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How We've Become "That" Family

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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

How We've Become "That" Family

Kristen over at Motherhood Uncensored posted a funny and honest column on how they've become "that" family----you know, the one that gets the glances, the frowns, the whispers. She asked for people to comment on how they've become "that" family.

I've decided to tell a story here:

It was early 2005, one weekend afternoon. I decided that the girls needed dress shoes for Easter. Fairly Odd Father also needed to go to the store, so we decided to take the entire family (that would include a newborn son, a two-year old daughter and a four-year old daughter).

We went to a local mall which is a little crappy, but has a good, cheap shoe store inside; perfect for those dressy Easter shoes they wear once. Once inside the store, though, I knew we had made a mistake.

A mistake because it was too late in the day, too close to dinner. The selection at the store was poor, probably because everyone else had done their Easter-shoe shopping weeks earlier.

Our oldest daughter was looking at shoes, not really understanding that just because a shoe is in the rack doesn't mean that shoe is in her size. She pulled down a pair of tiny, glittery heels and announced, "I want these".

"I'm sorry, honey, those aren't your size. They only have these", (point to a few lame shoes, none meeting her expectations).

"I want THESE". Her face got set into that look that made Fairly Odd Father and I glance at each other with an "Oh Shit" message in our eyes.

We started to strap our 2-year-old daughter back into the stroller, and gather the winter coats and shoes that were strewn across the floor. Our son was sleeping peacefully in a separate stroller.

For a few minutes there was much negotiation. With that going nowhere fast, Fairly Odd Father scooped up our now-crying daughter and brought her to one of the benches outside of the store to try to calm her down.

I was left with two strollers which I somehow got out of the store. Seeing and hearing that my husband was getting nowhere with our oldest, I decided to try to steer the two strollers toward the exit.

By now, her screams were echoing off the walls of the mall. When I say she was having a full-blown fit, I mean to say that this was a FULL-BLOWN FIT.

I turned a corner by the exit and waited for the screams to get closer. FOF had daughter slung over his shoulder as he tried to keep from getting kicked in the face.

I noticed a security guard walking next to him.

At the exit, FOF quickly laid our daughter's coat on the floor and plopped her on top of it. Somehow, he was able to get her into her coat. At this point, I saw the security guard squat down next to us and look from FOF's face, to mine, to our daughter's, to the other two kids in the stroller.

I figured he was waiting to see if we'd lose our temper and start slugging her. However, FOF realized that the security guard was actually trying to figure out if we were together, or if FOF was actually stealing some child from the mall. I almost laughed, because, if there was one child to steal from the mall, this was most certainly NOT the one anyone would want.

Fortunately, in this case, our kids are all little "mini-me's" of FOF and I. Security let us go without comment. I'm sure we had quite a few people watching us at this point.

The cold air hit our daughter's face like a slap. She quieted down almost immediately and was chatting calmly by the time we drove out of the parking lot.

FOF and I, on the other hand, were wrecks. Nothing like a simple family outing to age you 10 years.



Blogger Robin said...

What is it about shoe stores...

I was definitely "that mom" last spring. Unfortunately, my dd has very strong shoe preferences. In other words, if she hasn't personally selected it, she simply won't wear it. I won't hijack your comments with the entire story, but it involved a very tall step ladder and the need to "get Daisy's present from the top of the very high tree" (yes, we watch a bit too much Dora). Any attempt by me or heaven forbid the store employees to get her off the 6-foot ladder - aye carumba...

I live in fear of seasonal shoe shopping. It's not usually quite that bad, but it's never good.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Corey said...

Just yesterday I took the two kids, right before lunch, to a cheap, chain shoe store to purchase a pair of ballet slippers for my 2 year old daughter. I have never shopped there before since I am a shoe snob so I didn't know the "rules". The one woman working there walked by us a bunch of times, without a smile, without speaking one word to us despite me chattering on loudly to the kids about not seeing the right size, etc. I finally spotted the right size on a shelf above and, since there was a bench right there, I was able to hop up and grab it. The woman quickly came over reprimand me for touching things on the upper shelves.

Also note, that while I was looking for a better size, one of the kids grabbed a pair of slippers behind me sending a pole to reach things on high shelves falling and almost smashed into my head.

Once we had the right size, I went to pay. My daughter promptly climbed onto a spinning jewelry display despite my reprimands against this behavior. Again, I was reprimanded by the clerk to stop my daughter from climbing on the shiny, sparkley display located right near checkout.

I think a harness/leash would have been the only way to stop her behavior and I'm not buying one.

Sorry for the rant...

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were THAT family just two days ago... and at the mall no less! I swear, that place turns kids evil! But my almost 4 year old (and WAY too old to act like THIS) daughter was sreaming at the top of her lungs and running away from me to the opposite side of the mall. I was trying to "quietly" scream for her to come back while pushing our huge double stroller while she got further and further away from me. she finally came back, still screaming, when I threatened to leave without her and turned to walk out. She finally got close enough for me to swipe her shirt sleeve and I literally dragged her to our car with her kicking and trying to hit me the whole time. Oh yeah, and did I mention she was pinching my arm too? Yes, it was lovely. I was THAT mom and she was over the top THAT child!


10:45 AM  
Blogger jayna said...

Just found your blog and loved this post. Very entertaining. I think everyone becomes THAT family at some point :-)

Thanks for the good reading here!

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Pinks & Blues said...

Holy crap!
That sounded awful.
We have definitely had those moments of "that" family. It sucks because I once remember saying before kids "I will never allow my kids to..." and of course that all gets chucked out the window ince you actually HAVE kids! It's funny.
LOL! And thanks for the great story!
- Audrey

4:49 PM  
Blogger creative-type dad said...

This sounds all too familiar...

The wife and I go through this at least once a week

4:50 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

One of my friends' kids screeches "HELP ME! THIS IS NOT MY MOTHER!" whenever he's mad at her in public. He's four. Yeah, she gives in a LOT.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I can just imagine you there, the way you tell it. While I sympathize, I must commend your daughter's particular taste in shoes. It's really not such a horrible trait in the long run...

5:34 PM  
Blogger Alex Elliot said...

That seems like every day lately for us :) When does school start again?
I would have been a blubbering mess if I had been in FOF's position. One time OS lost in it the post office so I did the only thing I could think of: I pretended I didn't know him.

10:38 PM  

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