Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dazed and Confused

At nearly 4pm we left home to go to Costco which necessitates money for purchasing things so we went to the bank. On the way from the bank my hands began to burn from all of the hand washing that's been goin' on since we are potty training Nolan. So I decide to make a pit stop at KMart and get some lotion. My usual stuff is nearly six bucks for the bottle which I can get for less than three at Walmart so I decide to try something different. Of course it took longer than anticipated to choose "something different" which I ended up paying one dollar less for than the regular stuff. Whatever, I think to myself, now at the check out with kids taking things off of the impulse buy shelves, and wanting to get going to Costco (cause it'll be so much fun). We get outside where Kevin nearly gets hit and I try the new lotion which only makes my hands go from burning to blazing yet off we go, all intact. 

Costco was great until we got inside the door. What is it about entering a store that turns your kids into little people you don't know? I had to restrain myself and merely separate them and threaten them with their lives. Shopping was quiet... until Kevin had to go potty. Of course we were in the back of the store at the time... and this is Costco. You don't just stick the kids in the cart and dart for the bathroom. There are no road rules in Costco. Luckily we made it. And things went well until dinner when I realized that I had a cart full of things to get home, children to farm out to a friend (THANK YOU AGAIN!), and someplace to be in 45 minutes when I needed 60. No problem, I think to myself and we head for the door. Then Kevin had to go potty again. So we went and I'm adjusting the next few tasks in my head to make it on time to all the aforementioned places. We are truckin' right along until Nolan cried out in what seemed like pain until I realized that he sat on a chair in the handicapped stall that someone has used for a toilet (NO JOKE). And this is when I ask my readers, What in the heck am I supposed to do with that one?

One can think through several scenarios and have ready answers for when different problems come up: What happens if....? is nearly always going through a parent's mind, right? Okay, I know I'm looney. That is usually going through mine but this one threw me for a loop. Think fast. Think fast. Nolan, stop screaming please. Think FAST!... buy new pants. Surely Costco has some sort of pants in their kids' section!!

Nope. Shorts. AAAAAAHHHHLLLLL shorts...save ONE. Good ol' Osh Kosh. If you know Nolan, you know that his child would rather die of heat in 90 degree weather in pants than wear shorts. (Don't ask me, he just doesn't like them.) I knew that if I bought shorts it would have been worse than listening to him scream about someone else's pee on his pants. So I bought the Osh Kosh size 6 flannel pants and we went back to the bathroom to change. Now I have 25 minutes to do all of the things I really needed 60 minutes to do in the first place. 

Whew... we've all caught our breath and headed back to the cart I left with a clerk who said it would be fine to leave there and said thank you very much. The clerk commented that they had someone go back and sanitize the chair and that the someone said it was juice or Gatorade or something. I held my tongue and I'm sure my face was ugly at that very moment. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck... just walk away... walk away.

We made it to the car. I'd adjusted things in my plans so that I could get all of us where we needed to be on time (or close to it) and off we went. Soon I hear Nolan start to do his panicked cry and I look back and he has ice in his hand that is dripping on his shirt which is what has him panicked. I reach back for the ice and he tries to hand me his cup which promptly dumps out onto his lap (poor Osh Kosh) at which point escalates this child into hysterics. I nearly crashed getting the car to a stop... and again I started trying to think fast. I have to confess that at this point I lost my temper. I did not have a napkin or paper towel or even a real towel to help with this drama, and I had had it. I yelled, Nolan cried and Kevin said, "I think... I'll put the lid back on my cup." I found a diaper in Nolan's bag and put that on the seat so he could ride in it the rest of the way to Kaelea's. Not too shabby I thought to myself and then began to cry because I lost it with Nolan. That was not my best moment as a mom. I was, and am, very sorry that I didn't have more control over the situation.

What have we learned from this?
Stick to "the usual".
Threaten children with their lives. It works.
Know your exits... or at least where the bathroom is.
Be prepared.
Count to ten. 
Count to thirty. Maybe that'll work better.
"No big deal" is a universal phrase for nearly any situation.
Diapers absorb moisture.
A hug and a kiss can make a bad three hours better.
"I'm sorry," makes it forgivable.

Tomorrow: NO shopping trips. I think it'll take us all a little while to recover from this one.

To the few readers who might have read this all the way through, thank you for letting me share this experience with you. I don't want to be a whiner, but this shopping trip was by no means the norm for us. Maybe that's what compelled me to write about it. 


kristi w said...

Oh, that is soooo painful to read. And I'm sorry to say that it makes me feel a tad better. While you were having your fiasco, I was struggling through Walmart (I could have bought your lotion!). We went - "just for fun", but when we left I threatened to never take them to a store again. I lost Connor in the first few minutes - a lady told Trinity that a boy was darting up and down the aisles yelling for mom, so she quickly found him. Which section do we need? Oh, we passed it on the far other side of the store? I actually thought several times, "If one of these two mentions needing the bathroom, I might hurt them!" Then the older two tag-teamed the "Can I have this?" "Can I have this?" "You're buying him that?" "That's not fair!" yada, yada. Fiona got fed up with it all and screamed and screamed while we waited in the line FOREVER. Thankfully no one gave me any bad looks or I may have sat down and cried. Fun times!!

Thank you, Lord, for each new day.

Anonymous said...

I am going to show my age here but the only appointment we have to keep is with the Lord I think. I would have done just what you did at your age. Now I would have called the appointment 60 minutes away and said I'm not coming, I'm going home, come to my house if you want to.

Good moms don't have to be perfect. Just good.

Leah said...

I think if it wasn't an enterPraise rehearsal I would have cancelled and gone home. But that was about the only thing that was keeping me sane... the thought of singing and worshiping with people.

Seriously though, I have learned to be aware of the time, prepared with extra clothes (something I usually do), and stay calm in all situations (better than I was last night).

Cheryl Russell said...

You win! That is the craziest 'everything goes wrong in the store' story ever! Somehow, you managed to find the humor in it for your post, nice! I guess we find a perspective sometime between the craziness and the computer! I loathe those crazy, red-faced store visits.

I hope you have a nice relaxing day today!

Jason Hill said...

I am truly sorry for messing with you the other night. You should have lit into me. That was some serious composure you displayed, I'm impressed.

Rebecca said...

Seriously...this post is great birth control for me!

Leah said...

Jason, No worries friend. All in good fun.

I needed to laugh.

suzylu said...

oh friend - what a trip! I hate to admit that I laughed at several points but all the while feeling your pain and marveling that you didn't lose it sooner - you're a great mommy! And why is it the ONE time you don't bring a change of clothes or have extra wipes/towels in your car in the time you really need it? Of course, we were planning on going to Costco tomorrow but I may rethink this...

Aimee Jo said...

I'm so sorry, Leah! I hope that you were able to rest & relax the next day.
I'm just so happy that when we come to the States on furlough, the grandparents will be very excited to watch Anaiah for us while we go out, so that we don't have to take her with us!