Per our tradition, I was seated at the counter flanked by the boys as we ate our final lunch of summer break. I don’t know why, but lunch at the counter seems more summery than table eating.
T.Puzzle (looking rather forlorn): “Why does school have to start again?”
Me: “The first day of school is that bad, huh?”
T.Puzzle: “It’s so bad we should call it The Day That Cannot be Named. The other day I hate is Valentine’s Day. It’s all love and bleh. I don’t understand why there has to be a whole day about love. It makes no sense.”
Full Speed (courtesy of a joke book): “If you’re born in November, that means your parents had a pretty cool Valentine’s Day.”
I laughed so hard I almost spit out my food. This made Full Speed laugh which only made me laugh harder. T.Puzzle remained unmoved, I mean, it was the day before The Day That Cannot Be Named after all.
I know I have a weird denial about my boys growing bigger. Part of it is for the obvious ‘don’t-want-them-to-grow-up-too-fast’, the other part is I sincerely dislike taking them clothes shopping. Since we were at the pool this past week and my boys were in their very small, very short swim trunks, my denial of taking them shopping was starting to crumble. As I looked around, I realized that they were in the minority. And, come to think of it, they were about the only ones at basketball camp that didn’t have the standard, down-to-the-knee basketball shorts. I mean at one point the shorts they wore did fall to their knees, but no longer. Darn. Time to go shopping.
I wanted to make this outing as quick and painless as possible. Once we were at Target, I grabbed a bunch of clothes in various sizes and we headed to the dressing rooms. Something about the dressing rooms, maybe the small space, the awkward corners and unstable walls, makes my boys go crazy. I think it’s what I refer to as their ‘pretend sense of control’. Mad Dog has this. When he is asked to do something he doesn’t want to do, he then tries to push my buttons about a series of unrelated topics. Eventually, he does what is asked, but it certainly comes at a cost to my own mental sanity. I believe this is what the boys were doing. They started to act crazy to let me know that they were NOT happy to be trying on all these clothes.
However, instead of me completely losing it, I actually kind of found it funny. Not entirely so, but a little. I laughed when Full Speed tried on the way-too-big pair of shorts, and when he said he needed a ‘schmedium’ (a size between a small and medium). When T.Puzzle begin to army crawl between the stalls, thankfully, we were the only ones there, I didn’t yell or tell him he had to stop. I let him army crawl away. I figured at least he wasn’t complaining and it gave me time to sort through the remaining sizes and clothes.
Then it hit me. I need to stop having these impossible expectations about shopping with my boys. They are going to be crazy. They are going to hate it. And, maybe, if I stop being so serious about it, we can laugh a little and maybe leave the store with a little bit of dignity intact…. or not…..