“Now, you have to promise me that you’ll sit okay?” I instructed Natalie as I helped her out of the car.
“Okay,” Natalie agreed.
Do you think she was telling the truth?
I brought her in Gymboree and the little minx went crazy. She didn’t want to sit in front of the TV. Yes, Gymboree has a TV. But Natalie didn’t care, she just wanted to race around the store. Look, I find the store exciting—I mean, it’s filled with all sorts of adorable duds—but I don’t race around like a wild animal.
“Hi Amber,” my favorite worker said as I struggled to get Natalie to sit.
“Hello,” I answered as Natalie thrashed in my arms while screeching, “I don’t YIKE to sit right now, Mommy. I DON’T YIKE TO SIT RIGHT NOW!”
“I take it you know we’re having a sale,” the worker continued.
“Yes,” I said as Natalie tiny fist collided with my ear. Ouch. She twisted her body around to the point where I was holding her by her ankles. She laughed so I continued to shop while grasping her ankles with one hand and using the other to go through the racks.
“Hello,” I said to a woman who sidled up beside me. She did a double take when she saw my daughter hanging upside down.
The sale, by the way, was Gymboree’s Red Balloon Sale—or RBS—where they mark their older lines that didn’t sell $7.99 or less. And okay, I know I had just said a few entries back that I wasn’t going to buy anymore clothes—but this doesn’t count, these clothes are for next season, not now. So it’s okay.
“I want down,” Natalie said as I found this ultra adorable green sweater jacket. And ohhhh....another sweater jacket…
“I want down,” Natalie repeated and since I was distracted she slithered from my arms and sat right underneath the middle of the rounder.
“Heavens!” an old lady yelped as she pushed some clothes aside and came face to face with my daughter.
“Hi,” Natalie said sweetly.
“Natalie, get out of there,” I said, bending down with my goodies in my arms. “Now.”
“No.” Natalie shook her head.
I could feel my anger start to boil over. I’m working really hard on not yelling. I really don’t want my kids to have memories of me stomping around the house screaming at them TO JUST LISTEN TO ME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!
“Natalie,” I said through gritted teeth. “I’m asking you to get out.”
Deep breaths....deep breaths....
What I wanted to shout was, “I’m the motherfu*king adult and when I say GET OUT I mean GET OUT!”
But how inappropriate would that be?
So after I had calmed myself I said, “Would you like to be my helper and hold your sweater jackets?”
I thought Natalie would be thrilled by the prospect of being my helper.
So I did the next best thing: I grabbed her and MADE her come out. Of course this made her thrash all over again and the clothes I found fell to the floor. I swear I saw another lady eye them with interest as though she were tempted to grab them…I shot her a Look like, “I may have a crazed child but they belong to me and I have a purse filled to the brim with crap that I can use as a weapon so back off.” Thankfully she did. Back off, I mean.
I brought my items to the counter, slung Natalie over my shoulder so that her head was hanging near my butt and paid as though nothing were amiss. No, favorite store worker, I don’t have an insane three-year-old on me.
“I’ll probably be bringing more stuff out if you want to come tomorrow,” the store worker said kindly. She’s never made me feel like a bad mom.
“I’ll do that—only I’ll be leaving her with her Daddy next time,” I said.
“Mommy, I want DOWN! I don’t YIKE DIS!”
When we left the store Natalie was calm again. I’m not sure why Gymboree causes her to act like that.
This is what I found. Everything was $5 since I had a 20% off coupon. Well except for the top, which was only $3.
Of course when I showed Tommy the sweater I got for him he went, “Nice but I’m not wearing it.”
“There’s nothing offending or embarrassing about this sweater,” I argued.
“I don’t like it,” Tommy said stubbornly.
“Young man, I only paid $5 for this sweater and I was proud to find it and dangit, you’ll wear it.”
“It’s funny looking.”
I’ll convince him somehow.