Today is a “stolen day” at my house – one of those days that we get Mister Soandso home and we all hang out in our pajamas way past socially acceptable standards. But then, it is a holiday so what is socially acceptable anyway? We are bandying about the ideas of going for a bike ride, cleaning the garage, or doing more work on creating Halloween Steampunk costumes. The calendar may say it’s a holiday celebrating labor but we seem to be more about playing. Which is as it should be. Right?
A while back I took my kiddos to see my parents who live quite a distance from myself. It is a long, long, god-forsaken drive, made bearable only with frequent applications of Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Pepsi as well as peanut M&Ms. Oh, and a DVD player.
So we get to my parents and all is well. At least once I can feel my posterior again. The next morning we get up and my mom tells my daughter, “Let’s go get you dressed. Can you bring me your clean underwear and day clothes?”
Suddenly, my world of tranquility and nice turned into one of Dante’s 7 Levels of Hell. It seems I had forgotten to pack any undies for my daughter.
Now let’s be clear on a few things here. First off, my daughter would probably be quite content to wear the same undies until they fell off her hiney in a wee pile of tatters. At her age, hygiene didn’t include changing one’s clothes. However, because Grandma said she should put on clean undies, well, a proclamation from Congress and the POTUS couldn’t have held more power.
Go commando while I washed her sole pair? Nope. Wear one of her brother’s pull-ups just until the undies were tidy-whities once again? No can do. Wear a pair or her older brother’s Y-fronts. Oh no, you have got to be kidding me.
So the plan for the day suddenly included shopping for new underwear.
The only problem is that my parents live in the middle of BFE. As in, past the end of civilization and all shopping centers. I kid you not.
We begin phoning all shopping options. I even dialed gas stations in a 25 mile radius. The nearest I found was a package of Grandma Panties circa 1962, size XL. No way that was going to fit her hiney.
So, we loaded up the kids and the van and drove 75 miles into the nearest town that carried “girlie” panties in a size 4.
All told, those 4 pairs of Littlest Petshop panties cost me $84.62 in panties, snacks, bandaids (for the injury to my head when I whacked myself with the tail-gate of the van), 3 rides on the carousel, and dinner for 5 at Red Robins.
If you are traveling anywhere for spring break, do yourself a favor and double-check the suitcase for panties – for all members of the family.
Having made yet another voyage to the land of shoppers, I was feeling strangely moved to comment. Sometimes you can go in for a box of cereal and a dozen eggs and come home with a whole bucket-load of thoughts as well.
There is just nothing that can top the shopping experiences of a mother trying to purchase a list of three items. Especially if that said mother has a three year old with her.
First stop, Target. Two items: facial tissue and crackers for the three year old’s Halloween party tomorrow. 48 minutes, 3 trips to the bathroom, 1 Icee, and one very tortuous trip through the toy department later, we were finally read to leave. In the shopping cart? One long sleeve tee, 3 boxes of facial tissue (including one with fish on it in garish colors fit for only the criminally insane or 3 year old boys), a Littlest Pet Shop figure, and a dinosaur coloring book. On the way out, three year old loudly announces that he has just farted. Several nearby folk react – some with humor but a few of the bluer-haired ladies looked a bit peeved.
Second stop, Petco. $37 later, mom is the proud owner of 2 Tetra, 4 carbon filters, and a test strip kit. It only took 2 trips to the bathroom; which means I only had to hear the announcement, “Mom! I have to poop!!!” twice. (If your child has been potty trained for less than a month, you do not, upon penalty of dire consequences, make that child hold it. Because, you know once you threaten to throw away accident-filled underwear, that die has been cast.)
Ah, home in time for a cup of Chai.
Oh crap. Forgot the crackers for the stupid, stupid, stupid party tomorrow. Guess now I get to make a trip to the store with three children. You can only imagine how many items will make their way mysteriously into the shopping cart. Makes farting the best part of a shopping trip.
Okay, maybe that should read, “Retailers Hate Parents” but I see way more harried moms out there than dads, so they must handle the stress of parenting better than we women. Of course, their hair tends to be shorter, therefore the tearing out of hair is less noticeable for dads…hmm, I could have figured something out here…but that is a digression for another day.
Retailers hate us. Really, they do. Why else is Christmas stuff in the stores in August? School supplies hit the shelves in July, Easter in January, et cetera, et cetera. Dear lord, I went into Party City to look for birthday stuff for my daughter’s 6th birthday extravaganza. The three year old had a potty-training regression what with all the creepy ghouls hanging about the front door.
Although, seeing as it is the end of September, I should have been expecting dismembered body parts to be littering the joint. Now those are some good parenting moments, the prepping of children for entering a shopping center type place. “Okay, remember, we are here to buy your friend a present for the birthday party. You will not be getting any toys today, but you are welcome to put any and all things on your wish list….” Been down that road before.
But, seriously folks, do we really need Christmas stockings out when we are still planning summer activities? ‘Cause I’m thinking I’m more likely to get emotionally suckered into seasonal shopping during, I don’t know, THE SEASON!!!