Feb 9, 2011

Thoughts on Robbing a Bank, Among Other Things

I don't know whether to be irritated or amused that Nate, at 2 1/2, walks around all day indiscriminately muttering "what the heck?" He certainly didn't learn it from me. Heck is not my pseudo-swear word of choice, that's for sure. I'm firmly in the what the crap camp. And if they haven't figured that out yet, I have failed as a mother.

One of my favorite moments from This American Life, was a mother describing how she was so mad at her children's bad behavior at the park one day, that she spent the entire walk home flipping them off behind their backs. I was thinking about that just today when Sam and Nate pulled out all the stops at the craft store. The highlight was when they took the shopping cart for a joy ride right into a ladder, knocking the cart over and sending Nate and all of our stuff flying. This was after I found them in a garden display, with Sam sitting on a decorative metal bike and Nate reclining in a lounge chair while petting a ceramic cat. For the rest of the time, Nate ran through the store squealing with seemingly profound glee, while Sam grabbed anything he could and played 100 questions with each item (What's this mom? Is it on sale? Do you have a coupon for it? Is it just for moms? ). The thread aisle was a disaster, figuratively, and also literally, by the time we were done. When we got to the checkout counter, they picked up every kind of candy on display (conveniently located right at their level), and begged can I have this pleeeeeeease? After tiring of that game, they literally ran around and around in circles. I'm positive that every person in that store had taken a vow of celibacy by the time we left, including me.

The bank is another favorite place of theirs, and thanks to drive-up tellers, we almost never go inside. But when we do, those kids can go from perfect calm to complete chaos in 6 seconds flat. I know this because we recently had one of those rare inside-the-bank visits, and I timed it.

I've often thought that if I were to rob a bank, I would definitely take my kids. Not only would they be too busy not paying attention to me to even notice, they would also be the perfect distraction. All I would have to do is kneel down and look them eye right before walking in, and say, "I need you to be on your very best behavior, OK?" They would nod with their big bambi eyes, and then immediately cause such a scene of pandemonium that no one would notice the frumpy mom slipping into the vault/holding up the teller. Except for the security cameras, it's fool-proof.

For the longest time, my kids thought that being a burglar or a bank robber was absolutely the worst kind of evil there was. They couldn't imagine anything worse than just taking something that didn't belong to you-- a testament of their complete abhorrence to sharing. So, when we go into the bank or the craft store and I bribe them plead with them to please, please be good, and then we end up being some one's form of birth control for the day, it makes sense when they indignantly protest, "But we were being good!" After all, according to them, robbing a bank is about as bad as you can get. And they certainly weren't doing that. Just hopping in display windows and taking shopping carts on kamikaze rides. Good, clean, harmless, chaos.


Courtney @ Ordinary Happily Ever After said...

Oh yes, those shopping trips sound familiar. Lucy and Jack are good, it's my middle two that give me grief. Spencer likes to hide in the clothes or "hewp you check da eggs" and the like. While Emma likes laying down in the bottom rack of the cart and getting her feet and hands squished under the wheels.

That's the nice thing about shopping with all of the kids. We take two carts, Lucy pushes the one with stuff and I push the one with kids until the stuff one gets too heavy for her and we switch.

Then Spencer likes to cry and say things like "But MOOOOM, I want to BE wif you! I don't WIKE Wucy!"

Anonymous said...

You are so awesome for taking your kids to the craft store. That takes some serious courage.

Laura Arual said...

Your blog, which I came across when I hit "next blog" is hilarious! I love how you write about your family's foibles and adventures (loved the craftstore post!) with such genuine humour. I don't have kids, but as a teacher you'd be the kind of mom I'd love having interviews with, and I'd be honoured to have your kids in my class.

Logan St Journal said...

We should look into the joint venture of bank robbing between your kids and mine we could create some serous havoc.

Anonymous said...

Love this post Donna, you are such a good writer...and write the description of exactly what each of us go through when taking kiddos...well, anywhere!