Monday was a rainy day. Sunday had been rainy too. Come to think of it, I recollect that Saturday may have been as well.
But Monday was a reallllly rainy day. It was also Nik's first full day of Scout camp. And it rained, and dried up for about 6 minutes, and then it rained again. Lather, rinse, repeat, all day long. I went for a run that morning, and after 4. 5 miles of oppressive, smouldering humidity, the clouds opened and the rain fell. I thought that since I was so wet from sweat, I'd just as soon keep running and walking. I'd think of it as a shower. Minus the soap, and plus the sweat stinging my eyes. The Hubster was home with four of the other kids, and I took
Criley Riley with me, since no one wanted her at home. I covered her with an umbrella and went on my merry way.
When I got home, The Hubster escaped to work and I decided that, after lunch, we'd go rent some movies. Probabably stop for some goodies, too. After all, Nik is away for the week, and he's pretty much the instigator. Usually his week of summer camp is a calm, peaceful time.
It rained pretty much all afternoon. Finally, at about 4, it stopped and we hustled into the van. Armed with 6 free video rentals, we went to the local movie shack. My big girls were really interested in renting Aquamarine, and we snapped that up straight away. Since The Hubster went into work late, he'd be the late man out, and so I decided to grab a movie for myself. I let the kids pick three movies total, since the forecast for the next couple of days included rain. And more rain. (As an aside, we've gotten over 7 inches this week alone! Ooh! That kind of sounds like a porn flick!)
I was sweetness personified to my children. We gathered our movies and drove over to the grocery. I was determined to continue with the sweetness and light. You want French bread? Sure, put it in the cart. Taquitos? Absolutely. Ice cream bars? Go ahead. I treated myself to a nonfat vanilla latte from the in store Starbucks. Life was gooooooood. They chatted and planned their great movie night with tons of junk.
In the produce section, I grabbed a bag of cherries. My kids ADORE cherries, but they are here for such a limited time, and cost so much - $3.88 per pound - I rarely buy them. This was a good day to ask, so I picked them up and turned to look at some red grapes. I reached my hand out to pick up one of the only two bags available, and another shopper was right there to pull them out of my hand.
Huh? I shot her a look, and she said to me, "Those are two different fruits you have in your hands." She nodded towards the offending hands and added, "You have cherries and grapes." I looked down my nose at her - not hard to do when you are wearing 4 inch wedges! - and came up with the oh, so original, "I know. That's what I wanted." My. I amaze myself with the wit sometimes.
She muttered under her breath and walked away, shaking her head and palming her bag of grapes. My bigger bag of grapes. Whatever, lady. Tossing the smaller bag into the cart, we grabbed the last couple of items and went to check out.
I watched the clerk ring the groceries, informing her that she had overcharged me for peaches. White peaches - 2.99 per pound, regular boring peaches - 1.48 per pound, 3 pounds of regular boring peaches, YOU do the math. She was surly about it and I brushed it off. When I noticed a second error, and then a third, I was surly right back. Riley picked the checkout line as the MOST appropriate place to scream, and so all of this was done to the melody of shrieking.
Finally, I was finished and began to walk away. I looked back and noticed that Mackenzie and Gabriel were still looking at the candy. "Good bye, guys! I'm leaving!" For whatever reason, Allegra decided to go back to them.
"She's trying to STEAL!"
Oh, crap, was that one of mine? Well, in a manner of speaking it was. Allegra was screaming about her sister. Who wasn't trying to steal, as the candy in question was clearly visible on the counter. I turned the cart around just in time to see Mackenzie punch Allegra in the stomach, and Allegra reached around and slapped Mackenzie across the face.
And Riley continued to scream.
I gathered up my children,, holding Allegra and Mackenzie each by their shirt collars. Promising swift, furious punishment, we went to the door.
Where we discovered that the calm, sunny skies had become the torrential rains of a hurricane. It was raining so hard that the drops were horizontal. The wind was whipping to a gale.
And I had my hands full of fighting children, $125 worth of food, and heels on my feet. Not to mention a cup of coffee and a van parked in the back row of the lot. And no umbrella for the kids.
We ran all the way, and upon arrival at the van, I opened the door and tossed in the kids. It was apparent to me that the store had changed to biodegradable plastic bags, as every.single.bag ripped as soon as hefted. I lifted and tossed and finally had an empty cart. I jumped in the van and started it up, and reached down to wring out my shirt. I looked up
And noticed that I had left my cup of coffee in the cart.
When we got home, I ordered them all upstairs to put on their pj's and then return to the table. I doled out the first punishment - no movie that night. Second punishment - handwriting. 100 times for Mackenzie of I will behave in the grocery store and 100 times for Allegra of I will respect my mother and sister. Except that with the eye rolling and the slamming of the notebook, as well as the huff, Allegra was given 200 times.
They were given a plain sandwich dinner to eat while they wrote. No taquitos, no junk. Immediately upon completion, they were sent to bed. It was 7 p.m. All the kids were in bed by 7:15.
It turned out to be a good night for me.