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Dressing Room Disaster

Yesterday I decided that I desperately needed some new clothes. So, seeing as how I don't really have an option, I loaded the four kids into the car and headed to the stores.

Everything went fairly well. We were out shopping for 3 hours and I didn't have any major disciplinary issues the entire time. Even Remewin sat quietly in her stroller.

However, there was this one incident.

Just as I had my arms loaded with clothes to try on (that I would only buy one thing from) the Mischievite announced he had to go to the bathroom... again... for the third time. I looked at my arms covered in merchandise and made a split second decision to send Vicbowin off with her brother in search of a restroom.

Fast forward 10 minutes and you would find me half dressed in the fitting room as Vicbowin comes storming down the corridor.

"Mom! That's not funny."

(Arms half way out of a shirt, I pause to consider what she could possibly be talking about.)

"Is your brother done?" I ask as I pull the shirt all the way on and glance at myself in the mirror. Yuck.

"Yes, but Mom, he's still in there and he says he needs you." She says loudly through the door. I'm just positive everyone else in the dressing room is listening.

"So he's still in the bathroom?!" I pull the offensive shirt off again.

"Yes!" She exasperates.

"And you left him there!?" I pause in my clothing perusing.

"YES!"

"Is he yelling for me?" I ask, thoroughly forgetting that I'm half dressed and there is an audience to the conversation.

"Yes, and I had to run along way to get to you Mom and you need to come NOW." Vicbowin has never been one for beating around the bush.

I look down at the piles I've made around me... 'try on,' 'take back,' 'keep,' 'mine.' "I need you to go back to him and tell him I'm coming."

"NO! You need to come now Mom." The cheeky little thing demands.

I'm now imagining my 4 year old sitting alone in a bathroom stall somewhere shouting his head off for his mom to come wipe him. "YOU," I say, trying to keep my cool in front of our unseen audience, "Need to go back to him right now."

"Mooom. I don't want to. You need to go, I'm not." Clearly my daughter is not understanding the ramifications of the situation. All levels.

I'm still standing in the dressing room half dressed, she's still on the outside, we're still echoing down the hall, and the Mischievite is still hollering for me in some unknown location.

"Stop arguing with me and just do it." I say as I start looking for my shoes.

"Mom, I'm serious he needs you, not me." She completely ignores my command.

Finally I pop open the door (still half clothed), give her the mommy-look-of-death, and whisper, "You go back to your brother RIGHT now. I will be there in a minute."

She gets it and scurries away. I throw my boring, old, non-new, clothes back on. Leave Albowin in charge of the dressing room and Remewin (surely they'll be safe in there?) and head out to find my little Mischievous one.

Except that neither he nor his sister are in the store bathroom. I'm confused. I ask the cashier if their is another bathroom.

"Just in the mall." She says.

You have got to be kidding me, I think as my eyes turn to the vast openness of the mall interior. I'm faced with a major dilemma.

If I leave the store, then I leave the baby and her brother alone and unattended. Then again, if I go back for them, the interim would mean that the Mischievite would surely have lost all composure and done something dreadful like hit his sister--which would in turn make her lose all composure--so perhaps I ought to leave Albowin safely in the fitting room.

Of course, I still didn't know exactly where Vicbowin had carted her brother off too, so looking for them could take a lot of time wherein Remewin could lose all her composure and do something dreadful like scream and make people think that she was abandoned--which Albowin very well might do.

I stood there, completely at a loss for what action to take. Time slowed down, as it does in the midst of traumatic moments, and within moments I had foreseen every worst case scenario that was possible. Then I wondered numbly how I'd gotten myself into such a circumstance. Surely my kids could have just chosen the dang bathroom in the store!

I took a few steps closer to the store entrance hoping for the sight of my daughter coming around a corner. Miraculously, exactly that happened.

And so I did what any rational mother would do in such a situation. I unleashed my wrath onto her nine year old psyche. I dressed her up and down about taking him out of the store and berated her for not asking a store clerk like I had instructed. I hauled them both back to the dressing room, turned to the Mischievite and asked breathlessly, "Did you wipe then!?"

He nodded. His big, slightly frightened eyes boring holes into my soul.

I blinked. "You did? By yourself?"

"No," he responds, "my sister did it."

It sucks to have your wrath crushed by a 9 year old's selflessness.

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