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Another apology to Target

Yesterday was.........special. Yeah, we'll go with that. It started out fairly normal with one exception. Usually Raya is not the first one up and she's not the one that's bouncing off the walls crazy in the morning. Usually Cole is the one that's being shushed all morning long to keep him from waking up whoever is still trying to sleep (i.e. Piper or occasionally Raya) and from antagonizing everybody else. Not that my sweet son would ever antagonize his sisters. Yesterday it was role reversal day or something though, because Raya was giggly, rowdy and noisy all morning while the big kids were getting ready for school. In an effort to get a little bit more sleep after they left, I put on one of the 2 long episodes of Backyardigans for Raya and went back to sleep on the couch with Piper. Donny had a late shift yesterday so he left at 9:30 and I decided to get the girls ready and go to Target to get some things Donny & Cole need for their campout this weekend. That was when the fun began.

I should preface this with a little back information about Raya. She is a smidge stubborn and she thinks she knows everything already. (no idea where she gets that from) I think a good word to describe her would be "four-nager". You know, like teenager only she's 4? Yeah. She likes to argue. Combine that with the fact that she fixates on things and can't let them go and we have a lot of battles. I choose my battles carefully so there are a lot of things that I just overlook because they're not worth the fight, like what she wears. When she came out of her room wearing a floral print shirt and begging me to help her put on her camouflage shorts, I obliged her. Before we could leave, I had to pump so I put Piper in the swing (which she's not a huge fan of) and told Raya she could watch one more show while she waited for me to be ready to go.

Shortly after that, she decided that the living room rug needed to be moved. I didn't want it to be moved. She wanted it 6 inches to the left because it was uneven and it was bothering her, and because she couldn't "jump to it". I had no idea what she meant by that but didn't really care because the rug was right where it needed to be. She got upset and kept telling me over and over that she wanted to move the rug so she could jump to it. Then she just quit talking altogether and switched over to pointing and grunting/yelling instead. That's what she does when she gets upset or flustered. She was also trying to pull the rug out from under my feet but couldn't so that was making her more angry. Of course Piper was in the swing crying because that's what she does most of the day whether I'm holding her or not, so with one in the swing crying and one rolling around on the floor crying, it was fun.

As soon as I was done pumping, I had to get up and walk into the kitchen, at which point she took the opportunity to move the rug 6 inches to the left and then stand on the bottom shelf of the toy shelves and jump to the rug. I've never seen her do that before but from the way she was carrying on about it, you'd have thought it was her favorite hobby that I was preventing her from enjoying.

After that, I told her it was time to go and asked her if she wanted to change her pants into something that matched her shirt. She boldly replied, "No, Mommy, I don't HAVE to wear things that match." Points to Raya for knowing that her outfit didn't match! I told her that was fine and to get her shoes on. I don't remember what set her off that time but she got upset again. I asked her if she wanted to pick out clothes for Piper to wear and she didn't acknowledge my question or stop being upset about whatever she was upset about, so I just got Piper dressed. Then she was upset that I got Piper dressed without letting her pick out clothes and wanted me to take Piper's clothes off so she could pick some out. I told her we didn't have time for that and that if she wanted to pick Piper's clothes, she should have done it when I told her it was time to do it, but that she could pick out a headband for her if she wanted to. She was too busy being mad about the clothes to pick out a headband so I put Piper in the carseat and took her to the car. Raya was storming around the house being upset at that point so I got her shoes out for her and told her it was time to go and that I was getting in the car. I opened the garage door and got in the car and waited. She appeared in the doorway shortly after that clutching a teal colored headband to go with Piper's purple and yellow shirt (because it was no-match day, remember?) and trying to stay mad and not smile. I helped her get her shoes on and she got into the car.

Sometime during the 2.5 mile drive to Target, Raya got happy. The world is a better place when Raya is happy. She was suddenly excited about going to the store and getting new sleeping bags for Daddy and Bubba, and she chattered and sang along to the radio (which is seriously adorable) all the way there. When we got there, I parked next to a cart return, which Raya climbed on while I got Piper out of the car. I put the carseat into the cart (not on top of it because that's not safe...) and Raya got all excited because she got to be a big kid and walk. I had her hold onto the side of the cart while we walked into the store just like I've had the other kids do, and our shopping trip began.

