It’s that day of the year when Hallmark insists you send your mother a card. And celephone companies (clever, non?) insist you call her. And the pressure is on the other members of the household to produce cards and attempt breakfasts or lunches or dinners.
And the funny thing is, if you survey those who have children about what they’d like on this particular made-up day, they inevitably reply something along the lines of: ‘time by myself’. Or maybe that’s just the segment of population I surveyed.
I spent a few minutes thinking about what I’d like for Mother’s Day this weekend.
Absent a spontaneous trip to Paris or a spectacular insta-garden, all I could really come up with was: time to clean the house. Like really clean the house….with no kids around to undo the work as I’m doing it. ‘How many hours do you need for that,’ the professor asked me when I told him. ‘Twelve’ I replied. ‘How about two,’ he offered.
‘You want to spend Mother’s Day cleaning the house,’ a fellow soccer-mom asked me – incredulously – when I told her. It sounded lame coming from her. Yet it had seemed downright enjoyable in my mind.
But, since the professor is on deadline this week and twelve whole hours were not available to me, I settled for a lunch of salami sandwiches. And taking all three boys to Costco and the Superstore. By myself.
‘Name three things you like about mommy,’ the professor valiantly attempted to facilitate a lunch discussion in my honor. ‘She makes good food,’ my oldest replied. ‘She’s funny,’ and ‘she reads to me,’ he offered.
The Hen was less forthcoming or didn’t understand the question; he named the members of our family instead. Finally Jason started asking ‘leading’ questions. ‘Is mommy kind to you?’ ‘Yes,’ he nodded. ‘Is she funny?’ ‘Yes,’ he agreed. ‘Is mommy yucky?’ I interjected, because I was pretty sure he had no clue what we were talking about.
After Mr. Johnson gifted me with several framed pictures I’d taken of the lovelies, he retired to his makeshift home office: the living room floor. With one laptop on the coffee table and one laptop on the ottoman; his eyes darting back and forth between the screens.
Which is why I ended up at the grocery stores with the boys. It was going swimmingly until we got to the Superstore. Unbeknownst to me, the babe had had a bit of a diaper explosion and was understandably fussy. The blondies were just plain crazy.
Chasing one another around the store. Wrestling on the unclean floor. ‘Mom, he tried to pull my pants down,’ my oldest yelled. Loudly. While I tried to mutter something firm but calm (under my breath in an effort to deflect the stares of passersby). The Gort chased the Hen through the dairy section and I do believe the Hen – with his flailing arms – may have accidentally struck a young gentleman in an unfortunate spot. Or at least come very close to hitting a young gentleman in an unfortunate spot.
Luckily said gentleman was young enough to remember that he’d once ran through grocery stores too, and just shook his head, smiling, at the crazies. And my mortified face.
I’d never experienced such chaos before. I kept yelling ‘boys’ in vain. I threatened. I cajoled. I ordered them to hold on to the cart on opposite sides. Nothing worked.
We left the store and I loaded everyone and everything in the car-van. ‘I’m not taking you guys to the grocery store again!’ I vowed. It was quiet for a moment. And then, ‘from now on,’ the Gort retaliated, ‘we’re just going to go to the grocery store with daddy! And not you.’
I’m sure Mr. Johnson senior would love that.
‘When we get home,’ I informed them, ‘you both need to go upstairs to your rooms for a time-out….do you know why you’re having a time-out?’ I asked. Checking to see if they were aware of their transgressions.
‘Well that was an impressive lesson’, I muttered aloud.
When we got home, the boys walked inside.
‘Mom’s giving both of us a time-out, even though just one of us did something wrong,’ the Gort complained, ‘that’s just odd!’