Monday, April 11, 2011

A Little Thing Called Spring Break

“My friend Blake’s Mom puts his music in the car so he can listen to it while she drives,” Tommy informed me.

It was last week. Spring Break. Both kids were home ALL WEEK LONG. And yes, I meant to put that in caps.

We were on our way to one of my favorite places. Target. Tommy wasn’t thrilled because he’s not a fan of shopping unless he’s getting something.

“You want me to be more like Blake’s Mom then?” I asked. “You want me to only buy Organic foods, prohibit Little Debbie snacks, and only allow two hours of TV?”

Tommy’s eyes got wide. He was probably thinking, “Parents like that EXIST?”

“No way,” Natalie answered for him. “I like TV.”

“Me too. But some parents only allow it briefly. They follow the American Association of Pediatrics and take them seriously. Like, really, you weren’t supposed to watch TV until you were two,” I said.

“TWO!” Tommy shouted in disbelief.

“Two,” I confirmed. “Lucky for you, you have a mother who likes television for background noise. So you both were watching TV as soon as you got home from the hospital. Shame on me.”

“Okay, don’t be like Blake’s Mom. But. I don’t like to listen to this stuff,” Tommy fumed, clapping his hands over his ears dramatically.

I was listening to oldies. There is nothing wrong with oldies. It’s better than that kid crap where you have to endure a bunch of children singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat or Hickory Dickory Dock. If the kids want to listen to that, they do so in their rooms. Away from me. I feel it’s my car, therefore it’s MY MUSIC.

“This stuff rocks,” I replied. “It’s better than the Yo Gabba Gabba CD. No offense Natalie, but if I have to listen to a song about not biting my friends one more time, I’m going to lose it.”

“It’s not nice to bite,” Natalie said, sticking a Goldfish cracker in her mouth. “You bite food, not friends.”

Yeah. Thanks to the Yo Gabba Gabba gang, she has that rule down.

When we parked at Target, Tommy sighed deeply. “What are we doing here?” He sounded like his father. Tom doesn’t understand why girls like to shop just to shop. He feels there always has to be a purpose. I feel there just has to be an urge to shop.

And I feel an urge to shop at Target. A lot. It doesn’t mean I always buy something (okay, I mostly always buy something..)

“I don’t like it here,” Tommy mumbled.

“What’s not to like?” I wanted to know. “It’s a wonderful store. The possibilities of what you’ll find are endless. And unlike Wal-Mart, the people here don’t look like they’re about to keel over at any second.”

Not that I have a problem with Wal-Mart. I shop there a lot too. Wal-Mart sells my beloved Dunkaroo snacks. It’s just, the customers seem to differ quite a bit between the two establishments. Greatly. Let’s just say that there isn’t a People of Target website..


I started to browse Target with Tommy sighing behind me. His hands were jammed in his pockets and he had a scowl on his face. We passed other families with a Tommy in their midst too. Ahh yes. It was Spring Break.

“Cheer up, we’ll look at the toys,” I promised.

“Am I getting anything?” Tommy perked up a bit. Only a bit. The corner of his lip lifted in what might have become a smile had I said yes.

But I didn’t.

“No,” I replied. “We’re just looking.”

“But you got something.” Tommy pointed angrily to my chocolate candy bar and frame that I found for 75% off.

“I need those,” I insisted. “The chocolate bar is for my sanity since you both are home and the frame because I take lots of pictures.”

We went to the toy section. Natalie said she needed everything down the Princess aisle. Tommy stared intently at a Transformer toy as though he expected it to come alive and say, “I’m free. Take me home.”

“Okay, let’s move on,” I called out.

Tommy’s shoulders slumped. “I really think this is cool.”

“I know. Maybe another time,” I said.

Tommy stuck the toy back on the shelf with a scowl. His hands went back into his pockets.

“I’ll let you each pick out a treat,” I said kindly. “Since I got some.”

“Can I get gummy fish?” Natalie asked. It’s easy to please her. She’s four.

Tommy on the other hand…

“Can I get the toy instead?” he asked.

“No. You can pick out a treat. That’s my final offer.”

Tommy let out a loud breath.

“If you could perk up, that would be great,” I suggested curtly. My patience was wearing thin. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have a lot of it. Tommy was pressing my buttons and I was two seconds away from pulling a Meat Loaf type fit.

Tommy offered a tiny smile. He reminded me of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs.

Luckily we got through Spring Break without any major meltdowns (I may have had one. The kids took my cell phone and wouldn’t tell me where it was. Not. Cool.)

But now both kids are off to school today.


Well, only about two hours since Natalie is just in preschool.

Still. I’ll take it.

(Don't remind me about Summer.)


  1. My sister and her husband only let their kids watch TV an hour or two a day, I think? They come to my mom's house and stare at the TV like it's the most amazing thing they've ever seen. I'm just a stepmom but I think life without TV is a heck of a lot of work. The kids STILL feel the need to be entertained and either you entertain them or they start causing trouble. TV = good!

    Found you via SITS...I love reading new blogs!

  2. So not looking forward to Spring break next week.

  3. Every day is spring break here- I guess that happens with a toddler. And I prefer Target too for the exact reason you listed- there's no People of Target site. Just saying...

  4. I have just recently had to endure the creepiness that is Yo Gabba Gabba. It's the only show my nephew is interested in, and Wow! It's really creepy!

  5. LOL!! I fee the same way about Target & Walmart. I shop at Target more for leisure. I only go to Walmart for a handful of things. It's run in and TRY to run out, but the staff and lines never allow me. Grrrr....

