Monday, June 21, 2010

The Cowboy Showdown

After a few days of hanging around at home and at the corner park, I finally got the guts to really go out. I wasn’t even out of the apartment yet and I was already exhausted. I just ran around my apt screaming for a good 30 minutes trying to get my kids out the door. There I go, walking down the street with baby strapped to my tummy on the Baby Bjorn, hand in hand with each kid by my side. I was enjoying the nice fresh air (or exhaust of the cars passing me) walking down the bustling street, when I heard: “Mom, mom! Are you listening? “

“Of course honey,” I quickly responded trying to avoid a tantrum. I had no idea what she was talking about! She forgot her shoes!! I look down and yes it was true, she indeed had forgotten her shoes! How? I have no idea!!! She had them on when we left, I’m sure of it, or can I possibly be losing my mind??? Well, I turn back and there they are in the middle of the sidewalk. Apparently they had both been screaming at me as I was dragging them down the street. I wondered if every other mom out there spaces out once in a while (or all the time) like I do. She slipped them on and off we go again. After a nice little walk we arrived at the Hallmark store.

“Now girls, we are going to be vey polite and not run or touch everything and accidently break stuff. We are here to pick out a Father’s Day card. So lets do just that in a polite way.”

I think I was the only one listening. We walked in and by a miracle my oldest daughter took this job seriously and went straight to the cards and began her search. My almost four year old took it seriously too, but in her own overly exited way, she soon found the singing cards. She quickly began to open them very abruptly one by one and I began the job of running after her trying to get the card away from her before she ripped it. I finally raised my voice. “Tinkering ballerina!,” (the name that I will use for my middle child) I said in a very stern voice.

“Knock it off or you wont get to buy a card for Dad.”

She looked up at me with her eyes wide open. “Now, we will take turns picking out cards. First, little miss teenager (the name I will use for my oldest child) will go and then it will be your turn, so come on let’s go find her.”

There she was in the pre-teen section (may I add she is 9 years old, a month away from 10 and she can’t wait to be a teenager)

“Mom look this is perfect!”

As I release my attention away from tinkering ballerina for ONE second to see the card, I feel her hand slipping away from mine. I turn and she is already half way down the aisle with a singing card in her hand. I stare at her and give her the look that cowboys have in the middle of a showdown.

“Don’t you dare!!!”

She looks at me with a face that says, “or what???” I’m thinking, “she wouldn’t dare.”

She smiles politely and, just like that, opens the card. I am left standing there, stunned that she would dare defy me! I proceeded to very politely walk over to her. She looks up with a smug and says “Mom if you don’t let me buy a card for Dad he will be very sad because it’s Father’s Day”

I am amazed that she would say such a thing. I quickly thought to myself she is right, for two reasons: If I don’t buy a card today, I’m going to have to drag myself and my fabulous crew back here in a day or two and I’m just not sure they’ll let us back in! Two, if I just don’t get a card all together Dad would be sad.

I said very politely, “you are right, he would be. So pick a card but when we get home, you’re going to be grounded!”

She stared for a second, and then said “Okay.”

Just like that okay. I expected her to be crushed, scared, mortified - I don’t know, affected in someway!! I knew that when we got home I would have to come out with a punishment that would be strong enough to put some fear in to her without killing her. As we walked back home I saw a little bodega (neighborhood store). We went in and I grabbed some bubble gum. As soon as she saw what I had gotten she began to cry. She realized what her punishment was. “Mom, I’m sorry! Please let me have some gum! Mommy, I really love you, I’m sooo sorry!”

That was the song I walked home to. When we arrived I sat her on time out staring at a chair with the gum on it and just like that I had the upper hand once again! She was mortified!

Father’s Day rolled around and they very proudly handed their Dad the cards they bought. Little miss teenager went first, it read: “For Father’s day I decided to sit down and make a list of all the things I love about you.” Inside the card it read: “Everything (wow that was easier than I thought!) Have a great day!” Very happy with herself she stated, “I got it in the pre-teen section!”

My husband with a smile said, “it’s totally you! Its perfect!”

Now it was tinkering ballerinas turn, her card read: “Ah, the quiet wisdom of a Dad.” It had a picture of two kids strangling each other. Inside it sang: “Dad, Help he’s trying to kill me!! Nobody likes a taddle tell honey!” Laughing uncontrollably tinkering ballerina said, “ah, its perfect, it’s so me!!!”

Looking at his girls so proudly he said, “yes and I’m the luckiest Dad ever!”

I stood there remembering the cowboy showdown, the lost shoes and me running around screaming like a chicken with its head cut off. Oops, there I go again spacing out!


  1. I love the lost shoes part of the story. Is 10 almost a teenager these days? Scary!

  2. How on earth did she lose her shoes? LOL! Too funny!

  3. Thanks for your kind comment on my blog.
    I am so feeling for you right now. Having moved several times myself to new cities (although none the size of NYC)and now a new country, I know the rollercoaster of emotions and the joys and challenges that can bring.
    I hope your week goes well:o)