Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hooray For Shopping With Four Tiny People

What I'm not...

Every time I go shopping alone with the kids I always swear that I'll never do it again.

You'd think that having a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old would mean I had many helpful hands.


It just means I have four more hands to aimlessly caress and molest the poor items the shelves if I happen to walk too close to said shelves, which, if you have been shopping, is sort of a necessity if you want to shop.

I have those wild moments when I toy with the idea of leaving the kids in the car with Josh. And then I think of all the horrible things that could go wrong, plus the chance of people calling the police because I left my littles unattended...

However, between the time I leave the store and swear I'll never do it again, and the next time I need bread or underwear, I somehow forget the mobile purgatory that my Suburban turns into. It's kind of like having babies. You forget the pain, and then you decided to do it all over again, and it's not until you are in the throws of morning sickness or in the middle of a push that you start to rethink things, but by then it is everlastingly too late.

Today I woke up full of brimming efficientness and decided that after my morning workout, I was going to make breakfast and then take the kids to not one but THREE stores. Yeah. I tiny part of my brain screamed, but I filled it's gaping, screaming mouth with all the endorphins that were produced with my wild gyrating in front of the television.

I loaded everyone into the car, and then remembered I needed to get some Eden fuel to last the entire trip, and headed inside for no more than two minutes (the time it takes to make up a bottle of formula). I come back out and both Eva and Josh have the "look" on their face. You know what I'm talking about...the face where they have done something super naughty and they believe that you are too big and stupid to figure it out. Probably much like most of us feel towards Big Foot or Sasquatch...they are big, hairy and dumb, so they couldn't possibly tell you are following them around in the woods taking pictures of them....Yeah.

Anyway, it took me .0000000001 seconds to make the connection that they had eaten all my Altoids.

I suppose that should have been punishment enough. I mean, have you ever tried to eat five or more Altoids at once? Those kids will be able to breath fire before they are through. I'm secretly hoping they both go on missions to somewhere exotic where they eat peppers so hot it makes them cry. Yeah, I'm mean.

I promptly informed them that they would be spending some time in their rooms to think about stealing.

They were unfazed.

And then I informed them that it would be a long time before they got any candy.

They were still unfazed.

"CAN WE HAVE CANDY WHEN WE GET TO THE STORE??" They yelled in unison.

Seriously? Did you not just see my "Mom" face?

"No, you aren't getting candy or treats for a long time."

The little oiled cogs in Eva's head began to turn.

"Can I have candy for my birthday?" She asked.

"Probably," I replied.

"Great!" She exclaimed, clearly feeling like she had won.

But, her birthday is in September, so I won. Because it's a competition.

We headed to the first store, and I was breathing a sigh of relief because the parking lot was mostly empty. Hooray for waking up at 6 AM! I quickly herded my brood into the store and watched as two (the ONLY two as it would turn out) multi-seater carts filled and pushed into the store.


And one of the ladies had ONE child. In a THREE SEATER CART. I felt like crying.

I quickly informed Josh that he was a designated driver, and he burst with joy and tried to push me out of his way so he could push Eden's cart. What can I say? He loves babies.

I wrangled Eva and Lily into another cart, and then LO! The lady with the one kid abandoned her cart. It was almost too good to be true.

I looked around for her, but she had disappeared, leaving a lone package of Cheese Nips in the cart. I took another few seconds, and decided she had left.

And I took the cart.

I couldn't believe my luck! I put everyone in the new cart, and looked away while Joshua melted on the floor  in morbid disappointment, until he realized that got to put the two other carts away.

I wandered through the produce section for a few minutes, feeling all peachy, when I came face to face with the One Kid Lady. She didn't look at me, or even seem to notice me, but I felt the need to rush up to her and say, "I'MSOSORRY!ILOOKEDAROUNDFORYOUANDITHOUGHTYOULEFT,SOITOOKTHECART!"

She looked at me sympathetically, her cute little baby bump protruding from her skinny frame.

"It's totally fine," she replied. She then continued, looking at my heaping mass of writhing children. "Somebody with more children should use it..." I then detected some sort of look on her face, something like shock, or maybe disbelief, perhaps horror, at my rag-tag children and/or how many I had. I don't have THAT many kids. They just seem like 8 kids with all their personalities and energy levels.

