It started out with a few instructions.
"OK, Guys, Dad is gone for two more weeks and we are out of food, diapers, and wipes. We've got to go to a few stores. First we'll go to Children's Place to return a few items. We'll be in there for about 5 mins. I expect everyone to behave. Next, we'll go to Target and then we will go to Costco and have dinner there. Does everyone know the plan?"
"Let's go over store behavior rules. What's the number one rule?"
"What's another rule?"
"No touching unless we ask."
"Good. And the last one?"
You have to know that my children are very well drilled in appropriate behavior when we are in a public setting. This conversation happens every. single. time. we are about to enter a public venue. And most of the time they do pretty good to follow the rules.
Tonight was different.
I put Sanders in a stroller and asked Karaia to push him around the store to keep him occupied while I found the items I needed to exchange and then complete that transaction. I gave Beckham Tennyson's hand to hold and told them they were welcome to walk around the store (it's a small area and I am able to see them from wherever I am) but they were not allowed to touch anything or goof off.
Within a few minutes Sanders comes cruising by me, out of his stroller, and I can hear Tennyson running toward me.
I found Karaia and asked her why Sanders was out. "He kept saying, 'Out!'."
I stopped Tennyson and asked him why he was running, "Because Beckham told me to run to Mom."
I found Beckham and explained he was not allowed to let go of Tennyson's hand and that I was almost done so please go and look at something quietly until I called for them.
I picked up Sanders to replace him in the stroller. Then the screaming started. He had tasted freedom and was not about to give it up.
Meanwhile, as I am literally wrestling to strap Sanders into the stroller while he his screaming at ear piercing volume, I see Beckham walk by....without Tennyson. Shortly, I can hear Tennyson running the perimeter of the isles. "Tennyson, WHY are you running?"
"Beckham told me to run to Mom."
I finally got my screaming banshee child strapped in a told the others that I was leaving. Right. Now!
They were all very upset. But seriously.
I explained to Karaia that Sanders is TWO and does not get to run the show. I don't care how many times he vocalized that he wants out. It's not an option! And I questioned Beckham as to why he would teach his little brother to do something that is so clearly known as a rule breaker.
We were in the store for no longer than 10 mins.
I feel bad for the people that had the unfortunate chance of being there the same time as us.
So, we still have no food, barley enough diapers, and, I am crossing my fingers, enough wipes. The kids were fed one hot dog and then banned to their rooms.
It may be harsh, but at least they'll be alive tomorrow.