Touch of Spice

Hindsight is 20/20

Christina M. Currie

I was on my own the other night. My husband was out of town and we were down to the last diaper.

Unlike my BC days (before children) when I could make due and put off going to the grocery store for days, I don’t have that option now.

There are a few things you just can’t get by without for even a day when you have children. Diapers are number one on that list — by far.

I usually take one of the girls to the store for company, but taking both is considered a hazardous situation.

But I didn’t have a choice.

Katie doesn’t like to ride in the cart anymore. She is, evidently, a big girl now and wants to walk (little does she know she’ll spend most of the rest of her life wishing she could sit back and ride while someone else does the pushing).

Letting her walk has its hazards. She’s not much for sticking with the group. She still gravitates toward the balloons and any other direction that is opposite from where I’m heading.

She did stick close at the fruit section and helped me fill my bags.

We’ll, help two-year-old style. I had to buy two apples just because she tried to take a bite out of them and ended up paying for squash that never should have made it off the vine. That was the one she wanted (and will never eat because she hates squash).

I also have a bunch of bananas that will rot before they get eaten. Katie was so excited I just had to buy them, but when we got home and I peeled one and added it to her cereal, she wouldn’t touch it.

The grocery store is always an experience.

Baby Nikki sat in the cart chewing on my grocery list. Every now and then she’d throw it on the floor and Katie would retrieve it for her.

Nice sister.

We were about half done when I turned around and saw that Nikki had gotten out of her little seat and was standing — not very steadily — in the cart.

After sitting her back down two more times, (I’m a slow learner) I buckled her in. She didn’t see me do it, so I think she thought her inability to stand was in the process, not because of the restraint.

If I would have done that to Katie, you’d still be hearing the screaming, but Nikki just sat there pleasant as could be waving at everyone we passed.

I finally convinced Katie to ride on the bottom rack (making a mental note to not forget her) and we made it out the door.

It wasn’t so bad. Amusing really — in retrospect.

Of course, much of what children do is amusing — in retrospect.

We got home and I unloaded kids and the groceries and we got settled in.

I put the new box of Kleenex on the end table and Nikki in the recliner with a cracker and left to make her a bottle.

It took about a minute and a half.

When I got back, the entire box of Kleenex was emptied — not in a nice stack, but one tissue at a time, and Nikki was buried up to her waist in Puffs Plus With Lotion. She was busy shredding each tissue and flinging it into the air.

I shouldn’t have been surprised — she’s done it before — but I was.

She was having such a good time.

The problem is, for the most part, I know what havoc they’re going to create, I just convince myself it won’t happen again (and curse myself when I’m scrubbing diaper rash ointment out of the carpet, again.)

There are a lot of things I know are going to happen the minute I’m not looking and I know exactly what I shouldn’t do:

Don’t leave lotion within reach — Katie will coat her hands and then her head.

Don’t leave the bathroom door open — Katie will get into the make-up and smear foundation all over the mirror and on her face and squirt the eye make-up remover into the powder.

Don’t leave a glass of anything within reach — Nikki’s convinced herself she can drink like a big girl, only she doesn’t really attach her lips to the glass so all the liquid goes down her front and pools into the carpet.

Don’t leave Katie in the high-chair a second longer than she’s willing — When she’s done eating, she thinks it’s fun to pour her juice onto her plate and then either put her plate on her head or throw it (half full, mostly with rice) onto the carpet.

Don’t get real anal about folding their clothes — Katie has taught Nikki how to open drawers and fling outfits (all carefully matched and folded to reduce wrinkling) around the room. Then, she takes the drawer out and uses it as a step-stool to reach the top of the dresser and dump the basket of barrettes (which mom spent hours matching and clipping together. A lot more time than she’s spent putting them in anyone’s hair).

Don’t leave them alone in their bedroom — Nikki gets into the cabinet and dumps the box of Scooby Doo memory game cards into the heater vent. She used to dump the Pooh cards, too, but I hid those. Katie clears off the carefully arranged bookshelf, flinging books across the room. That also happens to be where the Pooh cards were cleverly hidden.

Don’t leave them alone. Period — They will always find the box of crayons, which is not so bad, but apparently crayons alone in the dark get together and birth markers. This I don’t notice until I’m changing Nikki’s diaper and see the neon green strip down her back (that was pretty clever of Katie to hide it so well). I speed off looking for Katie, who is hiding in the laundry room, her body already decorated, so she’s starting on the dryer.

What can I do? I obviously know what their potential is, and each time I deceive myself into thinking they won’t do it again.

And each time they do it again, I think “I should’ve known that was coming.”

Hindsight, as always, is 20/20.

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