My great Aunt Patty is, well, great! 🙂 She was like a grandma to us when we were growing up and continues on the tradition with my kids. We are very thankful to have her. She offered to take the kids shopping, and with the holidays coming up, we were excited to pick out some cute outfits for the kiddles. With the kids being off of school today, we decided to drive out and shop. I know what you’re thinking – shopping, with four kids, for clothes. I didn’t expect perfection. I would have been happy with basic listening. Fortunately, I had two that were pretty good, but the other two…yeah, not so much. It was basically a complete shitshow from start to finish.
It’s about an hour drive to Aunt Patty’s, so the kiddles and I packed in our minivan and drove out. We picked Aunt Patty up and decided to grab lunch before hitting the stores. Better to feed them first and then do the shopping. The vote was unanimous; the kids wanted Chick-fil-A (no complaining there). I gave them the manners pep talk before going into the restaurant, and we walked to the counter. Cole was quickly enamored by the girl behind the counter and began working his magic. Thankfully, the ordering process was quick and easy, and we were at our seats eating in no time. Well, some of us were eating. The girl behind the counter had to bring someone’s order out to the dining area. Cole struck up a conversation and asked her to be his girlfriend (note: Cole has “hundreds of girlfriends”). Seriously, this kid is smooth. I will have to watch out for this in the future. The girls ate their lunches, but the boys wanted to jack around (this is my term of choice for not doing what you’re supposed to be doing). The girls were frolicking in playland, and the boys were still sitting at the table, messing with their chicken pieces. The FINALLY finished lunch, and we were on our way to shop!
First stop: Kohl’s! I like this store, but when you have little kids, it kinda upset me. They pack things in the aisles, making it difficult to look at things or maneuver carts, and everything is close together, perfect spots for kids to run around and hide. Since Cole ended up having really had behavior at Chick-fil-A, I made him ride in the cart like a little baby. He was less than thrilled.
We made a beeline for the girls’ dresses. Lex and Annie had one request; they wanted fancy dresses. They had a really great selection of dresses, but nothing seemed to suit their tastes. Lex almost had a breakdown when it came to making a decision (she is very indecisive with things like this and doesn’t want to possibly disappoint me by picking something I don’t like). From the confines of his cart, Cole decided it would be great to grab EVERYTHING in sight, and Cael wanted to play “let’s hide in the clothes racks.” I was unimpressed. Since the girls didn’t find anything they liked, we decided to tackle the boys’ outfits. Boys’ stuff is always about 1/3 the amount of girls’, but they had some cute things. They both decided on dress shirts that came with an Angry Birds tie and dress pants. We went to pay, and I forgot that all of the Veterans’ Day sales are going on. The line was long, and the natives were restless. My patience was shot at this point, but I knew were needed dresses for the girls. We set out to Great Lakes Mall in search of fancy dresses.
We got there, and I, again, gave them “the talk.” You know, the usual things moms say about “being on your best behavior” and “don’t embarrass me” and “don’t make me take you to the car.” JC Penney was our first stop there. The boys didn’t get the good behavior memo because listening went out the window yet again. I was constantly trying to rein them in from wreaking havoc in the store, and that is very hard to do when they aren’t confined to a cart or stroller or something. Penney’s was a bust, so we went to Macy’s. On the walk down, Alexandra saw something that made her gasp in excitement. It was a stage in the middle of the mall, and she thought it was a runway. “OH MY GOODNESS! I have my very own runway right in the middle of the mall!” (I told you she was a drama queen)
We made it to Macy’s and managed to walk past all of the beautiful holiday trees/decoration and expensive glass without breaking anything (yay, us!). The kids’ section is downstairs, and because Lexi was still in full-on diva mode, she wanted to sashay down the escalator. I told her she better cut it out, and for once in her life, she listened. She was behaving all day and wanted to keep it up. When we hit the kids’ section, the boys scattered and were running everywhere. As soon as I caught hold of one the other would run off and hide. They got their butts parked on the only sitting area I could find, but I had visions of them knocking the mannequin over (note: my brother and I did this one time when we were very young, and I can say, we never did it again). Here they are looking all sweet and innocent. They were swiftly moved from this spot.
