“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.)