30 June 2009
Worst Mom EVER
I drove 45 mph through blinding downpour 10 miles north to DPS to get a replacement drivers license. Then I realized in the parking lot that I forgot my Social Security Card. Back through the rain. Then, the kids and I went in to a pretty full DPS. They had a testing area with high school style desks for testing. One guy was at the computer bank taking his drivers test. The kids loved the look of those desks and they each climbed up in one and sat with a few pieces of paper. They had literally just sat down -- really, even by my standards, they were beautiful, well-behaved, quiet kids-- and the DPS lady says "Y'all have to be real quiet if you sit there- who do these children belong to?" (Yes, I acknowledged they were mine) "They can't make noise over there; we have testing." So the kind gentleman behind me (I was about 5th in line) said I could go collect them and then get back in line. I brought them about 15 feet across the room and smushed three of them into two chairs. I held Nathan, who had no desire to leave the cool desks. The middle two fought about who had more chair, while Claire ignored everyone and took up an entire chair. So now we were much louder, but off the chairs.
You ever hear your monologue with your kids? You ever know the entire room is all listening? The lady who was second in line offered to trade spots with me so I could get out of there quicker. I laughed and told her it was like a mercy killing, which got me a chuckle from the #1 guy in line, who also offered me another shift forward in line. I gave the kids my pen, and some mints (which Nathan spit on my shoulder, God bless him), and had more calming conversation, and then had to fill out the form and get fingerprinted etc. Down on the floor, Nathan immediately heads over to the pothos ivy hanging off the windowsill invitingly. I managed to get my picture taken (no smile at all, ma'am) with 2 kids in front of me. Who knows what it'll look like.
This, unfortunately, was the high point of the day.
Then we went to get Claire's ears pierced... She had decided to do it when she was 5 but never worked up the nerve. Then she got an earring display thing from my MIL and 4 pairs of earrings in San Antonio this weekend in prep for her 8th birthday this weekend. (But, James had lost my TXDrL and they wouldn't let her get them pierced without my DL.) So we went today. And Lily is all excited, she wants to be just like Claire and get her ears pierced too. And have a pretty display, and pretty earrings. So we talk about Lily being a big girl too.
Claire marches in there and announces to the employee that she and her sister want to get their ears pierced. The employee has her upper lip (like Cindy Crawford's beauty mark) pierced, stiff-straight black, black hair, heavy eyeliner, at least 6 visible tattoos, and funky boots. She does not look in the least amused that I have four kids, period, much less four kids with me. Nathan tears a half-dozen colorful necklaces off a rod. *sigh* this is when I should have fled.
So Claire hops up in the chair and I fill out the form, stopping to rein in Jackson, clean up after Nathan, and check on Lily, who is happily window shopping. Claire is a little nervous, but I think she's going to do fine, because she has been the driving force behind all this. We choose the earrings, the employee breaks open the box, washes her gloved hands in Purell, and marks Claire's earlobes with a pen. She starts to fit the earring gun thing on Claire's ear, and Claire jerks away. We discuss the importance of sitting still. She tries again and Claire jerks away again, and wells up in tears. Some reassurance (surely I am so patient and kind!) and no, no, no! she's done; why doesn't Lily go first?
So my Lily hops up on the stool, and I fill out a new form and replace more dumped earrings and such on the racks as I chase Nathan around while trying to seem in charge of my offspring. Then I, I with no sense of smell, I detect an unsavory odor in the vicinity of my youngest... surely the punk employee does as well, if her expression is anything to go by. She changes her gloves and marks Lily's ears. She gets the gun thing, positions it on Lily's right ear, and pierces it. A wail, but she's fine. I exclaim in joy and give her a hug. We go for the second ear... no. No, that will never happen. I ask for a break so the punk can assist the audience, oh-oh I mean the other shoppers, while Lily and I peruse the earring selections. Hissing at Claire and Jackson to helpme! with Nathan's destructive wake, Lily choose three pairs of earrings; cute puppies, yellow roses, and rainbow hearts.
I'll just tell you that no amount of talking, encouraging, threatening, or bribing would get her to sit still enough to pierce the other ear. The employee had some weird reservation about me sitting on Lily so she could just get in there and do it. So under seismic, torrential opposition, I put the earrings back, paid the $28 (Aaaugh!), collected my stinky son, and fled. With one ear pierced, collectively.
We all (except the boys) cried all the way home, at least 10 minutes. I was so angry about the stupid $28 dollars, about Lily a) refusing to get her other ear done and simultaneously b) demanding the earrings. OK! I know she's 3 1/2. I know! I was so upset that Claire didn't trust me enough to go through with it-- after all the talking and analogies and reassurances. And then I was such a crummy parent to top it all off, yelling in the car for no good reason. Aaaugh!
We each went to our own bedrooms to sob incoherently (except the boys). Then Claire tip-toed in, and I called Lily in, and we all cried some more and Lily fell asleep. And Claire played next door, and Nathan and I napped, and Jackson did Legos. And then we all had a snack and had uneventful trips to Kinkos, the PO, and the grocery store. For Pete's sake.
And we already say "earring" instead of "earrings."