Excuse me 4-5

Dear Readers,
    At the start of 2005, I told myself that I was not going to make any stupid New Year’s resolutions.  I said that I am going to start off having monthly goals.  If I get 70% of my issues taken care of as of March, I am doing exceptionally well — you have to give yourself a margin of error, in case of bad weather, tornados, the moon crashing to the earth and all the other things that could prohibit you.
   My problem is that I try to accomplish all of my goals at once. 
     Well, it may not be a problem for me, but when Anissa, my 3-year-old, and Amir, my 2-year-old, are with me it gets kind of hairy.    My goal for this particular week
was to take out Anissa’s and Amir’s hair and have it rebraided.
   I was also supposed to take my shoes and boots to John’s Shoe Repair, go to Code of The Cutz in East Lansing (they supply me with the equipment for the poetry readings and they have great customer service) and then Staples.
    I started taking out Anissa’s hair, which was not so bad, but she has a lot of hair.  I am not good at hairstyling or combing my children’s hair. Usually they will sport a pony tail for a while. 
     And that comment takes me to Amir, who as I type is walking around with a pair of Batman overalls trying to button them up but they are on
    Amir, who pushes the stool up to the cabinet, gets a box of Macaroni and Cheese and his bowl and asks you if it is done the entire time it
      Amir, Amir, Amir…  he is growing up.  He is speaking in full sentences now.
     “Guess what Mommy… Mommy, guess what?  Guessss whaaaat Mommmy,” he asked, which he followed quickly with, “Daddy is my best friend.”
     My ears were failing me, my heart was failing me. "Why was I not his best friend?" I thought. But I replied, “That’s nice Boo Boo.”  I call everyone in my family Boo Boo.  I picked it up from my father in New York.  I think he does it so that he does not have to remember everyone’s name.  It works for me too.
     Amir, sweet Amir.  Your father is the one who does not want to cut your hair.  As I tried to take the braids out of his hair,  he squirmed and
wiggled.  Of course, I started in the middle, so I gave up after taking the two cornrows out that were in the middle of his head. 
     Amir who shook his head and winced whenever my hands came near his head had slid halfway down the chair. 
    After I had given up,  he ran around the living room with his  5-inch long and 3-inch wide mohawk blowing in the wind screaming, “Guess what, Mommy? Daddy is my best friend.”
     I felt defeated because I had only managed to take out 2 of the 9 braids that he had on his head. 
     Anissa’s hair was taken out, all 8 inches of it.  I put it in a pony tail and did the best I could.
    Tomorrow is another day, I thought to myself.  I was going to wake up early, about 5 a.m., and finish taking the braids out of Amir’s head while he was sleeping. 
    It did not quite happen that way so at 7:30 a.m., I was trying to find hats to put on the heads of my children.  I wondered how in the world one night of sleep had done so much damage.  Could it be that possibly The Hair Imp
came through, tousling hair to the point of 3 more hours of work?  No way. I scurried
to find their hats.  By 7:40 a.m. we were on the road.    On the road, and hats on.   I headed over to John’s Shoe repair by Frandor. 
    “Where are we going, Mommy,” screamed Anissa from the back seat.
    “To the store,” I replied.  I thought myself, “Keep it simple and she will not ask too many questions.”  If we were at home she would be quietly watching  Sesame Street.
   “Mommy, what store?” she asked yelling loudly from the back as if she knew there was a possibility that I may not be paying total attention
to what she was saying.  It was important that she make her point.
    I ran down my list starting with John’s Shoe Repair in Frandor.
    “Oh," she replied in relief, as if she had just closed her appointment book
and pushed a pair of reading glasses back on the bridge of her nose.
     I knew that as soon as we got into the parking lot at John’s Shoe Repair that it was going to be a long day.
    Struggling with car seats.  Arguing with a 2-year-old about why he should not walk into the water and fighting with a bag of shoes, boots and one sandal that was behind the car seat that I had pushed back too far.
    After finding out how to get rid of scuffs on shoes from the professionals at John’s Shoe Repair and stopping Amir from abusing the
candy machine by giving them both a piece of candy, I was on my way to Code of the Cutz.  It was only 8:20 a.m. and I was frazzled.
    Amir was in the back whining about Anissa ,who had miraculously saved some
of her candy for the ride.
    “Ah…Ah…NiNi won’t give me some," Amir complained.
     I dropped the note off at Code of the Cutz.  Anissa complained about how she wanted to get out of the truck and help me.  I  told her that the store was closed and she could help me next time.
    That whole process took 5 minutes and I was doing well on time.  
      My mind was preparing for my office supplies shopping trip.
     I was on to Staples at Frandor to get some items that I needed — you know
that list of everything that you forgot because you did not write it down — and a new camera.
     I thought it was going to be easy.  We arrived at Staples and I was trying to get everyone out of the truck and the woman who was parked next to me was looking at me with a “hurry up and get your kids out of that truck so I can get to wherever it is I have to go” look on her face.    
    “Guess what mommy, guess what?” Amir quipped, yelling loudly as I held their little hands in mine and stared at the lady who just sped out of the parking lot.   Life is too short to be in a rush.
    “I love peanut butter,” he said.  I smiled and thought about Amir’s first encounter with a jar of peanut butter during one of he and Anissa’s
“let’s raid the cabinet" rampages.  I replied, “So do I.”
    I got them both into the back of the shopping cart and pulled out my list. 
     Before I even got to the aisle, they had to use the bathroom.  I asked them if they could hold it for a minute while I picked out envelopes.
     Anissa said, a grimace on her face, “The older you get the harder it is to hold it in.”  I smiled and wondered what commercial she had seen with that line in it.  You have to be careful what children are watching on television.
     Amir was screaming a high pitch, “Go bathroom, go bathroom, go bathroom,”
as he began to climb out of the back of the shopping cart.  By this time, an associate who saw me struggling came over to give me a hand.
      He was kind enough to get three of the items while I took “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” to the bathroom.
      I think that they just wanted to go to the bathroom to make a mess.  After they were finished, I finished cleaning up the water on the sink.
      Out of the bathroom they burst, with Anissa grabbing Amir’s hat off of his head.  Now this was too much.  Watching a baby with a 5-inch mohawk running down the aisle screaming, “Gimme, gimme.”  Amir’s mohawk was blowing like wheat in a field on a windy day.  I started laughing as I reprimanded Anissa  for taking Amir’s hat. 
          Some times it just happens like that.
      I was so tired after my running episode.  I had the camera salesperson pick out a camera for me and went to check out.  I forgot half of the items that I was supposed to get but at that moment it was all right.
     Standing  by the check-out aisle was torture as they picked up each item in the temptation section besides the register. We finally agreed that they could have Cool Ranch Doritos.       
     When my husband came home from work, I told him about my day.  He smiled. 
He is always smiling.  I told him about the pang I got in my chest when Amir said that he was his best friend.  I added that it was just a silly response.
     My husband, Frank replied with a laugh, “Amir says, ‘Guess what Daddy, Mommy is my best friend’ when I have him while you are working.”
     “Oh,"  I replied, feeling a bit silly.  Then I got excited when I remembered that I had office supplies in the truck.  Who gets excited over office supplies?  Amir and Anissa napped quietly, while I reached into my bag to check out my new camera.
      I then decided to continue taking the braids out of Amir’s hair instead of checking out the camera. 
     Not a fight or fuss, as he slept. I was grateful. I kissed him on the cheek and whispered in his ear, “Guess what Amir, guess what, Mommy loves you.”   


Rina N. Risper