHAT WE’VE DONE for a good, long time.


Let us mark that establishment as yet another parking lot we shall never grace again.

Happy weekend to you, Dears.

May your socks be dry and your drinks strong.


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

16 responses to “I’m not kidding.

  • Missy

    There is some justice in butt biting, after all. We should sit, sometime, and compare notes of parking lots that we can no longer Grace. I’m ever so glad you survived the day.

  • Kelly

    LOVE IT. Makes may crazy days with young kids seem normal.

  • violetlemay

    ooooooooooh my goodness, katie. love love love.

  • Maria D.

    Is it wrong to love this post…because I do! Thank you for making me feel normal. xoxo

  • Amy L

    Ah – what is it with kids lately and having to lay their hands on each other? Thanks for the Thursday AM laugh to go with my coffee. Now my day can begin!

  • Corrie S.

    Too funny. A sneak peak into the shenanigans Tyler and Baby Stofcho #2 will be getting into in the next few years. Looking forward to seeing your crew next month!

  • Penny

    Way to keep your cool mom! I would have been “that” mom, screaming and yelling, oblivious to the staring world. Kudos! Bravo. You deserve a strong drink with some dry socks.

  • steph

    awesome. just awesome. love you.

  • MC

    Niiiiiiice. very nice. Great way to start my day…let’s see what these two can come up with for me…

  • Jean Akin

    I AM SMILING FROM EAR TO EAR and CAN’T WAIT for hubby to get home so I can read this to him!!!!!! LOVE IT!!!! You have such a wonderfully wild life (I know, I know, it isn’t always wonderful when you’re LIVING it, but you have such a great sense of humor). You are a very sympathetic protagonist in this Great Play we call Life!) 😀

  • Kim Aguilar

    Oh for the love. Hysterical. Belly laughs from me!

  • Mandi Watts

    Oh, girl! I laughed out loud! I know you probably didn’t think it was all that funny at the time, but I’m glad you recorded it for posterity. Because, that may be the funniest thing I’ve ever read. You’re one of my very favorite moms and you sort of make me feel normal! 🙂

  • elissa

    Busting a gut over here! It’s so much funnier when it happens to other people, isn’t it?
    and yea for Meijers! It’s a staple in our house also!

  • Renee

    I really do think our girls were sep. @ birth… on Thurs. we finished an amazing year of kindergarten (skipping, 3 word phrases, “starting to follow directions…”; jumped in the car for an easy 4 hours to Chicago… easy, that is, until we decided to stop & stretch, and of course, cue chaos; finishing the day losing her first tooth in the hotel (though not, thankfully, while biting her sister on the booty…) again, cue chaos b/c the tooth fairy is kinda scary…
    Now it’s summer. Hooray. Kinda…

  • Lizzy

    Oh the laughter, and the tears, and thank you so much for sharing that we might momentarily forget our troubles and laugh heartily with you. Bless you dear Katie and your sweet family.

    (PS – reminds me of the time my brother came inside with a mouthful of dog fur and tears. The dog had bitten him you see, so naturally – he bit her back!)

  • Margie

    Meant to tell you I read this out loud to Wayne and he laughed his head off. See? he said. It happens to everyone! I guess that was his way of making me feel better – but, it’s true, your sharing of the drama made me laugh, too, which was GOOD.

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