But oh, yes, she did.
I need a vacation. Preferably all expenses paid, to some tropical locale like Maui or Jamaica. I need massages and time to read novels by the pool, and fruity drinks.
It's not going to happen, of course. I'm the Mama, and whoever said woman's work is never done was dead on. Today was one of those days, where I hit the ground running, and ran until Small One and I were both a bit ragged. Truthfully, it was two hours past naptime when I took her to the grocery store, which is a rookie mistake, and I know better, but sometimes, that's just the way it goes.
We walked into the grocery store, and Small began clamoring to ride in one of those ridiculous buggies with the steering wheels on the child's seat, meant to look like a car. Some of those buggies aren't bad, but this particular store has horrible ones, twice as long as a regular cart, and practically impossible to maneuver. Sometimes I'm indulgent, but today I was not. I told her no and firmly but calmly wrestled her into a cart, under the malevolent glare of several old biddies, because of course, Wednesday is when senior citizens get a discount, so they firmly believe they should be the only ones allowed in the store, I think. Silly me, forgetting.
Just as I got her settled and walked through the door, something completely unbelievable and horrifying happened. My Small, who is typically rather mature for her age, leaned over and put her MOUTH on the side of the cart. Mortified, I grabbed her upper arm and pulled her back far enough to remove her mouth from the e coli she was surely about to ingest, and she let out an impressive wail. "Yooou HURT meeeeee!" she howled, and I glared at her and informed her through clenched teeth that much worse things would happen if the noise did not stop. It stopped.
The rest of the grocery trip was uneventful- as uneventful as any grocery trip with a preschooler can be- and I'd almost forgotten the incident when we got to the register. At that point, she began begging for a balloon. Still not in an indulgent mood, I declined to troop back to the floral department for a free one, and further declined to pay for one of the pricey ones at the register.
She was mad. SO mad, that just then, she smiled prettily at the cashier to get her attention, then turned to me and loudly said, "Mommy, why do I have tears in my eyes? Oh, I remember- it's from when you grabbed my arm like THIS and hurt me really really bad." (This was accompanied by her pinching her own arm so hard it turned bright red.) I looked at the cashier, who looked back at me with a face of stone. I smiled at her. Then I fled the premises.
Small knew she was in trouble. Before we even left the store she started apologizing. I told her that if she ever did anything like that again, she would not even know what hit her, she'd be in so much trouble. Then I made her sit in silence on the way home, no music, and none of the fruity snack she'd been promised. She broke the silence occasionally, to tell me how very VERY sorry she is, and what a good girl she'll be in the future. I told her to be good in the present, by zipping her lip.
I love my children, really I do. Children are a gift from God, and I'll keep saying that as a mantra until mine are grown, because what else can I do? He didn't give me a gift receipt. But I need a vacation. Or at least a nap.