  6. website always makes me feel better about my appearance when I am experiencing a fat day, bad hair day, hate my clothes kinda day, etc.

  7. I have been searching for 3 weeks for dunk-a-roos now and FINALLY found them at Walmart this weekend along with Lucky Charms snack bars. B asked if they were fore the kids and I honestly admitted they were not. They were for me!

  8. Too funny...I think I saw your twin at Target last week with the same two kids! I love your comeback on Blake's are way for fun than her!

  9. I snapped and lost it last night with my twelve year old. I let my angry voice loose and still feel bad about it.

    My son asked me, "Why am I getting yelled at about this?"

    I replied, "Because I used my nice, calm voice for the first 64 arguments on this topic. Mommy's freak out when it's brought up the 65th time."

    ~ Jenna

  10. so glad you made it through spring break!!


  12. i've trained G to say target rocks.

  13. Oh my goodness. Colin was on spring break for ALMOST THREE WEEKS (his is a "year-round" school so summer break is shorter, but the mid-year breaks are longer). I SO feel your pain.

    And I love me some Target, too!

  14. Oh Amber, only you could make a trip to Target with your kids this entertaining! I love your stories. And I'm really glad my kids are older.


  15. There's nothing better than getting a few hours of sanity back. Gald you made it through spring break!

  16. I LOVE using other mom's as examples, although I don't always come out a "winner"!

    My oldest son has always loved to shop (he should've been my girl!), my youngest, not so much. When he was really young, he was the one you'd see throwing himself on the ground screaming, and you'd be looking at ME, thinking, What is WRONG with THAT mother? I would grab him and we'd leave the store. Of course, he would settle once I got him in his car seat, and I was the "bestest mommy ever". Too late. He still got a time-out when we got home. I'm so glad he's out of that stage, although, now he has a MOUTH on him that won't quit!

    The stages of childhood--my dad says they NEVER end, not even when we're 45 (lol).

  17. We're sisters in parenthood - my kids get tv, treats, but I play my own d@m@ music in the car ;).

  18. OMG, our spring break is next week and I'm already in a freakin' panic over it. I feel like I need to jam-pack our days with entertaining events or I may just rip each hair out of my head one by one as the week goes on.

    I love Target, too....I could totally live there and be happy.

    I'm impressed that Tommy didn't have a major tantrum over the toy. That's some serious restraint right there.

  19. I don't want to think about summer.

    Nope, you can't make me.


  20. You gotta start scoring some toys off of Craig's List so you can keep them busy all * s word*.

  21. My kids listened to all types of music when they were little. Now my son has a great range of things that he will listen to, and can often relate to others (teachers, friends) tastes as well.

  22. I'm guilty of letting my toddler listen to kid music in the car. But mainly because I want her to actually sing at kindermusik with me. I hate it when she doesn't sing with yeah, it's for a selfish reason. Oh and I love target too.

  23. I love Target. Spring break is next week here. I'm doing my best to plan some fun outings, but we'll see how it goes.

  24. I miss those spring break days! Also, I had a special shout out to Natalie today on my blog to go along with the release of the new Hallmark ornaments (one of which features a certain blond princess)!

  25. Target is fun to shop at. I don't understand why men (both little and grown) don't like to shop.

  26. This made me laugh. I totally agree with you about listening to your own music in the car.

  27. Hate to tell you this...spring break doesn't get any easier when they are older. Guess what I get to do with my vacation time whilst the boy is on spring break? Take him to visit two colleges....he's not happy; I'm not happy. He envisions spending spring break in Key West or somewhere fun while I envision spending my vacation time in Key West or somewhere fun.

    Where's the chocolate? Or the wine? Yeah, I could probably do with the wine.

  28. Target used to have the BEST toy section when I was a kid (well, behind Hills Department store at least).

    It's kid of lame now.

  29. Stopitstopitstopitstopitstopit!

    We haven't had spring breatk yet.

  30. I'm with you - the TV is there to be watched! Is it the center of the universe? No. But it's not evil either, haha.

    Feel free to stop by and enter my giveaway for a couture apron - I'm pretty sure wearing it makes meals taste better... at least that what I'm hoping for my sake, haha.

  31. I should start a People of Target. The one's in Georgia have odd people. LOL.

    Your kids sound like my son when i want to browse. Nag nag nag!

  32. I miss Target!! There are no Targets within 2 hours of me where we moved to in Florida! I literally had Target withdrawals lol Enjoy the next couple months...summer is just around the corner. lol

  33. Oh, God. This just reminded me of why I am NOT looking forward to summer.

  34. Glad you made it through your spring break with your sanity intact! Ours was a couple of weeks ago and it was rough... not looking forward to summer (for that reason anyways)! And Target is wonderful. Can you imagine a world without Target in your country? That is my world... but luckily they are coming soon.

  35. I think someone should start a people of Target site. There are freaks everywhere, there has to be some at Target too! lol

  36. Jealous. I don't have a Target, just a Wal-Mart.

  37. LOVE that you said the tv was on as background noise the second you brought your kids home from the hospital. That is SO my house too!

  38. Haha! My kids are on summer break. Give me strength...

  39. My kids went to CO with their dad for Spring break and I got to be alone. It was a beautiful thing.

    Now I'm busy planning out their summer camps. :)

  40. Hey, we're of a mind today. TV early on: check. Mommy's music in the car: check. (And now she can identify which Beatle is singing lead at six, and if she hears the name "Elvis," she thinks "Costello.") Spring Break is next week, here, and damned if I don't want to find a day camp.

  41. Wait.

    Wal-Mart sells Dunkaroos???


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