Thursday, April 4, 2013
Note to Self: Walmart and "Quick" Errands
Life is starting to settle back into a normal rhythm again, like the glitter slowly settling into the comfort of the bottom of the snow globe. The beautiful whirlwind of this weekend has been wonderful for sure, but I was really looking forward to the calm.
I had finally made a dent in the mountain of laundry and dishes. The bills were paid, the children back in school, bedtime was reestablished. I was finally feeling good about my general effectiveness in this mothering balancing act.
Then I went to WalMart.
"But I just need to make a few simple returns. It will be quick. I know where everything I need is. No problem," I tell myself.
NOTE TO SELF: Simple and Walmart with three kids never go together. Especially when one is asleep and the one who needs to be in the cart insists on pushing the cart, unrestrained.
So here I am, exchanging two pairs of shorts and a broken toy piano, with a sleeping baby and two "helpers" along-side. I get to the boys' section and find the shorts. They only have one color in the right size, so I throw that in the cart. Half-accomplished task checked off on my mental to do list.
On to toys... (oh, let's see if they have any cute maxi skirts in stock... Wait. Focus. Toys.) Now we are hurrying, Mr. Four is getting pretty heavy at this point. "Mr. Two, do you have Mr. Three in eye sight? Good? Good." Here is the isle of obnoxious noisy toys to find replacement piano. Yes! They have one in stock, and it actually works. Toss it (gently) in the cart.
Mr. Three is not in the isle. I make the mistake of asking Mr. Two to peek around the corner to get him. Mr. Two is too interested in aforementioned noisy toys. Then I hear a somewhat distanced, panic-stricken cry. That sounds like Mr. Three. (Make that silly piano stop playing!)
I can hear him, but I can't see him.
WHERE IS MR. THREE?!!!!!
Find clueless store employee and give him the stare-down and say I AM MISSING MY CHILD. DO SOMETHING. So he goes to ask someone else what to do. (Oh panic, do not set in now.) Then someone who knows what they are doing gets on the radio and, thank heaven, someone has found him. I see a mom with a young child in her cart who asks me if my child is missing, and asks if his name is (Mr. Three). She found him and took him to a worker. Thank you, thank you, helpful mommy.
Then I hear the announcement, "Looking for a lost mommy. Little two year old boy with teal shirt and jean shorts here in the fitting room waiting for you." (Never mind correcting them that he is in fact three. Why am I even worried about that?)
There on the bench by the fitting room is a tear-streaked, but smiling Mr. Three with a friendly grandma-like worker, who is reassuring him. Thank yous to the worker, hugs and kisses for my little boy. Now he is STAYING IN THE CART until we get to the van. Of course he protests. At this point Mr. Four is awake and does not want to sit in the cart either and I am exhaused, while Mr. Two is just chillin', wondering what all the fuss is about. So I go to the customer service counter with two screaming children standing in the back of the cart to make my exchanges and get out of there AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. Thankfully there is only one person ahead of me in line so we can make a quick getaway. Mission accomplished, with a big dose of drama, but done nonetheless. In to the van we go.
Then I realize I have a little time before picking up Mr. One and decide to run to the next nearest Walmart to find the other pair of shorts, so I can cross that entirely off my to do list. I pull into the parking lot, look over at a now sleeping Mr. Three, remember my last experience at Walmart and promptly pull out of the parking lot and go home.
Maybe I am actually learning something.