to give yourself a pat on the back for working so hard on your child(ren)’s behavior, they go and do something that makes you realize just how long of a road you’re really on…

Take for instance, our trip to WinCo yesterday.  It was just me and the four kids, like normal.  We were almost done.  We’d been there for quite a while, kids were hungry and tired but we were surviving.  My hair was still intact, kids were not running rampant in the store and no one had visible bruises (I totally kid by the way…. mostly).  It’s just there was enough whining to about push me right off the cliff and straight into the loony bin.  Almost.

So we were picking up our last item… candy to use in our homemade vanilla ice cream for tonight.  The candy just so happens to be on the same aisle as the chips.  They each beckon to you from opposite sides as you walk down.  Some reaching out tiny plastic bag hands to grab you while others perform suicidal leaps off the shelf and into your basket.  Crazy chips and candy!!

A nice older gentleman walked past us as we stood hypnotized staring at the candy trying to make a decision.  We smiled at each other (the man and I, not the candy… just to clarify) as the kids all moved out of the way to let him pass.  He stopped just past us and after a few minutes, I glanced down his direction and realized he didn’t seem to be staring the chips.  I took another look (trying not to be obvious) and yep, it sure didn’t look like he was looking at the chips.  No, in fact he seemed to be watching something or someone instead.  Well, since there were only my children in his vicinity, I realized in quiet alarm, I walked to the end of the cart to see who was on the other side.  The sight that awaited me struck me with mother horror as my brain tried to register exactly what my eyes were beholding…

Tiger, my 3 year old, was standing there next to a nice large bag of Tostito Tortilla chips that lay on the floor.  Not a big deal, right?  (I think it was a bag that had flung itself at the previous aisle-walkers but had misjudged the jump and landed on the floor instead of their cart) Well, while one foot was planted firmly on the ground, his other foot rested mischievously atop the puffy bag of chips.  And he was applying pressure my friends!  I don’t think I screamed… but in my head, blood-curdling sirens were resonating as I dove to knock his foot off the bag before it popped and the once suicidal little tortilla chips flew all over the aisle in complete and utter freedom.  When the calamity was sufficiently avoided, I started in on Tiger. 

After we discussed the proper treatment of chip bags and what would have happened should he have stepped harder on the bag, I proceeded to inform him that if he’d broken that bag, not only would he have had to clean up the mess (lets not think about the fact that it would have taken him 47 minutes to complete that task, shall we?!) but I would have had to pay for it.  And then, when we arrived home, he would have had to march his little piggy bank out to the dining room table and we would have counted out every penny of the cost I had to pay for that bag and he would have had to hand it over to me to pay me back.  Now, I would have told him all this no matter where we were and no matter who was or wasn’t standing nearby.

But yes, that older gentleman was still standing there, listening to every word.  Then he watched us put the intact, un-crunched bag back up on the shelf.  It wasn’t until we finally went back to zoning on the rows of candy, that he turned and proceeded out to walk down and out of the aisle. 

Sheesh! No pressure or anything!  AND why didn’t he say something as he watched Tiger prepare to stomp on the chip bag?!  Is it a guy thing?  Was he inwardly excited to see the who thing happened with little boy glee and not have to deal with the repercussions personally?  Or did he think four children were too many and he wanted to be able to sit back and proclaim it loudly as the chips flew through the air? 

I have no idea.  I’m just thankful Tiger didn’t end up owing me money…