Holiday shopping always brings back memories. Some good, some bad. Waiting in long lines after aimlessly wandering around the store for hours trying to find just the right present for everyone on your list. Counting pennies from a budget you may not have. And frustration towards the shoppers that leave their carts in the middle of the aisle. This doesn’t scream, holiday cheer.
Faced with situations like this, I tend to people watch. During the Christmas season when the stores are filled with insane shoppers, you don’t always see parents bringing their children with them. Right? I mean, we’re shopping for them – so why bring them?
On this day, I was witnessing a mom who had no other choice but to bring her children to the store with her. A pair of blond-haired cuties. The boy looked older than the girl, not by much though. I’d have to say they were between 6 to 8 years old. The boy had a solid inch in height on his sister so possibly the older of the two.
They seemed well-behaved and dutifully walked behind their mom as she pushed the cart. Boredom overcame and as the mom stopped to look at some cloths, the boy, looking straight ahead, as if doing nothing wrong, lightly nudged his sister with his elbow. She pretended to ignore, thus causing the brother to nudge her again. Somewhat harder this time but nothing major.
Eyes burning, the sister whipped around and gave him the “You’re pissing me off” face. Having an older brother myself, I know the look when I see it. The mom paused in her price checking, because we all know, mom’s certainly command a sixth sense, the eyes in the back of their head type of thing.
The brother, of course, had to take it one step further, now that he’d been silently challenged by his sister. She was clever. I could tell by the way she planted her feet, she knew what she was doing. Sure enough, he’d fallen for the bait and pushed her shoulder at which point, Mom started to turn.
I was now invested, I couldn’t tear my eyes away even if I’d wanted to. In an exaggerated and dramatic fall to the floor, the sister started to wail. And the laugh escaped before I could stop myself. This girl was good. I mean the tears started instantly. She’d fallen on her butt, yet, she grabbed her knee as if in great pain.
I wished I’d had a recliner, popcorn and a cup of hot chocolate at this point in the show. She was selling it and by the look in her brother’s eyes, it wasn’t the first time. Jumping back, his hands up in the air, “I didn’t do it.”
I was no longer the only one watching and Mom could tell. Without a word, she bent and swiftly grabbed her daughters arm, bringing her to her feet. Giving the girl a quick once over, Mom turned to her son. Still, not a word from this woman.
A single finger point to her daughter, who I had to admit, stayed in character, had her limping to the front of the cart. The next finger pointed was at her son. That one indicated a spot directly in front of her. Hanging his head, knowing he was screwed, he slowly shuffled forward. Again, Mom had to say nothing. The eyes and finger were the only tools necessary for the two children to know exactly what she wanted.
With both kids corralled, Mom in a hushed tone, said something only they could hear. Shooting their mom the “pleading eyes” look in which they received a chilly stare down. Shoulders slumping in defeat, they reached into the cart and each pulled out a single item. They placed them on a clothing shelf closest to them and with a spiteful “I hate you” glare shot between brother and sister, they all moved on.
Being a mom myself, I would often bribe my son with a single item he would choose himself. If he behaved while shopping, he would get the item. I assumed this could possibly be the same.
You may be asking yourselves, “Why is she writing about this?” Well, three reasons. One – it was funny as all hell! Two – if you have a sibling or you are a parent raising siblings, you’ve been here. Three – It made me think about and miss my mom. These two kids were a mirror image of what my older brother and I had been like. And the reaction from the mom was spot on.
In my defense, as I know my brother will read this. The only time I faked injury was to get back at you for the times you’d convinced me NOT to tell Mom when you did something mean.
For example, telling me that a wooly bear caterpillar was a Tootsie roll and I should take a bite. Or, possibly the time you made me grab the electric fence, which knocked me on my ass. Wait, no. I can’t use that one as Mom heard the loud “oomph” grunt sound that travelled all the way to the house.
I think my brother will agree. We’d give anything to see Mom again. Even if that meant travelling back in time and facing the “Wrath of Mom”.
Happy Holiday’s Everyone!