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Saturday, December 28, 2013

One of the Many Reasons I'm Glad I'm Not a Teenage Boy

Apparently nothing is the same for a teenage boy. Even going to Walmart.

As usual, my whole family exchanged names this December for the annual Christmas Angel thing we do. For the most part it's just an opportunity to be extra nice to someone/everyone. The most important goal is to be extra nice to whoever you drew. The over-achiever's goal is to be so nice to everyone that they all think you have their name. On Christmas morning when we tell who we had, the person who fooled the most people into thinking he/she was their angel gets to play Santa. C wins every year.

Anyhow, back to teenage boys and Walmart. This year, since all the kids are older and (most) have their own money, I decided we'd also purchase gifts for our special person. The logistics of taking four kids shopping with only one parent around to help while trying to maintain secrecy gets a little sticky, so I decided to take the kids on two separate trips. First I'd take my fourteen-year-old son and my sever-year-old daughter, then the two in the middle.

So last night L, M and I get to Walmart. I look at my mature teenage son and have no qualms at all about sending him off on his own. (Well, other than the fact that he has no watch or cell phone, and absolutely no sense of time. But at least I knew we'd meet up again eventually...) I told him to do his shopping, check out, and go to the benches at the front of the store. We'd either be there before him, or he could just sit there and wait for us.

Good plan, right? Did I mention that he's six feet tall and weighs 190 pounds? This is no helpless little adolescent here - I was not worried. (Which says a lot if you know me.)

I'd told him we'd plan on meeting back up in about forty minutes from when we separated, but my daughter and I got bogged down in electronics, and when I checked my phone for the time it was dead. But I wasn't worried. It wouldn't hurt him to wait for me. He'd be fine...

When I came out of the electronics section, I saw a wide-eyed L coming at me. Here's how our conversation went:

L: Mom! Where have you been!

Me: Shopping. Why?

L: I have been waiting and waiting for you!

Me: Why? Is something wrong?

L (Looking at me as if I am an errant child who has just asked a very stupid question as he lists off the following on his fingers): I have been sworn at, flipped off, threatened, and offered drugs. Get me out of here!

All of which happened while he was sitting on that bench, minding his own business and waiting for his mother.

Can I just say that nothing like this has ever happened to me anywhere? Let alone Walmart! I've sat on that bench and waited for people lots of times, and no one has ever done more than nod at me as they walked past. My poor little giant son. Sitting there with his crew cut hair and big dimpled smile, just minding his own business and bothering no one. I mean, maybe if he were decked out in chains with huge gauges in his ears (like the drug salesman's), or had missing teeth (like the girl who called him a naughty word and flipped him off - I guess she was rather threatening looking) I could understand, but L just has the look of a nice person!

Suffice it to say that when I took C and N (10 and 12, respectively) shopping tonight, we did not split up. The secret of the Christmas Angels was pretty much sacrificed, but better that than my children, right? So glad I am not a teenage boy!