Notes From Mother’s Journal: I Got Your Moments Right Here

#reverb10, Day 29 Defining moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.(Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

I concede +1 – her name is Kathryn.

Part of me, when I read the prompt this morning, actually said, “Well Clara, obviously there is something you are AVOIDING if you are so resistant to talking about your MOMENTS maybe it’s something you should TACKLE – ” and then the other part of me ate the first part. I tasted sour.

This morning, SA went back to work after five days of Christmas-related vacation. Predictably, it was like a Monday times twelve around here. The children woke up full of piss and vinegar. They are sick of the sight of each other. I hadn’t made any plans for today because I am an idiot who forgets how to live her life properly when she gets five days out of routine. I pondered taking the children to a mall to spend the gift cards they got for Christmas, not that we need more stuff in the house, but on the other hand, they would have something new to look at for five minutes while I drank my coffee. Then it started snowing.

While the children fought over whose turn it was to bean the other on the head with the amputee Buzz Lightyear (not the new one, the old one [yes we have two Buzz Lightyears]) AKA Pickle Gun Shooter (so named because of his absent hand and the hole it has left behind, just the right size for toy pickles, I guess) I told the Internet how sad I was and how it wasn’t supposed to be snowing and how I was basically the wussiest fool on the face of the earth. No one responded, which is telling and probably entirely appropriate. I decided we would just go out for a walk. In the snow. Which was dumping from the sky. Children! Snow! Perfect combination!

By the time I got the children up off the couch and into their pants, the snow had stopped. By the time we were in boots and coats (and I skipped a shower, I want you to know, and yes, that is the smell you smell) and ready to go, the ground was already clear of snow and it was drizzling. Because this is the West Coast.

It was 9 am.

I found mittens and hats and grabbed my purse and we went out to play! In the snow! Trombone found a small shovel that he used to dig sand in the summertime and commenced trying to dig slush. All two centimetres of it. It didn’t work. Fresco started crying because HE wanted the useless small shovel so that HE could also fail at shoveling slush.

We walked to the nearby school field, which had more than two centimetres of snow left, and made tracks with our feet and then discovered the snow was very good for packing. I made snowballs and threw them at the children and the children tried to make snowballs and throw them at me but they aren’t very good at it, so I won. They got mad that I won so they started pelting me with snow. I ran away. They got angrier. What, I said, I should just stand here and take it? You want me to stay still and get cold so you can pelt me with giant blobs of snow? NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Chase me.

Then Fresco, who was wearing non-waterproof mittens and who has a perpetual runny nose, which I mention only because he keeps wiping it on my coat, which is navy blue, started to cry that his hands were cold. I felt one hand. It was not cold. We argued about that for a while.

Let’s go to Safeway, I said. Crazy, I know. Crazy. But I woke up this morning craving a bacon mushroom burger and I have bacon but nothing else and even for me a bacon / bacon / bacon is not the same as a bacon mushroom burger. So we needed mushrooms and some kind of meat. And it takes so long to get these children out of the house I can’t do it more than once a day. I just can’t. We were steps from the Safeway so to Safeway we went.

I wedged the children in the plastic-car-attached-to-a-cart thing and that was a tight squeeze, lemme tell you. It was a tight squeeze and then they started shoving each other and pinching each other and I was trying to steer the damn thing and it steers like I’m in a semi truck on a highway covered in black ice. Whoops! The deli! Whoops! The cranky lady with the basket and the high heels!

By the time I got to the checkout, I had almost firmed up a deal with the store manager to store the kids in the dairy case until February.

Because I didn’t feel like chatting, I went through the self-checkout where thankfully that lady who likes to talk to me about the kids hasn’t been seen in months. I began to scan items and place them on the bagging platform.

All went well until Fresco, whose arm was just at the same height as the bagging platform, decided to reach out and grab the grapes. He loves grapes. Fresco touching an item on the bagging platform made the computer freak out and think I was trying to steal something so it refused to let me check out my other fifteen items, telling me I needed a cashier. The nice cashier at the front saw my issues and reset the computer for me and then Fresco grabbed for the grapes again and I said, STOP DOING THAT and everyone nearby gave me the Bad Mom Stinkeye and then Trombone decided to nuzzle Fresco’s neck or something and Fresco squealed his unique squeal and I decided to ignore them and just weigh the bag of onions, my last item, and the net bag broke and onions went everywhere.

Oh that’s just fantastic, I said.

What’s fantastic, said the kids. Hey is that pickles. Are we getting pickles. I like grapes. Can I have some grapes —

The lovely cashier brought me a plastic bag to collect my onions into and then said to the woman behind me, who was riding up my butt with her shopping cart, Ma’am there’s a free till right in front of this lady, you don’t have to wait. So I turn around and the woman kind of heaves a sigh at me, so I check, but she has lots of room to get around me with her cart, and she says, I don’t want to rush you.

Luckily I am Canadian and female so I said, no, that’s okay! No problem!

And then, she went to the till in front of me and checked out her stuff and I thought, wait, what? If you didn’t want to rush me then why are you cramming your cart up my butt when there’s lots of room to get around me and AND there are two free self-check stations open? I think you DO want to rush me, madam.

I wheeled the children back to where I had found the cart and then let them sit there for a minute while I collected myself and my groceries. And then they asked me for grapes and I said no because I wanted to take them home and wash them, the grapes, first, and then the children cried so I hauled them out of the store and dragged them down the street, home. Where I had a playdate invitation and a couple of really nice emails.

All those moments led to this 1,291 word blog post.

In conclusion, this is what I look like painted as a cat.

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