I realized last night that I would have some free time after I dropped off several kids at rehearsal, so I made plans to head to WM to pick up the last of the supplies for Halloween. Em ended up not going to rehearsal because her throat was hurting a little, which should have canceled the trip, but since we were running low on Motrin and we were out of lemonade, I decided I'd better head on anyway. The remaining 3 kids were excited, as always, about going to the store, though J was particularly hyper and tired, which should have canceled the trip, but I figured he'd chill out once we got out of the confinement of the car. I pulled into a perfect parking spot - in the middle, right next to a cart return - and started getting the kids out of the car. The older 2 were waiting next to the car (hands touching the door per the rules) while I started unfastening SPY from his seat. I was working on the second buckle when Em grabbed J's hat and put it on. He started to chase her into the parking lot and I grabbed both of them by the shoulders. J melted into the kind of tantrum that FINALLY canceled the trip. I announced that there was nothing I needed tonight badly enough to deal with this crap (I didn't use the word crap, probably) and we were going home. All 3 kids started begging and making promises they didn't intend to keep. Well, they probably intended to keep them, but it was obvious to the trained eye that there was no way in blue Hades that they could have actually lasted more than 2 minutes (about the point when we walk past the crane games in the front of the store) before they lost it again and worse. Tantrums in the parking lot are great fun, but nothing is better than a full-blown overtired tantrum during rush hour in the middle of the entrance to one of 2 grocery stores in a town where everybody knows your name. So, I chucked them in the car, fastened their seatbelts myself, got in the driver's seat and locked the doors. I sat there ignoring the wailing and pleading for a good 5 minutes until they settled down and I was sure they weren't going to jettison themselves from the van. By the time we pulled out of the parking lot, they were relatively calm again.
Except that there was something that I needed - the lemonade for Em's sore throat. So, as I drove through town debating the problem, McD's came into view. Woohoo, I was saved!! I could drive through and get lemonade without leaving the van!!
Now, obviously by this point I was delusional and not in my right mind. Just driving by a McD's without stopping would have generated more gnashing of teeth, but to actually get into the drivethrough line and wait to order something that was NOT a Happy Meal... Yep, it set J off into one of the most energetic, voluminous, imaginative tantrums he's ever thrown. Thrown is an appropriate description too. He wailed, he flung his body around in his booster seat, tears flowed. Out of habit, I rolled down the window as I came around the curve to the order speaker, but there was another minivan already there. I quickly rolled up the window, but we still heard her ordering her Happy Meals (2 boys and a girl). I could tell that she heard the commotion, because she paused and looked back for a second mid-order. She finished and pulled forward and I was forced to roll down the window to place my order for a single large lemonade. J hit the peak of his fit as I pulled forward when he realized I really wasn't ordering any Happy Meals. I met her glance in her side mirror and just smiled and she smiled knowingly back. Now, I've been the other mom before, so I know what she was thinking. Her kids probably got extra hugs last night thanks to J. J did too.
SPY is in his own kind of trouble today. SE decided to take his guitar to school with him today. It's been sitting in the living room on its stand for months. As he picked it up, it made a strange rattling noise. Not a little rattling noise. He emptied it out onto the floor.
The pile contained:
about 5 Q-tips
2 rocks - one small, one I'm not sure how SPY got it in past the strings
about 25 Cheerios
8 crayons (a whole pack)
a comb - the kind with the long tail
a 5x7 piece of notebook paper
2 animal crackers
and a proof of insurance card.
ETA after I finished picking junk up off the floor:
An Article of Faith pass along card
a scrap of orange construction paper
a used band-aid
and the tie end of a popped balloon.
I'm kind of surprised that it rattled at all when he shook it.