Mommy sat in the car in the parking lot of the mall. It was cold and she was tired. She just needed a minute to gather her strength. She knew that there wasn't much time between now, this post work shopping trip, and the final pickup time at Sweet Potata's daycare, but she froze.
Sometimes Mommy did this. Her mental list of things to do for work, for home, for preschool, for her family got in the way. She started to think of everything there was to do and instead of moving forward and crossing things off, she just froze. She knew she should read that new book or call that friend or create that lesson plan or write in that blog but she didn't. She just sat there, in the car, at her desk afterschool, at the kitchen table, doing nothing. Time was always so precious and she knew that, but she got herself stuck, overthinking things.
"Mommy!" The tiny voice from the back seat jolted her.
"Sorry Lil Buddy."
"Are we going in? To the mall? Are we going to Old Navy?"
"Yes, honey. Yes. I just had to check this message." Mommy looked at her stupid smart phone. why did she get so sucked into that thing? She would frantically search for it to check her latest emails only to find page after page of groupons. And then, to make procrastination matters worse, she would comb through those groupons, hoping to find the ultimate restaurant deal in the neighborhood, or the cheapest possible pedicure, or the most enticing vacation spot. And then she would start looking up the website to the vacation spot, a treehouse in the middle of a ski resort.....as if !
"Sorry, baby! Let's go! We have to be fast." Mommy pulled un belted Lil Buddy from the back seat. Gosh, he was huge! when in the hell did that happen? He looked older everyday.
"I need a snack," he whined. Yeah, she thought, he was still just a five year old. A really big five year old.
"honey, we have to go to Old Navy and get you some dance class clothes! THis is our only day to do it, and we have to hurry so we can get back to Sweet Potata."
"Well, we're going straight home after getting Sweet potata. Then it will be dinner time before you know it." Yeah, she thought, he was going to need a snack. That time was 90 minutes away, at least. But what to eat at the mall? She went through the "should I? Shouldn't I?" McDonald's inner dialogue.
I should not. That was the decision. Hmmm. What now?
In Old Navy, Mommy worked shockingly fast. She headed straight back to the toddler boys section only to find that all the clothes in the toddler boys section had shrunk. Overnight. Hadn't she just been in here last week? Or month? During the holidays? Whatever! The clothes were tiny! Tiny! She always shopped for Lil B in this section. She bought his awesome Cookie Monster t-shirt here, and his Super Grover shirt. They weren't this tiny were they?
Remembering Sweet Potata, and her hungry little man, she moved on quickly to the boys section. She thumbed through sale price graphic tees looking for Super Grover, Cookie, the Cat in the Hat; but all she found were skateboards and skulls and general tweenage radness. Where the heck was Cookie?
A tiny hand tugged on her coat. "Mommy...." said a weak, partially dehydrated voice, "snaaaaaaaccckkk."
"okay, okay," said Mommy, and she grabbed sweatpants and half zip fleeces and a plain long sleeve t shirt. She held up a simple, non descript hoodie: "blue or red?" she asked him. "Ummmmm, red!" he said, emphatically.
Mommy scooped up the clothes and tugged on Lil Buddy's free hand. "lets go"
They left quickly with their new purchases but not before Mommy took one last glance back at the toddler section. Surveying a row of miniature cowboy shirts, she wiped at a tear and had a moment of clarity: "how about a hot pretzel, Lil Buddy?"
"Yeah!" he said.
So they left the mall with new clothes, and a delicious pretzel, which seemed, in Mommy's mind, better than a Happy Meal. He could pick at a turkey meatball later in the evening, she figured.
they made it to Sweet Potata just in time!
Later in the week, Mommy picked up graphic tees at Target: a Superman short sleeve, a Muppets long sleeve, and a cozy clearance t-shirt with the aliens from Toy Story. All in the big boys section. Mommy was relieved. He could learn about Superman later.......
On Saturday morning, Lil Buddy put on his sweatpants, Superman tee, and red half zip fleece as he got ready for his class.
"Look at me, Mommy! I look like a dancer!" Indeed he did. Her big boy.