I couldn't help but chuckle a little when I walked into the store with her dressed like this:
Thankfully at 10am on a Thursday, Target is mostly full of moms of young children who are wearing similar outfits so nobody really gives it a second glance. At least not because of what she's wearing, anyway.

I've mentioned before how excited Raya gets when we go to stores and she's in a good mood. She gets so excited that you'd think she was at Disneyland or had been living under a rock her whole life. Just for example, here's a video I took of her at the Disney store once. This was after we had been there for about 20 minutes already and a little bit of the novelty had worn off:

So yeah, she gets a little giddy at stores. Target was no different. She had something to say about everything she saw there, and she never says anything quietly. She was turning heads. She also didn't just walk through the store, she had to bounce, dance, twirl, jump, skip, hop, run, etc. We picked out sleeping bags for Cole & Daddy and put them on the bottom of the cart, and then we needed a few snacks for them so we headed over to that part of the store. This was about the point where she decided that she needed to help me push the cart. First, she wanted to push with the handle of the cart but insisted on standing right in the middle, which made it really hard for me to push the cart. Then she decided it would be more fun to push on the sleeping bags that were on the bottom of the cart so I had the handle back all to myself but couldn't let go or she would have rammed something/someone with the cart. She also rearranged a few items on shelves while I was looking for the things I needed so then we spent several minutes having a standoff about her putting things back where they belonged.

We finally made it to the checkstand and she insisted on helping me put everything on the belt. Then it was our turn and the lady started scanning our items, at which point Raya decided that she needed to hand each item to the lady before the lady could pick them up herself. I'm sure she loved that. Raya picked up a frozen lasagna and held it up for the lady, who was busy scanning something else and didn't take the lasagna from her right away. Raya sighed and said, "Um, hel-LO! I can't hold this here forEVER, you know!" I will admit, I mostly thought it was hilarious and wanted to laugh out loud. I didn't though. I told her that was not a polite way to talk to someone and that she should leave everything alone and the lady would pick things up when she was ready for them. She said, "Okay, Mommy!" and bounced around to the other side of me next to the handle of the cart.

Right after that, I took a step and slipped on something wet that I knew hadn't been there a few seconds earlier. There was a puddle on the floor. When you have a tube-fed child who is connected to a feeding pump and a mysterious puddle appears, suddenly the world around you disappears and your top priority becomes identifying the source of the puddle, preventing more puddles, cleaning up the puddle, and doing damage control. All of this is done with no regard to anyone or anything else around you, which is why the next words out of my mouth were, "Raya, did you puke? What is that puddle on the floor? Is your backpack leaking? Turn around and let me see your backpack. Nope, your backpack is fine. Are you sure you didn't puke? Is there puke in your throat? Ma'am, do you have a paper towel. Thanks. Raya, where did the puddle come from? Did the puddle on the floor that Mommy just stepped in come out of your mouth?" And THAT, my friends, was the winning question. Sometimes I have to rephrase something 20 different ways before she gets what I'm asking her and answers me. According to her, she did not puke, but the puddle on the floor DID come out of her mouth. In other words, my 4 year old spit up on the floor at Target. In the middle of all of the questioning, I was cleaning up the puddle. Instead of answering my questions, Raya was pointing and saying, "Uh, Mommy, you missed some. There's more over there." She is such a helpful child. Sadly, this was not our first incident with making puddles of formula/stomach contents on the floor at Target. Once again, Target, I apologize.

I breathed a sigh of relief when she was safely buckled into her carseat again. Once we got home, I thought maybe she'd be a little worn out from her busy, busy trip to Target and want to lay down and watch a movie for quiet time. Nope. She continued to bounce around the house all afternoon. All. Afternoon. She kept getting mad at me for silly little things too, or getting her feelings hurt over silly things. Each time she would storm out of the room, I'd find her later doing something she shouldn't be doing. At some point, she climbed the shelves in the hall closet and got a couple of games down. I was actually impressed that she did it without falling or dropping anything and kind of wish I had seen how she did it. She got upset with me for telling her to put pants on and I found her a while later hiding in her room eating whole wheat Ritz crackers. (she's allergic to wheat) A few minutes later, she had gotten into the freezer and found a little mini cupcake that I made in November when it was her birthday and before we knew she was sensitive to egg, which is why they never got eaten after that. She also decided it would be fun to take all the clean bottles, measuring spoons, cups, formula scoops, etc. that she could find (and the Vitamix pitcher), fill them all with water from the fridge dispenser, and sit on the floor in the kitchen and pour water back and forth between all of them. I can't remember if that was before or after she pooped in her diaper (after having a STELLAR potty-in-the-toilet day the day before) and told me she did it because she forgot what I said about eating ice cream if she poops in the toilet, and THEN deciding she wanted to poop in the toilet so she could eat ice cream and sitting on the toilet for a good half an hour until she digested enough of something to be able to poop some more. She killed the time by unrolling the entire roll of toilet paper that I had just changed the day before and singing to herself. 

