Bad Mommy

February 20, 2011

The Birthday Shopping Adventure

Sometimes it's wisest to see if you can foresee what retrospect will look like. Say, in this instance... Heather (Mommy in this story) waits until the last minute (even though I had an opportunity the day before) to complete shopping for Daddy's birthday. I decide to take the children - nice outing with the two of them - to the bookstore to pick up a few (oh, close to 50) books from a set that Brian's been reading - it's a series.

I prep the children while driving that this is for Daddy's birthday and that we want it to be a surprise. So far so good.

We arrive at the bookstore, and I give each child a shopping basket (child labor) so they can be a part of the process and carry the books and feel important. We visit the section where I believe the books to be, and they have moved. So we go, baskets and all, around the store looking for the books.

By now you're asking, and what books are these? Well, Brian likes these little short pulp type books from the Executioner series (think gun porn). He has several - proudly stated that he owns about 15 last week. Little lightbulb goes off, and I knew that this store we had just entered had a bunch of them. So when we find them, I take out my list I had dutifully made of what he already has, and proceed to just start loading the two baskets as quickly as I can. Then the boys and I go to get a book for each of them before checking out. Sounds fine, right?

I am a Bad Mommy because...

1) I didn't really LOOK at these books, but, of course, I should have expected them to be what they were - books with lots of things being blown up, guns, beautiful - though scantily clad - women in dire need of rescue simply because they don't like to wear clothing on book covers, you get the picture.
2) I thought we could carry the books up to the register, pay for them, and be on our way (even if #1 proved to be an issue - had I thought that it might).
3) I believed this would be an uneventful trip because it had been to that point, so I wasn't prepared for...

1) A woman at the cash register who was chatting with the proprietor and did not really seem to be in any hurry to leave or let us purchase our books. Incidentally, she asked me if the boys were twins (um, no, 2 years apart almost) and if they were mine (nevermind the older one looks JUST LIKE ME).
2) The stairs that the boys ran up and down and up and down and jumped up and down while waiting for our transaction to be completed.
3) Boredom of the stairs when the boys started grabbing the books from the basket and looking over the covers of the books. And then I heard...

"Mom, is that a dead body on the front of this book?"


"Mom, there are lots of guns on these books. DO WE HAVE GUNS?"

Oh, my. About 10 minutes after I started line waiting, we had finally purchased everything, amused anyone in sight, and were on our way. Phew. And oops. We drive home - rush hour on a Saturday - and pull into the garage. I ask Brian, who's just started the grill, to avert his eyes from our purchases when Jimmy nearly shouts, "Dad, we got you books about guns."



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December 31, 2010

Bad Mommy: Entry 1

Brian has his Bad Daddy series off and running, and I am afraid I triggered a "Bad Mommy" moment that's just funny enough to share (unless you're 4 1/2 - in which case you'd better stop reading so you can avoid therapy).

James, my oldest (we call him Jimmy) has been going to preschool a few days a week since he was 2. When we were in St. Louis, church offered a "Parents' Day Out" program, so he went one morning a week to socialize with other children, listen to stories, do some art projects. Back in those days, we were absolutely meticulous with our care of what he brought home from school. Every piece of art was catalogued, tagged, and preserved for when he's famous. Well, actually, what we did was photograph and chuck the originals unless they were really special. Jimmy being two, well, he wasn't really sure what art was.

Fast forward to now. He's now in preschool half time - 2 full days and a morning. We're no longer all that good with the art (which is usually full-fisted scribbles with non-matching crayon colors). If something's noteworthy, I will keep it, but gone are the camera-capturing-all-things days. Gone.

In other news and from another angle, I'm an avid recycler. Old paper with a free side? It gets used for scribble/scratch paper when I'm working. Unusable paper? It goes in the recycle bin in the garage just outside the door and to the right - easily visible to a four year-old who's leaving the premises.

You saw it coming, right? Jimmy. Saw. Artwork. In. Recycle. Bin.


I didn't learn of my transgression until all of us were in the car and driving to fit Jimmy for karate uniforms. Then I got from my eldest son the "I'm affecting a hurt disposition to give you a lecture" tone: "That was MY artwork. It's not YOURS. It's MINE." Something to that effect with the key words emphasized. Brian probably has the exact words down better than I do. But he kept repeating it, and then I realized what he was talking about.

We also have Jack in the car, age two. Jack functions as a Greek chorus, repeating the important nouns and verbs that Jimmy articles with punctuation. So echoing, we hear "JIMMY'S ARTWORK." "NOT YOURS" from Jack.

I am a Bad Mommy because...

1) Brian had to cover for me - explained that the artwork was mistakenly recycled (probably it wasn't - so a bit of a fib if I were to utter it)

2) When the Greek chorus sounded, I actually laughed. I stifled most of it, but Jack just functions in that echo sort of way to really punctuate the situation.

3) I'll probably do it again (but shred it first).

The appropriate response therefore is to be contrite and ask everyone else how you handle the artwork. If we were to keep it all, we'd be awash in paper. I sy this is I'm looking to the left at a picture of the sun he made with yellow tissue paper stuck to the predrawn sun.



Posted by hln at 07:52 AM | Comments (62) | TrackBack