Attention Walmart shoppers…

18 Feb

Yesterday morning on Facebook and Twitter, I said that I often wonder if I should give a warning call to Walmart before going with my three children.  Now, I am wondering if I should go ahead and have an “I’m Sorry” fruit basket on standby for delivery, too.  Yep, it was THAT bad.

We saw some friends from church when we entered the store, and during my talking to them, Aaron was knocking Little Debbie snack cakes off a display.  “Mommy, it have wrinkles (sprinkles).  It no nummy (so yummy).  Nummy in my nummy (Yummy in my tummy.)”  Thankfully, I was able to intercept all of the snack cakes before he tried to open and eat them.  However, it was shortly thereafter that I made a crucial mistake.  I wanted to look at Valentine’s Day clearance items for next year, and I ended up getting several things.  I should have waited until the end of the shopping excursion because in doing this first thing, I severely limited internal buggy space.  The big kids early on now had to walk through the store.  (Or also in their case, ride hanging onto the outside or lying on the bottom rack.  And I can’t exclude running, skipping, jumping, dancing, and twirling down every aisle because there was plenty of that.)

We honestly didn’t have much in the way of groceries to get, but what little I bought took a crazy amount of time.  The kids couldn’t agree on which yogurt to get so somehow I ended up getting them their own 4-pack of yogurt.  Norah put hers in the buggy, but Aaron instisted on carrying his.  Crucial mistake number two.

On the peanut butter aisle, a woman addressed Aaron by his name.  Norah immediately asked loudly, “Mom, how does that lady know Aaron’s name?”  Through clenched teeth I explained that virtually every person in the store knew their names on account that I had been saying them every 5.7 seconds since entering the store.  Also since the beginning of the blessed shopping trip, I had been asked twice if all three of them were mine, and two women had stopped me separately to say, “Three kids in Walmart by yourself.  Aren’t you brave?!”  I was leaning more towards stupid, but whatever.

We made it to the produce section which meant that the end was so near.  That is when each of Aaron’s 4 cups of yogurt went flying through the air as they left the cardboard package.  How all of them actually survived the attack, I do not know.  But they did, so I put them in the buggy to keep them in tact.  Aaron jumped on to the side of the buggy and tried to get back his beloved yogurt.  I explained why he wasn’t able to hold it anymore.  So like any reasonable toddler would do, Aaron threw a fit.  He was laying face down on the floor crying while shoppers tried to dodge him.  By this point, Isaac was fussy so I was holding him and unable to do much with Aaron one-armed.  I was however able to scoot him over enough for shopping to resume for others.

I really don’t even remember how I convinced Aaron to get over to the checkout area, but we made it.  (The kids chose that moment to ask if they had behaved well enough to get a treat.  I just snorted.)  I understand that a trip to the store is capitalism at its finest, but I really wish they did not put candy, cookies, and chips at toddler eye level in the checkout lines.  In less than one minute, I took from Aaron’s hands Goldfish, M&M’s, a bag of Funyuns, a National Enquirer, and multiple Reese’s peanut butter Easter eggs.  And, he cried like I had beaten him with every retrieval   Clearly this child had to be contained.  I was getting many a look from shoppers and employees a like.  (And as a side note, for all of the enticing junk they have for children at the checkout, I think it only fair to stock those 20 ounce drink coolers with some alcohol.  I personally do not drink, but I would have considered taking it up at that point.  Alas, a coke was my only crutch.)

Thankfully, we were then rescued by another set of friends from church.  The precious Runyans got in line behind us and held Isaac while I strapped Aaron into the buggy.  Then Tony got my buggy emptied onto the conveyor belt and loaded bags back into the buggy while Read entertained Norah and Aaron.  Seriously, the Lord put them there “for such a time is this” because I was close to the end of my rope.  Involuntary head jerks and spastic blinking were moments from taking over my body.  Even leaving the store, the obnoxious two year old in the buggy wistfully said, “I non’t want to say bye to Meh Ree.”  (That boy sure loves his Ms. Read!)

I am hoping that one day my life will be a little less uncomplicated and I will be able to be the lady that distracts the crying baby in front of me.  Until then, you should all considered yourselves warned.  See me in Walmart, and you might as well keep right on going.  And to think–I have been assured that I am gong to miss these days and want to have my little children at home before the blink of an eye.  There is gonna have to be some major intervention on that one, God.

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