Most of this was happening during the 30-ish minutes that Piper was actually sleeping without being held, during which time I was frantically knocking things off of my to-do list that included things that had to be done while the kids were quiet, like make phone calls.
I knew Raya was suspiciously quiet rather than just quiet but at that point, it didn't really matter as long as she was quiet. After she ate her coconut milk ice cream bar and I cleaned up her water mess (which happened after I spent a good 15 minutes trying to get her to clean it up herself and then ran out of patience when she insisted on pouring the water out of each item into the Vitamix pitcher so that it could all be poured out at once but kept getting sidetracked) I needed a reprieve. Piper had woken up and was crying the whole time I was cleaning up the mess and I was tired and just wanted to lay on the couch and snuggle Piper for a while but didn't dare do that with Raya on the loose. I wanted her to just be still for a few minutes. Heck, I would have taken ONE minute of stillness at that point. I decided that her feeding pump needed to be charged, which limited her movement to within a 15 foot radius of the electrical outlet. I had her get her pillows and blankets and whatever toys she was going to play with and told her she was going to have quiet time in the corner for a little while because I needed to plug her into the wall. (yet another phrase I never thought I'd hear myself say to my child...)

That trick kind of worked but not quite as well as I had hoped. My wishful thinking had me hoping that she'd sit there and fall asleep but she was never still enough for that to happen. She did, however, practice writing "Mommy" on her magna-doodle.
She informed me that the top row says something to the effect of, "Mommy is a grown-up so she can do whatever she wants." Ha. If only that were true. (side note, notice the wardrobe change that happened after she retaliated against me for asking her to put pants back on by eating Ritz crackers, which she is allergic to, and then gave in and put on a skirt)

She continued to be a wild woman the rest of the afternoon. I ended up laying on the couch with Piper and getting her to take a nap, so I did not move a muscle except to turn on another episode of whatever Raya wanted to watch so that I knew where she was and what she was doing. Piper ended up sleeping from about 2:30 until about 5:30, which is awesome except that I could do NOTHING while she was napping. Good thing we bought that frozen lasagna at Target, right? She was happy most of the day except when she got upset with me about one thing or another, but good gravy her energy level is exhausting sometimes! When the big kids got home from school, things just escalated and it was a madhouse the rest of the evening. I shooed them all outside for a while, which I'm sure the neighbors appreciated, and then finally had to cut my losses and put Piper down and cook the frozen lasagna so I could attempt to make it to my 7:00 church meeting on time.

Between getting everybody fed and ready for bed and pumping again (story of my life these days), Piper and I were about 35 minutes late to the meeting. I fed her a bottle right after we sat down and then had to stand up in the back of the room with her because she was threatening to be fussy. Then she filled her diaper. And I mean she FILLED that little thing. It was then that I realized that I had forgotten to restock the diaper bag. Sure enough, I had zero diapers left for Piper. I did, however, have one size 5 diaper stuffed down in the bottom of the diaper bag, so guess what size diaper Piper got to wear for the rest of the evening? I was surprised that I was able to get it stuffed into the little sleeper she was wearing.  After that, I just went home because I was afraid there was a little too much of a gap around her legs and that it wasn't tight enough, and I didn't have any medical tape to fix it up with. (not even kidding, if I'd had a roll, I would have MacGuyver'd the heck out of that diaper)

I topped off my night with a good laugh about how the entire day had gone and ate some chocolate chip cookies. Thank heavens I've been blessed with a sense of humor.


  1. I'm completely exhausted after reading that. Well, more exhausted than I was. H runs circles around me in a different way, and it's somehow refreshing to read Raya's version. From the outside looking in, I think she is a complete riot, but that's pretty easy to say from several hundred miles away! OH and also, I have no fashion sense, clearly, but I adore her Target outfit :)


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