If I were to meet Saint Peter at his pearly gates today I know he would turn me away. It is not that I am intrinsically a bad person, I am simply the mother of a four-year-old. My Samuel has always been so sweet, kind, timid and loving. Yet, somehow when he turned four he mutated into a little bit of a demon child... okay, a lot bit of a demon child. In fact, he may actually be the leader of the demon children.
Case in point: We went to Verizon today to get a new cell phone for John. We had been there recently to get me a new phone so I reviewed the rules for good behavior with Sam and James before we got out of the car. Rule #1: No running! Rule #2: No yelling! Rule #3: No pulling things off of the shelves and racks! Once both boys had assured me of their obedience, we entered. After that things went downhill. Samuel and James immediately began running around and yelling and in some cases, roaring. There were very few people in the store at the time so I let them play and tried to be not too controlling. As time went on, more and more people filled the store, Sam and James began running faster and Sam decided the stock on the shelves looked better on the floor. Just for fun he began pulling the price tags off the shelves too. At this point John picked up James and I sat on the floor holding Sam as calmly as possible. While trapped on my lap Sam began shouting, "Daddy! Help me!" and "James, come rescue me!" and "Help! Help! Heeeeeeelllllllllllllppp!" At this point I began threatening bodily harm.
I eventually let Sam back up and he began throwing his stuffed zebra around the store with no attention as to who or what was in the way. I confiscated the zebra. Sam threw himself on the floor screaming "I want my zebra!!" The grandmotherly woman in the store was giving me looks that could wither the healthiest of egos and at this point Samuel opened the front door and - dragging James with him - ran out of the store and into the parking lot. Wishing I could tell the holier-than-thou grandmother what I really thought of her disapproving glare, I raced out the door to catch my kids, admonishing them on the dangers of parking lots and leaving the store without mommy or daddy and every other lecture I could think of. Sam looked up at me and laughed, "That was really funny! Huh mommy!?!"
I didn't strangle him, but I can't say that the thought didn't at least cross my mind. Hence my unsatisfactory review with Saint Peter.