The girlies picked out gorgeous dresses and were so excited for them. We made our way to the register, but unfortunately the sales guy took FOREVER! Hello, don’t you see there are two obnoxious kids here that aren’t listening?! Okay, maybe I can’t blame him for the entire hold-up, but I think I could have sewn a dress quicker than he could ring one up. At least we got a kick-ass sale on these.
Operation Christmas clothes was almost complete, but the girls persuaded Aunt Patty that they needed shoes too. We went back to Penney’s to see what they had to offer. By this time, the boys were CRAZY! Running around, not listening, not staying by the adults, backtalking, etc. I had enough! I said to them, “We’re going to the car!” and they knew they were in deep trouble. I don’t condone beating your child, but every now and then when nothing else works, I think they need a little crack, and that is just what they got. Lex, Annie, and Aunt Patty came back to the car to find two very unhappy little boys, wiping their runny noses with tissues.
Can you believe after all of this Aunt Patty was still up for giving them one more chance and treating us all to Malley’s for ice cream?! I told you she was great. We get to Malley’s, and everyone seems to be on good behavior. The boys ordered mint chocolate chip ice cream, and the girls ordered Puppy Luv sundaes. Luckily, the girl who took our ice cream order got everything out quickly.
Once Cael saw the girls’ ice cream, he went into pout mode because they had candy and he didn’t. At least Cole was pleased with his.
All of the pouting stopped when the very nice waitress overheard the ruckus and brought both boys all of the candy pieces that were in the puppy sundaes to add to their ice cream.
After ice cream, it was time to drop Aunt Patty off at home. I knew that she was exhausted after a full shopping day with the girls and two terrors. My sister, Susannah, and her fam live across the street from Aunt Patty, so we stopped to visit. The kids love playing with their cousins, and they needed to burn a little energy. Cole, being the non-listener today, decides he’s going to try and pick up his little cousin near her playpen and cracks her head on the wall. No cool, Cole, not cool. We get packed up to leave but have to stop by Aunt Patty’s to say goodbye and thank you again. Once there, the kids eat a shit ton of candy from Uncle Ricky (my aunt’s son), and the boys are bouncing off the walls. Aunt Patty has nice things in her house, and I was paranoid that they kids were going to break something. We give hugs and kisses and are ready to make our trip home. On the walk to the van, the kids are in full-on wild mode, running around like crazy people. Cole and Cael get their nice school shoes and clothes covered with mud, and with that, I lost it. We don’t really have a ton of nice things, and I like to keep the nice things we do have in good condition. I get them buckled and then burst into tears. I sound kinda lame, but there is only so much one mom can take before cracking. I express my displeasure in their behavior and try to get them to see that when they act that way, it reflects poorly on me as a parent. I think that did it because it made the boys cry, too. I needed to make them understand that the way they acted today was completely unacceptable.
I mentioned before that the drive is usually about an hour. Wouldn’t you figure that I get stuck in traffic in two different spots, one of which has Route 2 down to one lane! I was so furious, and people seriously need to learn that when there are lane closures, they don’t drive all the way up and try to cut over. I had someone do this, and it took every bit of willpower not to run my van right up their little car’s ass.
An hour and 45 minutes later, we arrive at home. I am so freakin’ happy to be home, and, an added bonus, the boys are tired and want to go to bed! This all would have worked out fine IF I didn’t decide to strip their beds to wash sheets this morning. The problem was I didn’t wash the sheets yet 😦 Okay, to finish up this long story, I wash the sheets, I put together some semblance of a dinner, I get their pajamas on, and the boys go to BED! During this time, the girls also had a fashion show to model their new dresses. Look at how cute they are!
Then again, maybe not so cute.
Ahhhh, so happy now that the boys are in bed. I let the girls stay up and write their blog post on today, which made them feel special. I put them in bed, and now everything is perfectly quiet. I love it, and this is how I finished off the night.