I should have known that after Lilah puked in the pool (hopefully from downing too much water) during swim school this morning that it probably would have been wise to just go home afterwards, but no, I had errands to run, so off to Target with my four in tow.
We pull in to the parking lot and Mairead sees the big cart with the extra seats. I put Lilah in, and Clara next. Then, Mairead melts down screaming that she wanted in, too. I had no warning of this full blown fit, so I couldn't do damage control. Here I am, in the middle of the Target parking lot, with an almost 11 week old strapped to my chest, a 5 year old flailing trying to push her 21 month old sister OUT of the seat so she can get in, and a 3.5 year old trying to remain in the cart, too. I pull Mairead out, which makes her even more feisty. We enter Target with a kicking, screaming, crying 5 year old. Yeah. Fun.
I attempt to speak to her, but it doesn't help. I see people staring at me - as if I was doing something to my kid. Did they feel bad for me? Wonder why I have so many children? I quickly remember the sign I have in our kitchen:
I took a deep breath, and took Mairead by the hand. She continued to cry. People continued to stare, snicker. I just looked at them, calmly, smiled and carried on. I stop by the athletic wear department, and Mairead is still carrying on, then an angel, oops, I mean a Target employee comes by and says:
"You know, you should be nice to your mommy. If you can't behave in the store, I'll have to ask you to leave the store, is that what you want?" (In a very nice, life-saving tone, actually)
Mairead looked at the man and shook her head intently, No. She immediately stopped crying and tried to compose herself.
Then, Lilah and Clara decided that if Mairead wasn't behaving, they didn't have to either. Lilah was in the cart and out of the cart....in......out.......in......out......I kept repeating myself. "Get IN THE CART" and Clara would stand on the little seat, sit down, stand, sit down. I'd buckle her in, she'd get out of the buckle. I swear, I wanted to just crawl inside a hole and not come out.
Then, Clara pushes Lilah out of the cart. Sweet! Another crying kid. I buckle Clara in even tighter...she starts to scream with frustration because she can't escape. But wait! Give her a minute and our little Houdini is now unbuckled. All I needed to do was to pinch Callum to make him cry and I would have successfully had all four children cry (not simultaneously, thank GOD) in Target.
Finally, we survived check-out, without any major meltdowns, and made our way to the car. I told the girls how disappointed I was in their behavior and for punishment they had to:
*make their toy room spotless - which is always like pulling teeth.
*clean our kitchen floors with a rag - unfortunately, they thought this was the COOLEST idea ever, and asked if they could do this instead of time out in the future.
*they didn't get to choose what they wanted for lunch - because if they act like babies, then, they aren't old enough to tell me what they want for lunch.
*lilah was made to nap and Mairead had to rest in her bed without toys and no lights for a while.
Not sure what else I could do - not much I can take away on a rainy day that won't let me keep my sanity, too!