Saturday, January 03, 2009

Don't Do Anything Stupid

When they veer away from me I say, "Don't do anything stupid." It's a natural instinct of a mother with three boys. About 7, maybe 8 years ago I said this to Boy #2, 11 at the time. We, the boys and I were Christmas shopping, all day. We had two more stops, the first was a pit stop at the grocery store and to buy the noodles I had forgotten the last time I was there. Boy #3, the one who remains totally innocent throughout this entire story, came into the store with me. I left the rotten ones in the car. When we emerged from the facilities Boy #2 changed his mind, he had to go, and there he was.
"You go, wash your hands, then go right back to the car. And hey, look at me. Don't do anything stupid."
There it was, it was very brief, but I have training in this type of situation. I saw something in that kids eyes, but I couldn't prove it. He went into the bathroom, I grabbed Boy #3 by the hand and took off to the noodle aisle with a renewed sense of urgency.
"Did you see that? I saw something. I know I did. Or am I just in a holiday craze?"
While I muttered my way through the crowded aisles, Boy #2 put his plan into action. Oh it was a beautiful plan........
Stealthily move throughout the parking lot, hiding in between cars, hunched over like you're up to no good. Never mind who might see you, the mission, should he choose to accept it, scare the bat crap out of his older brother, Boy #1, who had locked all the car doors so Boy #2 couldn't get back in.
My angel and I came out of the store and took off running to the car, it was cold and he wanted to race me. We arrived to find Boy #2 trying to get in the car and Boy #1 laughing at him.
"Open the door!"
We got in and took off to our next stop, across the street to Gander Mountain for Papa's present. I can see now why we looked suspicious. We made it to the parking lot and half way to the store doors when the first police car stopped us, followed by three more police cars, which surrounded us.
"Ma'am, a young boy fitting this boys description was seen braking into cars in the parking lot across the street."
"Wha? Officer I can assure you my boys would never brake into a car."
"Ma'am, I'm sure you believe that, but we just got a report from Best Cuts that a boy in a light blue North Carolina jacket was trying to brake into a white van."
I looked at Boy #2 in his
light blue North Carolina jacket.
"I....... I just....... I was just.... I didn't........ he locked me out of the car."
"Shut uuuuupp."
"I didn't try to brake into a white van I just leaned on it, he locked me out of the car mom."
"Mom? Are we going to jail?" This is from Boy #3, who at the very moment became my favorite.
"Ma'am can I see some identification please?"
Apparently I have a clean record, the officer started communicating with yet another officer across the street who was in turn communicating with our accusers. Maybe they really didn't see him actually "try" to brake in the white van. The officer explained to me that there have been a lot of "incidents" in that parking lot during the holidays and they were being cautious.
The police cars drove away leaving us standing in the middle of the parking lot, stunned.
"Well we're already here, let's go get Papa's present."
Funny how being surrounded by police brings you quite a bit of unwanted attention. We had assembled a small crowd of onlookers and the management in Gander Mountain thought it would be a good idea to have security follow our every move. We ended up buying a gift card to let Papa come back and shop for himself because, we're never going back there.
In the car I said to my boys, "So, I need to be more specific when I say 'Don't Do Anything Stupid'...huh?"


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! That must have been wild. I'm glad you didn't a. strangle your boys and b. have a heart attack

Anonymous said...

Kids are so great, aren't they? You have to be a really strong woman to raise 3 boys. ;)

Suzanne said...

Karen and papercages - I'm keeping track of the gray hair each boy costs me. When I'm old and can't take care of myself I'm living with the one that cost me the most.

Bendz - Happy New Year to you too!