Yes, it is!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Break!

Well, Summer break started out a little rough.  For some reason, the kids think it's appropriate to start getting up early.  Why was it a struggle to get Jackie out of bed between 7:15-7:30 a.m. during the school year?  But as soon as school is out, my kids are up at the butt crack of dawn.  I DO NOT DO MORNINGS. Grrrr. 
I had been looking forward to summer break and I had some ideas of what I was going to do with my children.  Plans like take them to the zoo, the pool, swimming lessons, lunch with Daddy, riding bikes, and more.  And of course, we can't forget the VBS of the week.  I am (or should I say "was") looking forward to spending quality time with my children.  Until Tuesday morning rolled around, that is.  I thought I would celebrate the start of summer break by taking my kids to (insert gasp)  the mall for lunch at Chick Fil-A after I worked out at the gym.  Jackie and Ben really like the chicken nuggets there and that is the one place I don't mind giving in to my kids.  I had a few other errands to run afterward.  I talked to the kids about our plans and promised them a treat if they cooperated with and obeyed me. 
We got to the mall and the trouble started immediately.  As soon as we entered the mall, there was an Auntie Anne's pretzel kiosk.  Ben stopped in his tracks.  I finally convinced him that lunch at Chick Fil-A was better because then he would get a prize with his meal.  Whew.  But then another obstacle.  Ben noticed these mall shopping carts.  Gah.  I don't even like the name of those things.  Boo-ba-loo?! What kind of a name is that?! Well Ben saw the car one and insisted on getting one.  No way was I pushing a cart around with a name like. Beside, my kids are more than capable of walking a few hundred yards to the food court.  After wrangling Ben away from those Boo-ba-loo things, we continued to head toward the food court.  Until Ben looked through the railing to downstairs.  A train!  Oh no.  Another obstacle.  By now, I was really starting to regret my grand idea of celebrating at Chick Fil-A.  Ben noticed the escalator and started in that direction. But it was the wrong direction as that escalator was bringing paper upward.  I finally convinced Ben that that was not the way to go and I pointed to the right way to go toward Chick Fil-A.  Finally, I placed our order and we actually enjoyed a relatively obstacle-free lunch.  As we left the mall out the same entrance we came from, the sweet employee at that Auntie Anne's kiosk asked me if it was okay to give my kids a pretzel sample.  Certainly, I agreed.  As she handed the samples to the kids, she admitted that she felt so bad for Ben because she could tell that he really wanted a pretzel.  How sweet is that?  My kids are such charmers. 
Our next stop was a clothing store with the grand idea of exchanging a couple of tops for some other tops that fit better.  But just as we were leaving the mall area, Ben started screeching from the back seat.  It seems he somehow poke a hole in his water cup and the cold water was streaming right out into his seat and onto his pants..  Grrr. Finally, I got to my destination but as soon as we entered the store, I knew it would be a no-go.  Jackie took off in one direction while Ben immediately found a rack to hide under.  Some of the other customers, and even employees, just chuckled and commented that I had my hands full.  I decided right away that I was just going to do a refund and go back another time, sans kids, to look for something else.  Of course, as fate would have, Jackie suddenly felt the need to use the restroom.  I tried to get Ben to go as well and I made the mistake of not making him.  As soon as we left there and headed to my next destination, I hear a cry from the back seat.  Ben had to go potty and now.  Grrr.  Thankfully, Toys R Us was just a block away by now and as soon as we got into the store, we ran to the restroom, bypassing the return desk.  After Ben finished, I went back to the return desk to return the crappy Dora walkie-talkies that Jackie picked out a couple of weeks ago.  As Jackie looked for something else to replace the walkie talkies, Ben kept getting sidetracked by train and motorcycle stuff. Of course, his dad would be proud.  Jackie finally settled on a couple of games.  Even though there were a couple of questionable moments, we all made it out of there with no yelling or screaming and no head-turners.
My next destination was Bed, Bath, & Beyond to exchange a water balloon pump that quit working after just one use.  The kids were angels.  But, we didn't get beyond the front desk.  Or maybe it was the visible threat of my wooden spoon that helped reign in my kids.  Whatever the case, the kids were being good at the moment.  I bought some hand soap that was on a display at the store entrance while the kind manager went to get a replacement water balloon pump.
Although the day ended well, I am now an advocate for year-round schooling.

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