Tomorrow night is date night for The Papa and I. We are going to a swanky YELP event, as The Papa is an "elite" Yelper. After reading the invitation to the event and realizing just how swanky the place we were going is, I looked into my closet and was terrified. Granted, I had to buy not one, but TWO new dresses just last year for the little brother's wedding. In my defense, it was a summer wedding and this is March and it snowed here just yesterday for crying out loud. Neither of those summer dresses would work. So, after work, I grabbed the kid from school and headed for the local mall. With promises of a McDonald's dinner and play time in the play area, we struck a deal for good behavior while I looked for a dress.
He was an A N G E L, ANGEL, in Macy's. Unfortunately, Mr. Macy thinks that the only dresses people in my size wear should either be boldly floral or a business suit. Off to the next store, only to discover Mr. JC Penney thinks that women in my size look good in polka dots. By this time, I had to say "Get over here, NOW!" several times. I told myself he was hungry and that food would make it better. We headed to the food court and he hoovered up the happy meal. Ahh. We left the food court with much less trauma and headed for the play area. After a good 30 minutes of releasing the massive amount of energy that had been trapped in his little three year old body for over two hours, we headed off to the third, and final store. I had never been in this store, but had walked by it many times and told myself that it was for people MUCH younger than me. (When will I ever learn about judging things I know nothing about?)
I should have known we were in trouble when he ran through the hanging clothes and screamed, "Look Mama! It's a CAR WASH!" at the top of his lungs. I was about to bolt for the car, when there it was. The perfect little black dress. On the clearance rack! I managed to grab his hand and drag him to the dressing room. When I started taking my clothes off, he asked, "Do you have to go potty? There's no potty in here, Mama." That was good for a chuckle or two from the neighboring dressing rooms. They would need to remember just how funny and cute he was just minutes later, as I dragged him back by his feet from crawling under the wall between the rooms.
The dress fit! It was purchased and we headed to the register. I had the clerk in sight and was almost free and clear before he took the sunglasses off of a display and spun the whole thing Ala Pat Sajack. Things flew. Bangles, bobbles and glasses were everywhere. By the time I had them cleaned up and gotten a hold of his hand again, there was a line of three people in front of us. I always knew living with a beagle would prepare me for motherhood. We got in the line and I barked, "SIT!!!" repeatedly until he sat on the floor next to me. Every time he moved, I would just scream, "SIT!!!" again. He managed to rip three leather strips off the tassel of my purse by the time it was our turn.
He cried all the way though the mall, through Macy's and the parking lot to the car. He knew I was mad, and I think he was a little scared at just how mad I was. I can tell you, I was feeling more exhausted than angry, but what he didn't know only hurt him a little and helped me make it to the car. We had a long talk in the car about behavior and respecting other people's needs. I'm sure most of it went over his head, but his emotional response was appropriate. The night was not a total loss though, for I had a little black dress and yet another motherhood merit badge to put on my apron. I am blessed.