March 19, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
Yesterday was a wee bit embarrassing. See, the babysitting-copious-rugrats-gig is going well, and we can’t have life without drama, now can we? I mean, gosh forbid my life is NORMAL and BORING. I mean, if I had two minutes to rub together or a moment to sit on the couch and actually, say…WATCH TV? I mean, we cannot have that.
I took the kids to this evil place while Bugaboo was having his intense therapy. He can’t go to said evil place because it is too overstimulating there for him. Too many flashing lights, too much noise, too many fire alarms to set off (oops), too many skeeball machines to climb on (oops, again). Just can’t do it. I took Bug Boy and the three extra kids (Polite Boy, Middle Child and Little Miss) and they had a blast. After lunch, I decided I wasn’t enough of a glutton for punishment and took ALL FIVE KIDS to the moonbounce place. It was great! They all behaved, they all had a blast and Bugaboo interacted more with Little Miss than I have ever seen him interact. Therapy is working! We returned home and I got the idea that I’d tempt fate once again. After all, they’ve been angels all day. A few minor arguments here and there (He’s looking at me! She’s breathing too loud! He’s making noise when he chews!) but a fairly nice day. Too nice. I had to create drama someplace, right?
I decided that taking the kids to Tarzhay to get our prescription and to look for a pair of stockings for Easter was in order. They all filed into the car, helped me find a parking place and cooperated in the store. But they did not have the stockings I needed (or wanted). I didn’t want shiny buff, cream silk or off taupe panty hose. I don’t want control top. sandlefoot, footless, etc. I just wanted a *^$%$# pair of scream stockings. Plain ole stockings. And the kids were being good, so me being the super-intelligent person I am, I decided to take them to just ONE MORE STORE. Here.
Now, I hate this particular store. The aisles are too crowded. It is totally not handicapped friendly. You can barely get around the place without tripping over stuff, the store is always a mess, it is always loud and way-over-stimulating and the service stinks. Once in a while, I can find something at a great discount (like $8 fall jacket or $4 awesome shirt, like last week) but I generally avoid it like the plague, unless they are having their seasonal 80% off sale. Still, I decided to brave the store. At nearly dinner time. With five hungry, tired, over-stimulated children. Yeah, I’m smart like that.
The bickering began as soon as we entered the store. I realized I was striking out soon after perusing the stocking selection. They had my size in the wrong color or the right color in the wrong size. GRRRRR!!! And, as usual, the store was a flipping mess. The kids were antsy, accusing each other of breathing the same air, arguing that so-and-so was first and so therefore they got to stand closer to the cart, etc, etc. I was trying to tune them out. Bugaboo sat in the cart/stroller thingy and sang to himself. The kids continued to bicker. I finally lost my cool, “KNOCK. IT. OFF. I cannot possibly find what I need to with all of this arguing. Please, for the love of all that is holy, stop arguing. Just stop. I’m getting a headache.” Before I could finish my sentence, Bugaboo had hopped out and darted towards the front of the store. Towards the parking lot. Towards a major state road full of rush hour traffic. I screamed to Polite Boy, “GRAB HIM!” And commanded the other three to stay planted. And then I darted off after Polite Boy and Bugaboo. Bugaboo suddenly made a hard-left turn and jumped through a metal clothing rack, sans clothes, tipping it ever so slightly. And because I know it takes less than three seconds to lose Bugaboo, I tried to follow it. And you know what happened next, don’t you?
Yes. The metal rack began to tip and I ran into it. Head first. Knocked it over. Fell flat on my butt. And the entire store stopped and turned and looked as Bugaboo froze in his tracks, turned around and said, “Momma! TEEEHEHEEEHEEEHEEE!” And giggled with delight. While I watched fireworks in my head and wondered what the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks I was gonna do with five kids at the Emergency Room while the stitched me up and observed me for a concussion. Now, I didn’t just run into it head first. I ran into it top-of-the-head-first. As in, picture a four-inch-thick metal rack coming into direct contact with the top of my skull, from one ear to the other. No, didn’t end up at the ER. I managed to get to my feet, instructed Polite Boy to take Bugaboo’s hand and hissed at the other kids to get in the car and not say a word. As I exited, one of the saleswoman managed to ask me, “Um. Are you ok?” To which I replied, “No. I’m not.” And walked out. Didn’t mean to be rude, but lady? I think it was fairly obvious. Judging by the way I was talking to the children through clenched teeth, limping out of the store clutching the top of my head.
We got to the minivan, I got them inside and sat in the driver’s seat for a moment wondering if I needed to call someone. Then, for no apparent reason, I burst out laughing. I mean, the most uncontrollable, full-belly, deep chortle I’ve ever had. I can only imagine how funny this must have looked to everyone in the store. Here’s this crazy woman reprimanding her kids and then one of them takes off and then WHAM! She runs head first into a freaking metal rack. The stories they must have told their families over dinner.
Hey, at least I’m important for comic relief.
Of course, the kids were very concerned. They all looked like deer in headlights. Not one of them uttered a word, except to whisper at each other, “She’s bleeding, I’m telling you.” “No she isn’t! She broke her head!” “What if she falls asleep?” “She’s bleeding, look!”
Nope not bleeding. Just bruised. Mostly my ego. Hey, if I didn’t laugh at myself, who would?