Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We Need a Break from Spring "Break"

Princess's look that says 'I've had enough'
I saw today coming.  After Sunday's big trip to the aquarium and Monday being completely wide open and unscheduled, today was the last possible day I could hope for flexibility from Princess, and it was a crap shoot at best.  Add to that the fact that my husband was preparing to leave home for a few days, and the odds tip further out of my favor.  Good thing I didn't put money on the table.  I started seeing the signs late Monday afternoon that P was nearing the end of her rope... the tightness of her jaw, the amplified aversion to physical contact, the constant noise-making that usually means she's trying to drown out the sounds of the world around her.  To most mom's these are signs that a nap is in order, but to me it means I need to start battening down the hatches to prepare for stormy weather.  If only a nap could fix our schedule issues...

This morning, getting Princess dressed took 26 minutes-- okay, yes, I'm so anal I know to the minute.  Combing her hair almost didn't happen because her scalp was "feeling tight" and when I offered to braid her bangs she shrieked "I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH HAIR FOR THAT YET!!!!"  Well, okay then.

The next hour Princess spent crying and stomping her feet, with intermittent mumbling about whose fault it was that she was crying.  Everyone got some of the blame, even the President of the United States of America, for making this week a school holiday.  Damn him!

At breakfast, Princess had a very dramatic internal debate about whether it was okay to eat "Saturday cereal" on a weekday.  I know that this was what was going through her head because she took out the Cinnamon Toast Crunch and put it on the counter.  Then she put it back in the pantry and pulled out the Raisin Bran.  She switched between these two boxes six times before asking me if she could eat Saturday cereal today "since there is no school".  When I said yes, she looked like she might not believe me, but decided to eat it anyway.  She wasn't able to eat the whole bowl of cereal, though-- it bothered her that much.

The first two hours of Princess's Spring Break Tuesday were... ahem... rough, you might say.

Now you may think I am crazy--especially after the morning's drama-- but in the interest of the greater good, I occasionally try to throw a wrench into Princess's schedule.  I think it is important for her to practice dealing with the unexpected in a controlled environment (meaning when I am there to help).  Today seemed like as good a time as any, so I decided to take the girls grocery shopping, unannounced.  You may have heard us in the parking lot at the store.  From your house.  We were "debating" in the car why the grocery store was the next item on our agenda.  I won the debate, but only because I'm bigger and can still carry Princess.

The debate, in a nutshell:

Today is Tuesday.  Tuesday is a school day-- we have spent the last 3 months proving that fact on a weekly basis.  Today's Tuesday is an anomaly and that is not good.  On this Tuesday no bell rang at 7:50a.m. to indicate school was beginning, whether you wanted it to or not.  This Tuesday had no P.E. or Spanish class, and regardless of how undesirable those classes are to Princess, they are better than not knowing what to expect.  Tuesday is not supposed to mean a trip to the grocery store, and yet here it is-- before lunch, in the middle of the morning.  Princess reminded that she usually has Power Up math during this time, not shopping.  No quantity of free cookies or helium balloons will make the grocery store an acceptable Tuesday activity--at least not during school hours.  I assured her it was going to happen on Tuesday, all the same.

We finally made it into the grocery store after much moaning and groaning.  Once there, my mommy super skills kicked in and things got a little better, although I can't count the number of times I was told that the grocery store could have waited until this afternoon (after school hours, I presume was the point).  All through the store, I sent Princess on "missions" to help me find things "I usually have trouble finding on my own". When there were no missions, I had her push the cart.  Pushing the cart and saving mommy are the two most effective shopping-with-Princess techniques I know, and they did not fail me today.  The free cookie and balloon helped ease the pain of being surprised a little, but it was clear that they were only consolation prizes to Princess.  Birdie, on the other hand, was jumping around and woohooing at the luck of getting to eat a cookie before lunch.  "Who is this strange person that looks like my Mom?!  Have you lost your mind, letting me have a cookie now?!" she asked.  Oh, the little things that bring us joy...

When we got home, I made pizza for lunch.  Pizza is Friday lunch food, not Tuesday lunch food.  Drama and tears ensued.  These are "things I should know by now", seeing how I "work at the school and all."  It seems that regular Tuesday will not show its face until 2:45p.m. today, when the school's final dismissal bell would normally ring.  Until then, Princess is on the couch, armed with reading materials and acceptable school-like activities to fill her day.  I am going to try very soon to talk her into a later than usual recess time so that she can enjoy the nice weather before 3:00.

I am already prepping her for tomorrow's "field trip" to the park to play and have a picnic with a friend.  I am hoping that the fun of the day and the fact that we will be on a "field trip" will trump the fact that tomorrow is Wednesday.


  1. Ohhh, I was wondering what happened today...but I see now that it's 2:53pm, so you should be in a happy place by now.

    Know what? I go through that very same internal debate between Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Raisin Bran every morning, too. Maybe not the debate about what day it is that I'm eating one or the other, but which one to eat. My two favorites. :-)

    Do the employees at the Giant know your girls, too?

    1. Many at Giant know my girls... All at Harris Teeter seem to know them. One of the Asst Managers at HT goes out of her way to talk with Birdie about Greek Mythology every time we are there. So sweet. :)

    2. Oh, that is sweet! Yep, they know Sammi at Giant, too. LOL Actually, one of them saw her in there with me one day when she was being really difficult and I was struggling to keep her focused, and they said to her, "Oh, you're not being a good girl for your mommy like you always are for your daddy!" Now, every time I see her and I'm with Samantha, she says, "Oh, you're being such a good girl for mommy today!" And of course Steve goes in there with Sammi this morning and the woman saw them and said, "Oh, Samantha listens to you so much more than to her mommy." Huh??? ONE time, I have a difficult outing, and then I'm labeled as the parent that doesn't know what she's doing? Ugh. Sorry, venting...LOL