The short story of our shopping trip goes as follows:
Since we live about an hour and a half from the town that we mainly do our shopping in, we try to do large quantities all at once. This is to save time and kidneys, since the gas stations started to require that we give them at least half a kidney every time we fill up our gas tank. Today I decided to do a trip with all three kids, since my superstar husband had lots of work to do, and I figured-- hey, this is my life, I'd better jump in. It takes me all day, with the kids. Here's a breakdown:
The kids are amazing, despite Kid A's two trips to the bathroom. I'm so proud of them and how helpful they are, and I tell them so. Kid A helps me as he walks, putting vegetables into bags, YaYa is consoled about not walking by holding a melon as she sits in the cart (when she starts to complain, I just ask, "Are you holding that melon for me, YaYa?" and she says "yeah," and clutches it a little tighter) and Leafy is drooling and angelic in the carrier.
(Writing "Kai's two trips to the bathroom" doesn't really describe the patience it takes to smile when I have to put down what I'm doing, run across the store with the cart, haul everyone out and into the bathroom --quickly, because little boys can't wait-- and then head back to the produce department, only to be interrupted a few minutes later in the bulk foods department.)
The kids are amazing again, and I even get complimented on how well-mannered they are, that is, until the debacle I will describe later.
They become a little crazy in Target. YaYa throws her shoes out of the cart and they hit a lady.
Lots 4 Tots: (The store where I always blow the credit I receive from clothes I bring in on second-hand cute shoes for Kenya)
They completely lose their minds. They race through the store as I frantically clutch after them while rocking my sobbing baby. I'm getting no compliments at this point.
On the way home everyone falls asleep and it's quiet. (Note to self: It is 20 degrees cooler in this town to the north; next time bring sweaters.) It's nice to drive out from under the cloud that covers Humboldt Bay and into the sun.
So, the Costco debacle. Part of the reason I decided to go today is because we need a new printer. Our printer is ancient, doesn't work so well, and part of it is being held together by an ink stamp that says, "For Deposit Only." It was time to get a new one. As I walked through Costco, I found the one I wanted, although I had a hard time deciding between the HP laser printer and the Brother laser printer. There was one problem, even after I decided which one I wanted. The printer was huge and I already had a cart full of kids surrounded by food. No worry, I thought, I'll just go to checkout and ask for someone to get it for me.
At checkout I was served by a middle-aged man in glasses, who seemed to really want to help me.
"Scott," he said. "Radio over to Sales and ask them to grab her the printer she wants."
"Sales is tied up," Scott replied. "Dave can get it." I told Dave that I wanted the HP mono laser printer, and I told him the price. Dave came back with an all-in-one Inkjet.
"Nope, I said, not that one." The checkout man started to sweat. He moved me and my carts and my kids to the side to wait. Dave came back again, with a different all-in-one. "Nope," I said, thinking to myself, yeesh, why can't these guys get it right?
"Are you sure it's not a Brother?" Dave asked. "Yes, it's an HP," I said, "a mono laser printer. Not an inkjet."
At this point Checkout man was starting to twitch.
"They won't radio over to sales," he moaned to a coworker. "Three guys over there with radios and look at my line. Members are WAITING." I looked. It was true. It was as if the store had been transformed. Member everywhere, lines across the aisles. Members waiting, members in tears, members with frozen burritos thawing in their carts. The store was in shambles. One member had even curled up on the floor beside her cart with her thumb in her mouth. All because of me and my laser printer. I felt bad. Surely I can't be the only person who's ever walked into this store with a cart full of kids and needed help, I thought. Can I?
I looked over at that cart of mine. The older kids had become delusional. Leaf, however, was flirting with me from his car seat. The lady next to me said wryly, "At least the little one is happy." I looked back over to Kid A and YaYa, who were slapping each other and screaming. Good Lord, I thought. I've become that woman. The one in the store that everyone feels sorry for. "He's the only one who's going to get to go to college," I said. (Okay, no I didn't really say that. But I thought it.)
I volunteered to walk back over with Dave and my cart to look for the printer. (Which I had already offered to do, I might add.) He was cheerful. "No pressure," he kept saying. No pressure for me? I thought. What about no pressure for you? I'm a member. You're the one who can't find the flipping printer.
We arrived. "It's that one!" I cried, triumphantly. Dave looked at me.
"You said HP," he said. "This is a Brother." Whoops. So it was.
"Bummer," I said. "Um, tee hee?" I paid for my Brother and took my cart full of children and we got our sorry selves out of there, quick.
All in all, though, it was a great day. I had one more near disaster when I was almost home and I became thoroughly convinced that I had left my cell phone at Target. Great, I thought. Maybe I should just throw my driver's license and my green card out of the window right now, too, while we're driving. Because they're not very important either.
I got home and the phone was in the van and all my anxiety was for nothing. And the superstar daddy threw the kids around so that all their energy could be spent and they could fall asleep like little birds in their nests. Poor kids. We left at 9:30 and didn't get home until 7:00. A hard day for little kiddies.