"No, Mom, I'm already occupied back here."
We had piled into the family van to accompany my Man as he made a hospital visit late in the afternoon. He had been out of town for the weekend and we were riding along to make up for lost time. The plan was for my Man to make the visit and for the rest of us to wait for him in the car. Knowing the visit would be a lengthy one, we loaded up on activities (read: lots of books) to keep us occupied while we waited.
Outside of the facility we bid our fellow a fine farewell and settled into our reading material. Shortly a voice in the back expressed an urgent need for a bathroom so, putting the van in drive, we
It was at about this time that Curious George almost became our undoing. Molly, deep into her kindergarten literature studies, has fallen in love with the ornery little monkey and the library's copy of the book came with not one but TWO audio CDs of the story which, under normal circumstances are quite charming.
Normal circumstances do not, however, include a car full of children coming off of a pumpkin cheese cake donut high, nor do they include two teenaged students who are trying to complete their assigned reading of Jane Eyre. Eventually, Curious George became too much for the Jane Eyre crowd and they decided that a parking bumper in the lot outside of the car was preferable to the monkey noises coming from within.
Our waiting time counted upwards of an hour and when my Man returned to us, it seemed he had experienced as much adventure inside as we'd had outside. On the road again, we compared stories and shared a donut and continued onward to get a treat (read: slushies) at the nearby Sonic. There's nothing like placing an order for six cagey characters who've been cooped up for way too long.
It went something like this...
Darrin: OK, kids, be thinking about what you want.
From the back and simultaneously: I want a mango strawberry slushie. I want a peach vanilla. I'm gonna give raspberry another chance. Get me a strawberry with raspberry and make it a LARGE.
Darrin: Molly, you are not getting a large. (To the drive-thru speaker) Yes ma'am we're ready to order. I'd like a ...
Kate: Dad, I need to change my order.
Molly: Strawberry...large? Strawberry with mango...raspberry. Large.
Darrin: No large, Molly.
Me: I'll have a diet Coke with cranberry.
Me: No, extra large...have 'em put it in a bucket please.
Kate: Strawberry with mango...medium. That's it...or not...make it mango with strawberry or raspberry...no strawberry, I think. Yes...mango with strawberry for sure.
Ordered and twitching, we stopped at a store to check out some fall clothes for yours truly.
The crazy only escalated...as you'd imagine.
At one point, I had become smitten with a polka dotted sweater that I felt particularly spoke to my inner being. It needed non-baggy pants to go under it and so I was led (by my teenager) to the rack holding "modern skinny" corduroy pants.
With a shaking hand (and a hubby whispering in the background "those are gonna make you mad") I grabbed the biggest number that the rack had to offer and headed, with great trepidation, to the fitting room. There I discovered two things: first, that although the cords zipped and buttoned successfully they made me look neither modern nor skinny. In fact, there was a real danger of me starting a fire as I walked from the fitting room to model the ensemble.
Second, I was reminded that words intended for praise can instead turn into quite the opposite even with the purist motive. As I walked from the fitting room clad in the sweater and cords my daughter said, "Wow Mom! They fit...how amazing! I'm shocked." We'd had a similar experience in a fitting room years earlier but that was when she was lots younger and cuter and when I too was lots younger and very tender and she'd loudly said, "I'm surprised those fit Mom, I'm surprised anything in this store fits you cause, you know...you're FAT!"
Really, though, I'm over it. Honest.
I parted company with the cords and the sweater, and turned my sights on some "safer" selections and left the store with my family and my self esteem mostly intact. Mostly.
We returned to our home after a visit to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner where we polished off no less than 6 baskets of chips and three helpings of salsa and consumed our spicy entrees with sheer delight. We'd laughed, we'd fussed, we'd slushied, we'd shopped, we'd visited, and we'd read and had even been entertained for a while by a curious monkey.
Our day was eleven kinds of crazy and it won't even stand out in our collective memory as even close to the craziest. Could it be that crazy days like this one are becoming our normal way of life??
"Gretchen! Those modern skinny things aren't made for real women!"
~wise friend of Gretchen~