My kids are well-behaved. They listen, and they follow the rules. They are are really, really sweet. Most of the time. Last night at the mall, they cried. A lot.
Katie cried because I returned the coat we bought for my husband’s birthday since it didn’t fit.
Maddie cried because I told her to stop touching everything in the store.
Katie cried because she knocked a mannequin’s arm loose.
Maddie cried because I was walking too fast.
Katie cried because she wanted to wear the dress I bought for Maddie.
Katie cried because she took her own diaper off in the fitting room.
Katie cried because the cashier needed to hold the Minnie Mouse dress in order to scan it.
Maddie cried because Katie was sitting in the shopping cart.
Katie cried because I let Maddie sit in the shopping cart.
Katie cried because I wouldn’t let her play with the ceramic piggy banks on display.
Maddie cried because she wanted to sit on the white bench.
Katie cried because I helped her put on her coat that she can’t put on by herself anyway.
Katie cried because the cashier put the Minnie Mouse dress in the bag.
They were those kids and I was that mom. You know the ones. Those kids you hope will leave the store soon. Those kids that are loud and annoying and ruining your shopping experience. That mom that you used to silently judge before you became a mom yourself. That mom with the harsh voice and the fake smile. That mom who looks tired and cranky. That mom with those bratty kids who won’t stop crying. That mom. Those kids. That was us.
We got home just in time for bed. There were more tears because Katie got to use the pink plate, while Maddie had to use the dumb purple plate. There were bedtime stories and kisses and I love yous and good nights.
I made a late-night phone call to my sister, and she reminded me that I’m not that mom and they are not those kids. We had a good laugh, and I felt better.
I woke up this morning, feeling like the mom I want to be, the mom I know I am. Then I woke up those kids.
Those sweet, giggly, loving, adorable kids.
I’m that mom with those kids.