Monday, November 5, 2007

Gaggle of Teenagers

Part II of Why I don’t take my teenager to the store.....

I’ve written previously about the fun that occurs when I take my daughter, Cat, to the store with me. Her friend, Nuzzle, is a testimony to that fact! Butrecently, I found out that it’s far, far worse, to take two.

I have twin sons and the aforementioned daughter, and have taken them to stores often as they were growing up. As a single parent, I had little choice. Other than the occasional rambunctiousness, and the requisite whining for candy, those shopping trips were uneventful.

When I took Cat & her friend, Tiffany, to Walgreens, I found out the ‘Joy’ I had been missing. Do you know what happens when two teenage girls are together in a store? Their IQ and maturity drops in half. Suddenly, I was shopping with over-sized toddlers!

“Oooo…how pretty!” “Look at this, Cat!” and of course, the giggles. A LOT of giggles, drifting over to me, aisles away. They played with toys. They sprayed each other with tester perfumes. They danced to musical cards. They fingered Everything!

When I heard, “Oooo…Shiny!” drift over to the aisle, to where I stood choosing paper products, I knew I had to take action. Like a lion tamer trying ot distract from the open cage door, I called out to them: “Girls, Candy!” "Candy? Yay!" I lured them to the candy aisle, telling them to pick something. Sighing, I figured they were temporarily corralled.

Right. Sure. Obviously, I spend a lot of time dreaming.

Cat & Tiffany, did stay in the aisle, but they spent the better part of 30 minutes, fingering all the candy choices, and playing with the ‘weird ones’: Gummy worms, spinning pops, and some sort of gel-like goo. When I found them seated on the floor, crashing candy-filled toy cars, I had lost the final fragments of my mind.

Taking their candy choices in hand, I headed for checkout. Finding them trailing me (or was it the candy?), I told them to go outside and ‘loiter’ on the sidewalk. Finally feeling some semblance of peace, I paid for my purchases. The automatic doors whoosed open, and I stepped out into the cool of the night.

Then I heard it-“Loiter, loiter, giggle, loiter, giggle”. I turned to find Cat & Tiffany, shuffling back & forth, dancing on the sidewalk. “See, Mom! We’re loitering! Can we have our candy now?”

As I drove home, via Tom & Jerry’s Ice Cream shop (don’t ask about that experience, or how they talked me into it), I finally understood what life was like for those parents with multiple daughters. You have my respect, and admiration for all time.