This is parenting – take heed, ye childless hordes, and plan accordingly.
 
My kids have been driving me batty, the last few days, by having “shoe-making contests.” They cut and tape plastic grocery bags into these little slippers. I keep responding with impassioned grumbling, and reminding them it’s time to leave, or clean, or study, but I don’t really want to die on this hill, because there are a hundred other hills with my marker already on them, and so I haven’t outright forbade it.
 
Yesterday, as we were getting ready for the park, I realize we are completely out of plastic grocery bags. Out. I have 7 high energy, high metabolism kids. We buy a lot of groceries. I have never, ever run out of grocery bags before yesterday.
 
I grumble and flounce, and we get out the door with the wagon and the roller blades and our snacks in a library bag.
 
We’re heading east on 12th, and guess who is having a chat with her friend on the sidewalk? Yep, it’s the apartment manager who doesn’t know how many kids we’re hiding in our 2 bedroom loft. Her eyes bug out, and her lips start moving in silent enumeration. I try to avoid eye contact, hoping she doesn’t recognize me out of context, but then she smiles at me and coos to the baby. I try to look relaxed and busy at the same time and get the heck out of there, praying that the flowers we gave our downstairs neighbor worked, and making a mental note to bring her cookies ASAP.
 
5 yards later, I see that one of my beauties has run ahead of us, and used the extra time to sit down on the sidewalk to change out of shoes and into rollerblades. As she points her toe into the rollerblade, I see a target symbol on the bottom of her foot. Freaking kids. She’s wearing grocery bag slippers instead of socks. My blood pressure spikes into the stroke zone. And the apartment manager is still in sight. I hurriedly catch up and do the furious whisper, Crazy Mom Eyes routine and get her to put her tennis shoes back on. The best part of this is that she not only has no shame about the slippers, or about trying to use roller blades in the middle of the busiest part of the city, she demands that I give her a thorough and reasoned explanation why cotton socks are superior to grocery bag socks.
 
I do my best to avoid Because I Said So, but I went ahead and treated myself to a large helping of it, this time.
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