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.”
“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.
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.
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.
SHE LOST HER TOOTH.
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.