Wednesday, December 10, 2014

An Internal (mostly) Dialogue Concerning My Angel Tree Experience

Today is the day! I am so excited! Gonna teach my baby about kindness, gonna get him thinking of others! Woot woot! Now, where the heck is the tag that has my Angel kid’s information? Maybe I left it in the car… No, not in the car. Maybe it’s with the rest of the mail on the bar… No, not there. Maybe I stuffed it in the diaper bag after church… Nope. Maybe I don’t need it! I know it said he’s 15, and he wears a Large shirt, and his pant size was a 36…something. What was the other number? Well, the devil, I need that tag after all. 

(20 minutes later) THE TAG!!! Hallelujah! 

“Andy! Are you ready to go help me shop for our Angel Tree boy? Let’s go!”

(to the tune of a conga line) Mama time with Andy! Mama time with Andy! 

Hmm… I should make this time really special since I hardly ever get time with just Andy anymore. And it’s Happy Hour at Sonic. Let’s get slushes! Yum yum yum!

“Andy, do you want a slush? What flavor?”

…(Willie Nelson style) On the road again! Just can’t wait to get on the road again!

…Holy smoke, what’s up with all this traffic? UGH, we’re not even moving! I wish I had a big truck—I would totally off-road it right about now… Ah, it’s a wreck. 

(15 minutes later) Whew! That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! Thank goodness because stores close early on Sundays, so we don’t have time to be sitting in… WHAT THE HECK??? We just got out of stand-still traffic! What is going on?...Another wreck? Are you kidding me? Ain’t nobody got time for this!

(10 minutes later) Wow, that was a mess. I better be extra careful. Obviously, people are having trouble driving today.

Okay, now that we are in the clear traffic-wise, I better make sure Andy understands the whole Angel Tree thing. Here goes:

“Andy, do you understand what we’re doing today? We are buying Christmas presents for this boy whose family can’t afford to buy him presents. Are you going to help me pick him out some cool stuff? Alright, awesome!”

Arrive at Store #1:

Whoa, it is really crowded… Great, they’ve moved all the toys to the front of the store. No way to avoid them. Power through, power through, power…

“No, Andy, we’re not shopping for you today. We’re shopping for our Angel Tree boy. You have lots of toys at home. This boy doesn’t have much, and he needs clothes. We need to focus on getting him some new clothes… No, we have a BOY. That’s a dress…. No, he’s a teenager, so he doesn’t need an Elmo… Well, that’s a nice shirt but he needs a shirt with long sleeves… No, he needs long sleeves…No, that one doesn’t have long sleeves either… Long sleeves, Andy…”

Kill me. Kill me now.

“Okay, Andy! Time to find him some pants!... Hmm, I don’t see his size…”

No, no, no, no, no! Don’t tell me they don’t have his size! That means going to another store! Sigh. Well, it’s due, so I guess that’s what we’re going to have to do. Brace yourself for the toys again…

“No, Andy, we’re not shopping for you today. Remember- we’re thinking of OTHERS today… No, you can’t have the Transformer… Because we’re not shopping for you today; we’re shopping for our Angel Tree boy… No, you can’t have the candy either… Because you’ve already gotten a slush, AND we’re not shopping for you today… Andy, do you even know what that is? It’s coffee. You don’t drink coffee… No, you cannot try coffee… ANDY! we’re NOT shopping for YOU!”

I do not think this is working. This whole experience is supposed to be teaching him gratitude and thinking of others. I am not sure what I’m doing wrong. Maybe I need to explain how Angel Tree works again…

(on our way to store #2) “Andy, did you understand what I told you about the Angel Tree? We picked this boy’s name off the tree so that we can help him have a happy Christmas. He needs some new clothes to keep him warm this winter, and his family can’t afford to buy him what he needs. So it’s our job to find him the things he needs today. Do you understand?... Okay, good! So are we shopping for YOU today?...That’s right! It’s not Andy’s turn today. It’s this boy’s turn. And look! We’re here! Let’s see if we can find him some pants!”

Store #2:

 “You need to tee tee? Okay, let’s go find a bathroom!”

Please, let it be clean! Please let it be clean! Please, let it be clean!... Okay, not too bad. Alright, let’s do this! 

“Andy, don’t touch the…!”

Too late. Well, he’s current on all his shots, so maybe he won’t get sick. We’ll just wash those hands really, really well… Done! Let’s do this!

“Alright, so we need to find pants… Yes, that is cute, but we’re not shopping for our brothers right now.”

Man, that’s super cute. And I haven’t finished Christmas shopping for them yet. And he IS thinking of others, so maybe it’s not so bad. And again, super cute. Oh, blast it all, let’s get it!

“Okay, okay, we can get that for your brothers. Put it in the bag…You want to get the baby that, too? I don’t think he really needs another hat… Okay, fine, put it in.”

Aw, he’s so sweet! Look at him, all picking stuff out for his brothers!... 

Uh oh. I think I blurred the line. Here we go again…

“No, Andy, you don’t need another superhero shirt… Because you just got a new one last week… No, you don’t need that either. Remember, we’re not shopping for you right now… No, we’re not shopping for you right now… No, we’re not shopping for you right now… Andy, what am I going to say? That’s right—WE’RE NOT SHOPPING FOR YOU RIGHT NOW!”

