Kelly: Lost in Bed, Bath and Beyond
Well, put me in the Worst Mama Ever category: Yesterday, I lost my children in Bed, Bath and Beyond. We were shopping for sheets, reveling in the feel of the new “Beech” sateen that feels like silk but washes up like easy-care cotton. We had just finished singing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer along with Muzak, even holding hands while we were singing, and then POOF! The next thing I knew, they had disappeared. I tried to remain calm, quietly calling for them as I knew they had to be just one or two aisles over playing hide-and-go-seek from me. But when I couldn’t find them anywhere in the linens section, I started calling their names a little more forcefully while quickly looking up and down the aisles.
An excruciating moment later, I heard “Kelly, please come to Customer Service. Your children are waiting for you.” over the PA system. Linens was in the back of the store; Customer Service was in the front of the store. How the heck did they get all the way up there? Along with the flood of relief came the red-faced pang of embarrassment. I was certain every woman around me was saying to herself, “What kind of mother would loose her children in Bed, Bath and Beyond?” When I saw them, I could tell that Livvie was on the verge of a tearful breakdown while Sarah had that “Oops, I think I’m about to get in trouble again” look on her face.
That’s the thing with twins. I’m sure those of you who have children fairly close in age may experience this as well, but let me tell ya, there’s something different about that twin bond that will allow one to lead the other over a cliff in a heartbeat. My instigator, as you may have already guessed, is most definitely Sarah. Sometimes she’s so darned sneaky that, even though I may be incredibly ticked off at her in the moment, I’m secretly impressed at her thought process. She thought she could sneak away, drag her willing sister with her, have a little adventure in the store, and then casually wait up front like a little angel waiting for the first snow of Christmas. Case in point, dinner last night. I was trying to get her to eat just two little bites of peas and corn, just two little bites! She put the first one in her mouth, sloshed it around in there for a millennium, and then put the second bite in there before swallowing the first. We have these little battles often. Put food in mouth. Chew food incessantly. Put that “I’m gonna gag” face on. And then either finally swallow it or spit it out. Since I only asked her to eat two bites, I figured that was not too much to swallow, so I told her she didn’t have to eat anymore but she could not get up from the table until she swallowed what was in her mouth. I know, Worst Mama Ever again for trying to get my children to eat just a little bite of something other than PB&J or grilled cheese. A moment later she said, “Done, Mommy!” and opened her empty mouth to show me. I gave her a hearty congratulations on her success and asked her to bring her plate and cup to the sink. She dropped the plate in the sink, dumped the milk cup in the sink, and with a big smile on her face, quickly headed to the pantry to get a cookie for dessert. It was then that I looked in the sink and immediately realized she had not swallowed squat. She had simply spit it into her milk cup! So yep, there I was outwardly angry that she had lied to me, but secretly darn impressed that she thought of that! I told her that I did not appreciate her lying to me and sent her off to an early bed. Livvie, of course, reveled in the whole situation because she quickly realized she now had Mama and Daddy to herself for the rest of the night.
So back to our little adventure yesterday morning….we had planned to go to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, their reward for being good little angels while we were out running errands, but the disappearing act nixed that, and it was straight home for, what else, a cold PB&J before an early nap. I managed to keep my calm through a very quiet lunch and then put them down for a nap, in separate rooms, telling them both how much they scared me when I couldn’t find them in the store. I hope I put the fear of God in them, for I’m not sure my heart can take that again anytime soon.
We have two weeks at home together over these Christmas holidays. I’ve often wondered how stay-at-moms do it. Yeah, I definitely have quite the juggling act working full-time at the college, managing my jewelry business part-time, and raising twin five-year-olds, but on our first day home together I lost them in a major department store! I think we’ll stay home the rest of the Christmas break and just make lots of art. Maybe I’ll put chains on all the exterior doors while I’m at it…you know, just to be sure.