I wish stay-at-home moms got to stay at home more, because sometimes going places in public with children really bites. I have a top ten list of places I hate to go with my children. When you have three children in car seats, there is no such thing as a “run in and run out” errand. The post office is high on the list of unpleasant outings, along with the DMV, doctor appointments, and Visiting teaching.
Maybe there’s just an unusually high percentage of grumpy postal workers in my neck of the woods, but I seriously cringe when I have to go INSIDE to take care of postal business. I don’t know what it is, but my children walk into a post office and get a primal urge to run around in small circles. It does not matter that we have a little chat about it in the car before we go inside. Those retractable stand-in-line barrier things are of the devil (and also part of the reason that the bank is on my top-ten list). I’m talking about these:
I might as well be speaking Russian to Japanese Snow Monkeys when I repeatedly ask my kids not to touch them. The previously-threatened and then followed-through time-out that they recieve at home does not even deter them. This picture represents the relationship between a four-year-old’s hands and those dumb retractable-belt barriers:
So, anyway, I had to go to the post office Saturday. The last two times I went were around the holidays, so you can understand why I’ve stayed away so long. (One of those involved a federal offense where I left with unpurchased merchandise that I’d already written on because I simply could not stand in line any longer. For the record, I have since returned and paid my debt to society.) And in this particular post office in the past, my children were all yelled at by a “gentleman” behind the counter who firmly reminded them that there’s NO RUNNING. So I gave the lecture, and my three little post-office demons and I walked in. Luckily there were only a couple people in line, and I tried to use my mental powers to keep my children by my side while I purchased and addressed padded envelopes. However, I refer you back to the pictures above, and you can guess what happened. I called their names many times and reminded them to stay by me and stop running in circles like rabid terriers.
The lovely postal worker, however, could not refrain from also barking at them, so I was annoyed. Again. And when I went to the counter and paid, and she said to me, “Boy, they sure have a lot of energy today,” I kind of snapped a little. I didn’t really go postal, but I was bugged. I tried (unsuccessfully) to hide the snark as I said, “They always do. They’re CHILDREN!.” Then I concentrated on my PIN for my debit card, forced a smile, left, and promised myself for the 746th time since I had children to never return to the post office again.
So, um, Becca and The Queen, you’d better appreciate that chocolate!
What’s on your I’d-rather-brush-my-teeth-with-toe-jam-than-go-there-with-my-children list? You know you have one.