Sunday, November 7, 2010

Defcon 3: Shopping With Child

Today, while shopping for a gift, I let my son wander away from me.  I mean, he's 5 now, rarely lets me out of his line of vision, and really, a baby registry printout requires 100% of my attention (there has to be a better way to match a registry to the items on the shelf rather than matching 187 teeny tiny product numbers, right?).  Anyway, I hear him say, "This chair looks comfy... OOPS!"  I turn around to find that he has flipped  himself and the rocking chair ass over teakettle, and both are laying on the ground.
I scoop up child and chair, trying to figure out how to unleash my anger in a public setting, when some skinny teenage employee comes over and says, "Is there anything you need?  Besides a babysitter?"  Hello, anger.  Meet acne-faced-probably-hasn't-even-kissed-a-girl-and-you're-judging-my parenting-abilites-teenager.
Oh, how everyday errands become mud-slinging, patience-testing marathons when you are a cool mom.  Remember when you could run into the grocery store for some milk, and it took less then 3 minutes?  Just the thought now makes me giddy with happiness.  (21 year-old Me is dying to smack the crap out of Jaded Mom Me for shivering in pleasure about a solo trip to the grocery store.) 
How about trying on a new pair of jeans?  Doesn't feel so good when the teenage girl holding the dressing room key takes one look at you and your crying child in a behemoth stroller and says, "You probably need the special room, huh?"  Oh, you sweet, clueless, gum-snapping babe (who no doubt still has full control of her bladder which is enough to make me hate her on a good day)... My life is a special room.
Last week while out and about at the craft store, I was rummaging through the non-obnoxious Christmas yard decor (nothing says "Birth of Our Savior" like a giant inflatable Santa globe, does it America?) when my son confronted me.  At least, I think it was my son-- it was a tiny person covered in glitter, leaves, and fake snow.  "Hey Mommy!  See those Christmas trees over there?  Well, I was IN them!  Bet you couldn't find me!"  Did he say he was IN a Christmas tree?  Is that even possible?  (Shout-out to employee Judy for not giving us a police escort out of the store.  Thanks, Judy!)
After 5 years of shopping with a kiddo, I've learned this: have a sense of humor (and a bag of Dum-Dums.  I swear by them.  There is no problem that can't be solved by throwing suckers at it.  I am aware, however, that in another year or two I will have to swap out suckers for twenty dollar bills.) But for now, when my son throws himself on the floor during a long wait in the checkout line, I shrug and tell the people who are shaking their heads at me, "He's fine.  Just try not to run him over with your cart."


  1. Oh shopping with kids. . .always an adventure. I knocked multiple sets of clothing off the racks as I was trying to make my way through Osk Gosh with a double stroller. We were about 10 inches wider than any passage way in that store.

  2. This is your best yet!
    "My life is a special room."
    I would have laughed harder if I wasn't nauseas from the flu right now.

    M a d

  3. OMG, I love it....Literally I was laughing out loud histerically!! I am picturing Jack and at the same time I am picture Gavin 4 years from now and I have no doubt that he will be doing the same things. I already dread going to any store with him.

  4. Whelp, everything written on this blog has quite effectively injected a much-needed dose of reality into my sugar-coated, slow-motion picture of life-with-baby.

    And the aforementioned bubble bursting is a good thing since I'm not yet ready to produce another human being. Despite knowing this about me, mothers continue to comment about how much I would like having a child, to which I shall next time reply: You know what I like? My life. Which currently includes nine glorious and uninterrupted hours of nightly sleep, wine-supplemented "me" time, quick micro-trips into the grocery store, luxuriously long showers, and full bladder control.

    This is not to say that having a child would not be worth adjusting such things (since I very much look forward to a hearty dose of child-induced self-sacrifice and unconditional love), but only to express how much I will savor my solitude until then.

    Your honesty about motherhood is a great help in this matter.

    Thanks, Julia.

  5. As always, u plastered a much needed smile to my face! Ah, shopping alone is so under rated! And to think u only have one of these devious little gems! My head spins....and then I give up and say, go ahead and judge me, but some days I'd rather leave them there than admit they are mine! Loved every word u wrote, thanks for the laughs! -Michelle