I won a Gold Medal tonight. Not in the 2012 Summer Olympics, but in the annual Mom Olympics otherwise known as return-to-school shopping with the boys.
I have to admit my training regimen was somewhat inadequate this year. The best preparation for taking two 8 ½ year olds boys shopping would be herding cats. But, since we only have one cat presently due to recent unfortunate events, I was not as dedicated to practicing my skills as I should have been. But, I like to think that even as Michael Phelps may have had a slow race or two this summer, he hung in there and won more gold, and I did the same.
The preliminary qualifying round was finding new tennis shoes. After recovering from the initial surprise of the sizes they now wear and the prices that accompany those sizes, the competitors and I bargained back and forth over price and style, and needs versus wants, resulting in a compromise with which we all could live.
Moving on to the quarter-finals, skilled negotiations ensued over their new found sense of style and opinions, made doubly challenging by their diverging senses of style from each other. No more sharing a closet or trading clothes. We are firmly in the “mine” and “yours” ward robing now.
The semi-finals required endurance to stand in the Chick-Fil-A line in the mall, which was so long that it extended the length of the food court and retractable belts between posts had been erected. We ate at Chick-Fil-A, not because we were taking a stand for or against any particular political or religious cause, but because we were hungry. And since Baskin Robbins has closed, that was the only restaurant with ice cream to bribe the participants for the next round.
And for the final round, I wrangled both boys trying on jeans in the same cramped dressing room while I sat on the bench in that dressing room. This round required the ability to project future growth spurts versus assessing the current size for length and snugness, all while saying things such as “Boys, keep your hands off each other.” and “Did you hear me? I said to take those off and put these on.” and “Oh please. I gave birth to you and I have seen that before. Now get going.” A certain level of skill is also required to calmly think among the stereo chorus of “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom….”
After exiting the mall with both boys still alive and without either one being under the threat of future death, I believe I am now well prepared to deal with an even more challenging sport….shopping with Sarah Grace. Well, maybe after I rest a week or two. And find some cats.