It was Summer, 2005. I had just graduated with my MBA and my husband and I had just returned from our 5 year anniversary trip to WDW and had just gotten our Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy Rupert too. Lots of changes in our lives going on. We were at the point in our lives where we were going to start expanding our family, but didn't have any kids yet. We were in our late twenties...mature enough to have productive adult lives, but didn't have the worldly experience that comes with being a parent.
Hubby's cousins were coming to visit his Mom for a week, their parents were going on a trip. The boys were about 7 and 10 at the time. Interesting looking back, because my oldest is now 7. The boys wanted to spend a night or two with Todd and I which we welcomed. They are really fun, good kids. One morning, I took them to Old Navy. They lived in a very small town that didn't have an Old Navy and they liked their clothes. So, their Mom sent them each $100 to buy some clothes. I took them on this outing, we happened to live really close to one.
So, let me start by saying I really didn't know what I was in for. I didn't really realize that they wouldn't really know how to shop for clothes on their own yet, so they needed help with sizes and trying on and matching, etc. Again, now I am comparing this story to sending my now 7 year old into a store with $100 and imagining what she'd come out with!
Now, the 7 year old can be stubborn, there are other very funny stories to back that up, but I am going to stick with this one for now. So, we get in there and they separate. The 7 year old found a toy truck, you know, the Old Navy pickup truck. He is on the floor and has found another little boy to play with and I am trying to get him to come with his brother and me to pick out clothes, but to no avail. He seems content and he's behaving and he's in the section we are shopping in, so I decide to let him play while I help his brother pick out clothes. We shop and pick some things out and go back to the 7 year old and say "OK, it's your turn, let's pick out some clothes and spend your money" But he has no interest and is now saying that he doesn't want to shop for clothes and spend his money, he's changed his mind. I am now wondering what his Mom will think that I didn't complete the mission. What will Hubby's Mom say when I drop the boys back off to her after Old Navy? Oh, well, can't make him buy clothes.
It is now time to go to the dressing room with his brother for try-on time. The 7 year old doesn't want to come, but I tell him he has to now because I can't leave him alone in the store. So, he reluctantly comes along. The 10 year old doesn't want me in the room with him while he changes, which I understand. But he won't come out and show me how things are fitting either. So, again, I am now wondering what his Mom will think if he gets home with $100 worth of ill-fitting clothes he loves!! He gets done, we've got his choices and head out of the dressing room. Surprise surprise, the 7 year old is now ready to shop!!! Sound familiar Moms? Didn't want to stop playing to shop, but now that he sees his brother's cool purchases, he's ready.
Back to the drawing board to shop for the younger one. Picking out his clothes, trying them on, same drill on the not wanting to come out and show us. But we do finally narrow it down to his $100 worth of stylish boy clothes.
Emotionally spent, I head to the registers with the boys and their stash. I hadn't been authoritative with them up until now. Even though they were being a little difficult, they weren't being bad and, me not being a Mom, I didn't feel like I had the authority to give them a stern urging to come pick out clothes when I was ready or to come out of the dressing rooms so I could approve of their choices. I was more like the cool babysitter that was just on the adventure with them.
Did I mention the funny stories about the younger brother? He's a little mischievous and a little mechanical...the type of boy who likes to see how things work (once took apart a mechanical screwdriver that we couldn't get back together, you see my point). I am paying with the boys' $100 bills and paying attention to the cashier to make sure we have enough money and the purchases are completed successfully. "Where are the boys?" it occurs to me. The older brother is next to me acting like a perfect gentleman...the younger brother, however, is behind me acting, well, like a 7 year old boy!
Do you ever remember seeing the displays at Old Navy at the front of the store where the mannequins are on a round display and the display is slowly rotating? Well, the 7 year old is spinning the display hand over hand to make it go faster and faster... and succeeding, I might add....I turn around and see this and in a split second I see three full body, standing mannequins (dressed handsomely in the Old Navy item of the week) going around in circles like they were on the Teacups! OMG, I immediately open my mouth to yell at him and say "Get over here this minute!" but before I could, I saw the centrifugal force take over and one of the mannequins flies off the display, hitting the ground! And as if that wasn't enough, it's head cracks off as if decapitated and ROLLS across the floor toward the doors! Old Navy employees rush over from out of the woodwork from all directions, grab the head and the remains of it's body.
Holy $*@&!!! I now take my opportunity to scream "GET OVER HERE THIS INSTANT!" and "You stand right here and don't move!" And he did while I completed our purchases. I profusely apologized to the manager who was not happy, but didn't get angry either. I figured I'd be banned from Old Navy forever! For years my family has joked that in Old Navy break rooms nationwide, there is my mugshot with the caption, Do Not Serve this Woman! The 7 year old is now crying.
We walk out of the store and I tell them to get into the car. We make the short drive back to my house to pick up their bags from spending the night. The stubborn younger brother refuses to get out of the car. I think he was embarrassed too. You think??? I tell him he must get out since it is too hot and dangerous to stay in the car. He still refuses. Again, I don't feel like I can physically make him get out...I know now that I could have. Remember that parental experience I mentioned earlier? I feel helpless and now my previous state of being emotionally spent has been upgraded to distraught. I call my mother-in-law to update her on our shopping outing. She is saying just tell him sternly that he HAS to get out. But, I was unable to convince him.
We drive to her house to transfer charge of the boys back to Hubby's mom. She comes out, opens his door from where he still refuses to exit. She says in the motherly, serious, stern, angry voice that we all can imagine "You have two choices, you can either get out of this car like a young man, or I can take you out of the car myself!" And he got out. It was that simple, just threaten him! She definitely had more clout than I did in his eyes and, after all, she would return him to his parents with a report on the week, so I guess he figured he'd better do what she said. Ugh!!
Not so funny then, well, OK, maybe a little funny then. But funnier and funnier every time I tell the story and have more and more worldly parental experiences of my own to draw on for relevance.
My topic today is most embarrassing moments...wouldn't it be funny to scrap about them so we can remember them and laugh later? Of course, then I didn't have my camera attached to my hip yet like I do now, so I don't have any photos, but I could get some off the net of the Old Navy logo or of the mannequins at Old Navy or just use photos of the boys then and now. Can you imagine if I had a picture of the headless mannequin and coordinating bodiless mannequin head to show you or to scrap? Just imagining it is funny enough I suppose. So, what's one of your most embarrassing moments? Please share so I can commiserate with you! LOL