Monday, June 15, 2009

Yo Mama Wears Combat Slippers!

We recently went shopping in search of summer play clothes. There's a Goodwill about 45 minutes away that I like: some of the items on the racks still have the Old Navy and Gap tags attached. Not that my children read labels, but they are decent clothes that have never been worn, and at such a great price that I don't really care if they wear them to catch frogs. The kids had been saving their allowance and begged me to let them pick something out. I agreed as long as I got the final say - no games with missing pieces, no giant trucks or cars, nothing we already have three of. Off they went to the toy section, and I was left to browse for size SF shorts for Elliott. (SF = short fat. Sorry buddy, you're lookin' more like your mama every day...)
Less than 10 minutes later, I was not the least bit surprised to hear a sales person yell in that general direction, "Y'all take them off! Don't be goin' around here like that! Y'all'll break somethin' and yous payin' fer that!" (Those double contractions are my favorite - why mess with consonants?)
I sheepishly turned towards the toy section only to be mowed down by Elliott and Abby on roller blades, Ben in hot pursuit hollering, "Find some that fit me! Elliott, HELP ME!" I resisted the urge to clothesline them and grabbed arms instead. As if they were born wearing wheels, Elliott and Abby spun around with me and headed back to the toys. I stood patiently and listened as the employee scolded me for leaving them unattended and them for skating in the store, and I only had to swallow a giggle once when she squished a record FOUR words together: yallotta. Context: yallotta be ashamed of yourselves. I'm giggling even now.
Once we got our dressing down and I glared at the kids (couldn't speak, too funny) I looked over the skates. As I would expect from this particular neighborhood, both were in great condition, and were $7 a pair. The kids were thrilled, except of course for Ben. There wasn't a pair that fit him, they were all too big, and he performed the contortionist act I like to call Saddest Kid in the World. He bends over at the bottom of his ribcage, dangles his arms, and tucks his head into his belly. If you can manage to get low enough to see his face, his bottom lip is sticking out far enough to serve as a landing strip and his eyes are pinched shut. I really do think theatre is in his future.
I told him I knew he was disappointed, but we did have a pair of roller blades at home that no longer fit Abby and maybe we could get those out and see if they fit him. Also, that meant he could keep looking for a different toy and his siblings were now stuck waiting by Mom. His tiny spine rolled up ever so slightly, and I could tell he was mulling this over (or struggling for control), and within a few seconds he had disappeared into the toy section again.
Now before you chew me out for leaving them alone in the toy section, let me remind you this is a Goodwill store, not Sears, and the toys are less than 10 feet from the clothes racks I was searching through. Not only that, but we were the only ones in the store because it was a Friday morning, and everyone knows the good stuff gets put out first thing Saturday. Okay, maybe that was too much information about my shopping habits... I am what I am - cheap.
Okay, so where do the combat slippers come in? Well, we don't have any pavement near our house unless you count the highway we live on. No sidewalk, gravel driveway, wood planks for a front porch, no where to skate.
Except the dining room, kitchen and back hallway.
Elliott and Abby have been wearing their skates nonstop since they got them. The moment they get home from summer school, the shoes go flying and the skates go on, and the hallways of my house become danger zones for my toes. Oh they try to stay away from me, but for some reason the need for them to be very very close to me when I'm getting snack or fixing a meal or even just doing dishes increases in direct proportion to the damage they could do to my feet.
Okay, lemme' splain something here: for those of you who don't know, I have the toes of a 90 year old woman. I have osteoarthritis in my toes and ankles, and have had this since high school. I manage it pretty well by wearing decent shoes, but having my piggies squished, even just a little, by a pair of roller blades worn by a 90 pound kid is enough to cause a flare that can last for days. And it's not like I have size 11 gunboats - I have tiny little size 6 feet that I keep tucked under me most of the time. The wheels find them anyway, and the kids always feel bad. Not bad enough to remember to stay away, but they do get lots of practice saying, "Sorry Mommy!"
So here's the pictures of our latest obsession. They do everything in skates. They even pour milk, eat bananas, and zoom through the house carrying very full cups of Kool Aid wearing skates. I'm getting a lot of practice just being patient. I'm also trying to figure out a sweeping/mopping device that could be attached to the back of the skates... I'll let you know when my informercial will air. Billy Mays would be the perfect spokesperson.
Elliott pouring a drink; Abby trying to remember the houseplant is not the wall, and will not support her weight.

Abby playing restaurant with Ben (his favorite game - he's the chef, she's the carhop, I was the customer because Elliott wasn't hungry); Elliott learning to stop in the back hallway. The bag of cat litter survived skating practice because I moved it. Didn't change the cat box, just moved the bag... not my job. Can't make me do it. Don't care how bad it gets. Not my job...