$50 for jeans??? They’ve lost their mind. Guess we’re going to have to try one more store. I don’t know if I have it in me…

Store #3:

“You’ve got to go to the bathroom again? We just went at the last store!... Okay, let’s go!”

Holy smoke, this does not look sanitary. And it smells awful. Ugh. Why does he always have to go in public bathrooms? I HATE public bathrooms!

“Andy, don’t touch ANYTHNG in here, okay?... You’ve got to what? Nooooooooo, are you sure you can’t wait?”

Line the seat, line the seat, line the seat… Okay, I think that’s safe. 

SERIOUSLY??? Did he just knock every bit of my lining into the toilet and sit his naked behind on that thing? No, he did not! Gross! I’m going to have to bathe this kid in scalding water when we get home. Oh, yuck, and his clothes too. Those pants are dragging on that nasty floor. Ew! 

“Okay, let’s wash your hands. Let me help you with the paper towels since you can’t reach.”

Ugh, what is this on my hands? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. What IS that? And it’s on the handle? What? Surely that’s not… OH HEAVENS, it is. That is POOP on the paper towel dispenser handle. 


“No, Andy, I’m fine. There’s just… MUD on the handle and it got on my hand. DON’T TOUCH IT!!!!!”

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts… More soap, hot water, more soap again, and soap a fourth time... Now, I need to dry them—NO, DON’T TOUCH THAT! Jean swipe will have to do. DEAR LORD, GET ME OUT OF THIS BATHROOM!!! 

“Excuse me, Miss. That bathroom needs some attention. There is… Well, let’s just say it’s mud because that would make me feel MUCH better, MUD smeared all over the bottom of the handle of the paper towel dispenser. Please, can you have someone clean that up before another unsuspecting soul gets… MUD… on her hand? Thank you.”

“Come on, Andy, let’s get these pants and get out of here!... Andy? Where--? Get out of the clothes, please… Andy, get out of the clothes!...Please don’t unfold things. You can just point if you want me to look at something, you don’t need to actually pick it up…What did I JUST SAY??? Please DO NOT unfold the clothes!”

Ooh, finally—JEANS! Let’s grab them and go! 36x34… Hmm… Come out, come out, wherever you are! 36x30, 36x32. 34x32… WHERE ARE THE 36x34’s???

“You need to WHAT? No, no, no. We just did that. We are NOT going back in there… Andy, it CAN’T be an emergency! We were JUST IN THERE!”

No, Lord. You wouldn’t do this to me. You wouldn’t send me back in there when I’m just trying to do this good deed for this Angel boy, just trying to do some intentional kindness-building in my child. Surely, Lord. Surely You wouldn’t make me go back to that bathroom. PLEEEEEEEEEEASE, LORD, SEND ME TO LIVE IN A HUT IN AFRICA, BUT DON’T SEND ME INTO THAT BATHROOM!!!

“Okay, Andy, I hear you. Let’s go… PLEASE don’t touch anything, and PLEASE don’t knock my toilet-liner into the toilet bowl.”

Let me just check out the situation over here… I cannot believe it has not been cleaned! Did I not tell that woman that it was DIRE that someone take care of this???... Oh, no. What is that kid doing? Oh, NO. What just happened here?!? And HOW?!?! 

NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO!!! I think this bathroom is cursed. We’ve got to get out of here! 

“Don’t move! I will help you! PLEASE don’t move!”

Ew, ew, ew! Good grief, what am I supposed to do with these jeans while I take care of this MESS? These jeans are cursed. I should just chuck them into the poop and be done with them.

“Andy, do NOT touch me!... DON’T TOUCH me!... I SAID DON’T TOUCH ME!!!!”

God, please don’t let him touch me! I will have a meltdown right here in Poop City if those hands touch me. Please, God, please!

“LOTS of soap, Andy… Okay, let’s wash them again, just to be sure… One more time!... Okay, now dry them on your pants. And let’s go!”

His pants aren’t any cleaner than the paper towel dispenser. I seriously hope I still have antibacterial soap in the car or I’m gonna have to amputate his hands before he can get in… 

I need a manager. Ooh, there’s someone. Maybe they can call a manager over here…

“Yes, I do need help. Your bathroom needs MAJOR attention. MAJOR. It’s a total poop-fest in there. Wear a hazmat suit when you go, but PLEASE have it taken care of… Thank you, sir.”

Okay, let’s pay for the jeans and get the heck out of Dodge.

“No, Andy, we’re not going to look at the toys today… Because we’re not shopping for you today!... What do you mean, I never do anything for you?!?! SON, I JUST CLEANED UP YOUR POOP MESS, AND YOU HAVE A SLUSH IN THE CAR! NOW GET IN YOUR CAR SEAT AND TELL ME WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT KINDNESS!!!

1 comment:

  1. Well, I hope Andy learned about giving! And, not touching anything in public bathrooms, yuck! You're such a good mommy! I loved the story!