Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Movie Theater Incident

As a wife and mother I have become accustom to repeating myself. As a wife and mother I have become accustom to repeating myself.

Ironically one of my major flaws that I have struggled with since I was an infant is patience.  My close friends and family know this all too well. When I want something, I want it immediately.  I thought that was a struggle, but little did I know that wanting someone else to do something, and do it immediately would require patience of a Buddhist monk.

This past weekend my oldest had his first (and possibly his last) sleep over with six 11 and 12 year old boys).  While Don was taking the herd bowling I decided to take out an additional mortgage and take the three younger ones to a movie at the non-dollar theater.  Before doing so, I made a stop at Wal-Mart.  I should end the blog post right now, because that was a mistake....it is ALWAYS a mistake.

A little back-story: For years, I have told the boys that if they don't sit properly and keep their hands to themselves in the car, a police officer will pull us over and give us a ticket because he wants them to be safe.  Fate would have it, that whenever I have had to say this, a police officer will be in eye shot.  It's great. It makes me feel powerful and all-knowing.

Before walking into Wal-Mart I instructed all of them, especially Oscar to stick with me, Jack added that if he didn't, the police would come and give him a ticket and stick it on his forehead. (I guess that is what they do). Luck would have it, at that very moment an off duty police car passed us in the parking lot and by God his two boys were sitting  in the back seat.  I was hitting the jackpot.   The boys were shocked. Mommy was actually right.  Little kids can get arrested.

This is a horrible lie. But it works. Well, I thought it did.

As soon as we walk into Wal-Mart my kids become the stereotypical faces of wal-mart kids. The place makes them crazy. Oscar flopped down on the floor in front of a motorized cart. Jack started begging for bubblegum and Fin was holding an enormous Mountain Dew with puppy dog eyes.  Pair this with my impatience and you are set for one successful trip to Wal-Mart.   We gathered our movie candy, stood in line for all eternity and returned to our van.

The entire way to the theater I explained why I would hold their candy and give it to them once we were seated.  I explained that we were sneaking it in because the movie candy price was four times what we paid for at Wal-Mart. I repeating it.  What Oscar heard was "blah blah candy blah" twice.   I had also brought some soda from the party at home, along with ziplock bags of popcorn.   The boys watched as I tried to camouflage my goods in order to sneak them into the theater.  I gave them a pep talk before getting out of the van.  Do not say a word. I will give you the candy when we are in our seats.  Ready set? You Bet!

I'm sure the ticket guy finds it odd that I have an enormous purse but choose to hold my wallet, but I try not to sweat it. It's all for the kids.  While I'm handing the ticket man our tickets, Oscar who had delayed speech until he was 3 decided to proclaim that I had popcorn in my coat, soda in my pockets and candy in my purse.  I looked down in shock and at that moment Jack was doing a stage voice volume level SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! and Fin was hitting Oscar in the shoulder.  The man looked down at me and slowly ripped my ticket stubs.  Giving me a look that clearly said "I'm watching you lady" and he let me through.  I have never been so nervous in my life. Well, OK, I have been. My fear of cops is not unfounded, but I will leave that to another blog post sometime. 

Despite leaving to take my 3-year-old charismatic orator to the bathroom a dozen times, the movie was a hit.

When we got to the car I asked what their favorite part of the movie was, Fin said  it was when Mr. Peabody danced, Oscar said when Sherman said poop and Jack said when I snuck in all the candy to the theater.  Damn it.

I was hoping he would have forgotten about that.  Kids learn by example.  Is it so hard for me to just say no? Although it may seem like a little white lie, this morning it was shoved down my throat when I caught one of them in a lie.

Learning that one of my sons had lied about taking something from his brother immediately sends my mind to the State Penitentiary and speaking through the glass as I see my 18 year old son in an orange jump suit with ear lobe gauges the size of soup cans and tear drop tattoos on his face.

I decide that today we were going to be a little late.  I sit them all down on the couch and wanted to scream "DO NOT FOLLOW WHAT I DO, JUST DO WHAT I SAY!" but I can't.

I explain that lying is wrong, whether it is to a ticket guy in the theater or to a brother or to yourself.

They all understood.. I think. I don't know? Again, I may need to repeat myself or better yet, show them that when you have done something wrong it is better to just admit it, ask for forgiveness and move on.

As we were sitting at the corner stop light I saw the police car we see every day.  I glanced in my review mirror and all were sitting properly in their seat belts, hands to themselves. I figured I can let that little lie simmer for a couple more years.  A little fear of the law may help them in college...

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