Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bookstore Breakdown

We left Borders Books in a frenzy, the front desk sales associate leaping over the counter to push open the door for us. "Breakdown," he yelled to the customer just coming in through the other side of the entryway. "Hold the door!"

The Boss was hanging in half over my arm, her face to her legs as she spewed snot and tears on her kneecaps. I clutched her discarded shoes with three fingers of one hand as I used the other hand to steer Number Two's bulky stroller through the exit. The Boss was bucking and screaming; Number Two was discordant in his seat in front of us as I pushed him into the doorjamb and then pulled back with a jerk. I'm not sure if I croaked out a "thank you" to the startled people holding the doors.

When we crossed over into daylight, the sun barely registered with me. It should've been a thunderstorm as far as I was concerned. Maybe the crack-boom of static electricity would've drowned out the tantrum. I heaved a sigh and then hoisted The Boss off of me and onto the sidewalk so we could walk the rest of the way to the car. She crumpled to the beige concrete. She wailed. About what? Who knows. Who cares. She had ceased making sense somewhere back in the children's section, at about the time I told her we had to leave.

In front of Borders, from the ground, I pulled her to me again, her stomach pressing into my forearm while the sun bounced off a pink skorted behind that was pointed toward the heavens as if in supplication. I made our way across the parking lot. She kicked me and thrashed against the handles of the stroller. She screamed. Number Two screamed. We reached the car.

It took me ten minutes to get The Boss buckled into her seat. At one point I put my elbows on the roof of the car and leaned into the whiteness, my chin in my palms. She screamed below. Two twenty-somethings in sleeveless black frills and short white skirts flounced by, luxuriating in not being me.

The Boss found offense in everything during the drive home. On the the three occasions we passed a lake or a pond, she railed against them: "I don't like water! I said, I DON'T LIKE WATER!" I could barely make sense of the tirade as her saliva threatened to drown out her words.

Snoop Dogg came on the radio then with "My Medicine," his countrified ode to illegal pharm. I turned it up. The twangy beat and the cadence of Snoop's voice settled over us like a jacked up lullaby. Number Two liked it. In the rear view mirror, I saw The Boss was sticking to her guns. Her face blazed red with the force of anger.

The more dedicated, the more medicated, Snoop crooned. Can you feel me?

10 comments:

Binkytown said...

For shizzle I am feeling this. I have done the 10 minute car seat dance. It's SO not fun.

Heather said...

I have sooo been there, except I cried too. Did you cry?

Binky said...

I was so busy stifling the urge to throw things that, no, I did not cry.

toyfoto said...

Oh I feel it.

I'm so afraid of these moments ... and they are far more frequent now ... because I'm not always able to contain the rage in public.

Whirlwind said...

I remember when that Border's first opened and I had little Moe AND the refused to let me bring a stroller inside. It was "against store policy" - glad that's changed!

Sorry to hear about the meltdown - we've all been there!

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

I've been there with one, I'm sure I'll be there with two soon.

And when it happens, someone will probably call the proper authorities because I will be threatening bodily harm. So I tip my hat to you for not shedding any blood.

iheartchocolate said...

Oh yeah, I can relate too. I have one of those ginormous double strollers and the kid in the back is throwing essentials (paci and bottle) under the wheels as I am trying to high-tail it outta somewhere. My first is buckled in tight to the front and trying to get out of the belt while screeching and sobbing. I sweat. I sweat and leave. I likely never go back. Borders, alone?? Are you Nutts? I know, you see other women do it, why can't we? THEY have benedryl in their back pocket, we can't do that.

Amy said...

oh, I went through that with Brooks. Once, he was so mad that I would not get him MORE sprinkles on his ice cream. So, I threw the ice cream in the trash, grabbed him up, and wrestled him into his car seat. It took a good ten minutes to get him locked into the car. Then, he threw a fit for around an hour after that.

Chabelamarie said...

Michael's has that effect on the girl. I'm not sure what it is. Do they put a chemical in the air? One time, I was glad there wasn't a Seven Eleven nearby because I would have smoked an entire package of cigarettes while she cried seating in the car seat, and I don't smoke!

Jerri Ann said...

I don't mean to sound so cruel, but God I'm glad that happened to you. That's what good balawging is all about, I can take heart in the fact that I am not the only one who has at least once but more like ten times had to haul a child out, feet in the air, squawking like someone had just took one of their ribs. But, good luck in the future.