I do better when it’s planned, and I can mentally prepare, but I’d just gotten the phone call, my contacts had finally arrived. I’d been sporting my broken glasses for two weeks, my vanity was starting to take a hit, and we were out of toilet paper. So there was both, vanity and necessity.
Max was napless, and he’s developed this habit of crying and yelling, “I was just trying to tell you something!” If you don’t maintain steady eye contact and respond in under two seconds when he’s talking. Plus we’d had salad for dinner.
I threw the boys in the cart, and was immediately bombarded with, “Can we get pizza?”, “What about oreos?”, “But Mom I’m hungry!”. Our money system is obviously not perfect.
On our way out, my stomach growls because, salad for dinner. So I pretend I hadn’t just said no to any and all forms of food because we’d already eaten, and suggest a stop for $1 gelato on the way home. We arrive, and Max’s voice continues, loud and insistent.
“I want that one, the white one with dots, in the middle.”
“There is not middle bud, just a front row, and a back row.”
“There is a middle! Right there!”
“You mean that one?” I pointed at the pink one in the front.
My resolve to make him “talk nice” had faded at least an hour ago.
Back in the car, I suggest, “Let’s play the Quiet Game on the way home.” A mother’s favorite weapon.
Both boys agree. “Okay, 123 quiet game, whoever talks is a monkey.” As we pull out Max says, “Wait, pause game. I just need to tell you something.” I listen and we resume. Two seconds later, “Wait, pause game.”
Josh breaks in, “Max you can’t do that!”
“Yes I can! I just need to say something!”
I take a deep breath, “Max you actually can’t. To win the quiet game, you have to hold your words in tight and not let them break out.”
“Wait! Pause game.” Josh loses it and starts laughing.
“Josh it’s not funny! I just have to say something!”
“I just want Mom to start it!”
We resume again.
This time, I can barely hear it, “Josh…” a tiny whisper.
“You lose Max.” Josh giggles.
“It’s not funny! I don’t lose! I was talking quiet!”