Parenting has undeniably been the most difficult thing I've ever attempted to do well. Marriage is tied with parenting. And, while I don't feel like I'm doing an exemplary job at either, I am gratefully stunned that God has given me the gifts of both.
That said, I wanted to relay the following "scene" from a moment in my day today, a less than glorious parenting moment but a rather common one unfortunately. It turns a bit comical toward the end which I know is just the grace of God at work in my life helping me not take myself so seriously, not be so easily angered, and learn to make light of things that do provoke.
It's 4 days before Christmas, and inevitably there are food items to buy. Instead of taking time away from being all together as a family when LA is home in order to go by myself as any other sane momma would do, I decide to take my three crazy kids to the grocery store with me. That's how I "take one for the team" here in our family. I've always had an inclination toward martyrdom. :)
Wegmans is where we'll be picking up those few last items on the list, including gruyere and organic pie shells because after all, where else am I going to get organic pie shells besides Wegmans? And, no I'm not making my own; that's not one I take for the team.
Weaving our way in and through the aisles is as challenging as driving on I-95 during rush hour. Wegmans really should have traffic lights.
We make it to check out without breaking anything or anyone. Success. The self checkout at Wegmans, however, is a bit sensitive. My children like to call it "stupid", but then again they call everything stupid. We're in that phase of childhood development.
It's actually quite sophisticated and stupid all at the same time. If a child sits on the bagging area, for instance, it gets quite confused. Apparently, it knows the weight of the grocery item one scans and expects that weight to then be placed into a bag on the bagging wheel. So, when Bella plops herself on top of the bagging wheel, it gets a little upset and starts beeping. And then the checkout girl has to come over and shut it up. And, when I use the $5 Wegmans coupon, it gets upset and the check out girl has to come over and shut it up. And, when I try to scan another $1 off Wegman's coupon, it gets upset again, and the check out girl has to come over and shut it up. again.
And, now I'm upset and someone's going to have to come and shut me up pretty darn soon.
But, I keep it together. Well, that's not completely true. After Bella sat on the bagging wheel for the 3rd time, I did turn on her a bit, harshly telling her to not sit on the bagging wheel. ever. like never, Bella. Got it? ah, grace filled parenting at its finest. NOT.
Deep breaths, Bri. Just get the kids to the car.
After finding the car (that took a while because I didn't park where I normally do. Rude for someone to take my spot, don't ya think?), I start to hit the keyless remote to open the car doors. But, the kids are pulling on the door handle at the same time. Our van is a bit sensitive (hmm....seems like I experienced touchy electronics once already today. Isn't there a limit to how much one can endure of this kind of torture? oh, first world problems).
After too many tugs on the door handle and one too many clicks on the keyless to no avail, I lost it on the kids, "STOP TOUCHING THE DOOR"! But, they didn't. So, again I yelled and again, and I'm sure my kids thought my head was going to start spinning.
I was able to stand outside myself at that moment and realize I was so out of control. Guess that's called the Holy Spirit. :) I'm so grateful He faithfully does His job well! At that point I began talking about myself in third person, "Mommy needs help from Jesus right now to be patient..." and then broke out in song pleading with the children through some kind of made up melody that they please not touch the door. "Oh, for the love of my sanity, please don't touch the door", I sang.
I don't think my kids knew what to do. But they didn't touch the door. And, because I am a glutton for punishment, I went from Wegmans to BJ's.