I was at the grocery store tonight on our way home after picking up both kids. No, I will never learn not to take my kids to the grocery store when it's dinnertime. Apparently I enjoy making the same mistakes repeatedly.
This time I decided it would be different. I would hurry in, buy just a few essentials to carry us through the week (meat, milk, produce) and be out before the kids lost their cool. And this time it worked!
I pushed my cart into line and grabbed my wallet to find my debit card, and next thing I know Luca is about 3/4 of an inch from some man's cart, staring longingly at his ice cream. "Luca," I said calmly, "Could you please come back closer to me so that man has some space?"
Smiling, he turned to me and said, "Oh, it's ok. I have 4 at home. She's not bugging me."
Such a kind gesture, and one he regretted about 7 seconds later when my kids simultaneously started to wiggled their butts and sing -LOUDLY - "Shake your bootie! Shake your bootie!"
Mortified, I figured I'd nip it in the bud quickly and bent to their level to tell them they needed to stop. And stop one would, while the other would defiantly continue to sing. The quiet one would inevitably lose it and start giggling, thus encouraging the singer to sing LOUDER and agitating me enough that I would again stoop down to reprimand both offenders.
And...repeat scene. I swear I contemplated just laughing it off at one point, until I caught the judging eye of the mom behind me in line as her toddler daughter was paying close attention to the spectacle. I wanted to be annoyed with her, but at one poitnt I WAS her, smug and sure I'd never be the one with kids causing a borderline-inappropriate commotion in a public place. Still, her condemning glare was enough to make the heat rise into my face and suddenly I could feel sweat trickling down my back and I was starting to panic. But kids smell fear, you know, so the more anxious for them to behave I became the more obnoxious and defiant they became.
Finally, after the 4th or 5th round of "SHAKE YOUR BOOTIE! SHAKE YOUR BOOTIE! ::giggle:: SHAKE YOUR BOOTIE!" accompanied by actual bootie shakes aimed in the general directions of the (now wishing he hadn't been so) nice man in front of me and the (unwarranted) judger behind me, I crouched down and pulled both kids to me. I was thisclose to lowing my damn cool, but I knew it would do no good, so instead I tickled both kids to get them giggling, then quietly begged the crap out of them, asking for good behavior just long enough to get out of the store without someone throwing a head of lettuce at us or calling CPS for my subpar parenting.
It worked. Well, the begging + the promise of peanut butter cookies at home did anyhow. I'll take it.
The sourpuss behind us was still giving me judgy-face as we left, so I made sure to give a nasty look back to her. And a look of sympathy to her husband.