I apologized again, and moved on, slightly mortified, and though I tried, couldn't escape the wide-eyed disappointment of the One Kid as we passed her in her shabby one-seater cart.

We wrapped things up there and left. One down, two to go.

We pulled up into the Target parking lot.

We unloaded.

We walked in.

And then Josh started making lewd commentary about the Ladies' underwear. I swear, are boys just born that way??

"JOSH!" I barked in a harsh whisper (it's quite an accomplishment). "STOP IT!"

He then made a last half-hearted swat at some colorful thongs, and he and Eva began giggling again, no doubt saying something about bottoms or "those things that feed the baby" as Josh puts it.

I left that store a little less composed than the first one. But still....two down, one to go...

I sat down in my seat and noticed two deep lines had managed to form between my eyebrows. I rubbed at them, and tried to breath deeply.

We pulled into the Costco parking lot, and I did the smart thing: I got a cart before I pulled the kids out. I parked it by the back of my car, and then opened the door to set the kids free. I pulled Eden's car seat up and out, and as I turned around I noticed that my cart was being walked back to the cart return by some do-gooder that probably thought he was helping me out, and I knew that, but couldn't help that small part of me that wanted  to throw my empty box of Altoids at him and kick his car. I stood there, dumbfounded, and the poor people watching me (who were probably also waiting for me to walk across the parking lot and get another cart, but I just stood there looking lame) waited for me, probably expecting me jut out into on-coming traffic, but I just stood there, dismayed.

The Car People must have decided I was having an epileptic seizure because the moved on. I quickly snapped to, and hustled across to get my cart back, and hoped that Mr. Good Samaritan was watching me so that he could feel bad, and then I felt bad for feeling that way, but still couldn't help myself because BY GOLLY! I NEEDED THAT STUPID CART TO BE THERE SO I WOULDN'T HAVE A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN!

Anyway, so I marched into Costco, this time holding Eva and Josh's hands while I pushed the cart (yes, it is possible). I put what I needed into the cart, and then started to browse the girls' bathing suits for Eva, when some passerby informed me that Lily was screaming (I hadn't noticed) because Eden had succeeded in finally getting a hold of the tantalizing tufts of hair that were protruding from Lily's head.  I looked over just as Lily got herself free, and shrugged inwardly. Meh...

I wrapped things up, not savoring the wonderful experience that is Costco, walked towards the checkout line. I found a nice short one, and made my way over, a young woman with a baby in her arms just ahead of me. She stood in the line, and looked at me, and then behind me to the rest of her entourage, which consisted of her husband and a loaded cart. I don't know about you, but that's just cheating. CHEATING!

I switched lanes, and tried to run out of the store, but the receipt checker decided, as she said, to be fair and draw two smiley faces on the receipt, and then said how cute my little baby boy was (SHE HAS A PINK BLANKET, PEOPLE!), completely ignored the fact that I had not two little kids to fight over the smiley faces, but three (probably due to Lily being completely obscured by the pink blanket) and loaded the kids into the car and peeled back my skin and let my real self escape and breath down fire and brimstone on my children.

 The kids shrunk a little into their bodies and remained quiet for the duration of the ride home.

Luckily, everybody was either going down for nap or going in timeout when I got home.

I'll have to remember this.



Trillium said...

Comments I got from fellow shoppers when I was in your shoes: Are these all yours??? How many ARE there????

I wish I had been clever and answered both questions with: "I'm not sure ...."

Rebecca said...

too funny! Been there... done that... :)

I know I have told you this before: We would line our children up in age order making sure that they stayed in single file. Any child caught stepping on someone's heals just for giggles was severely repremanded. Victor is a mean papa duck!

Amy said...

I'm one of those people who will use the carts with extra seats for my one kid...Lily thinks they're fun. But I, too, usually end up abandoning it cuz it's so clunky and huge! They seem to be something you would only want out of necessity.

You should have plowed over the lady holding a place in line at Costco. She obviously needed a good plowing.

Next time you plan on taking them all to the store, let me know and I'll pray for you ahead of time.

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