Saturday, June 18, 2011

WalMart + Five Kids+Saturday = NEVER. AGAIN.

Tomorrow is Father's Day and I thought I'd figured out just what I was going to do for Byron this year. I was going to prepare him his favorite meal and make a cheesecake using our friend, Tracey's, recipe that Byron just loves. It was going to be perfect! Then he came home from weighing in at Weight Watchers. The news wasn't good and he's recommitted himself to losing the weight. Wait!!! What?!!?!? What about my amazing plans? Suddenly I found myself with less than 24 hours to the big day that we all sit down and say wonderful things to our dad's and hubbies, and I had nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. I did what any good wife who loves her husband more than life itself would do. I packed up all five little monkeys and went to *gasp!* WalMart.

I don't know what it is about WalMart that brings out the crazies in people, but it seems to be heightened even more on Saturdays. I made sure the children were well-fed before we got there (Sonic counts as well-fed, right?), made sure they were all wearing shoes, reminded them that we were in civilization so acting like they were raised by wolves simply wouldn't do, and prayed that this trip would go smoothly. I guess I should have clarified for God what I meant by going smoothly because He seems to have thought that all five kids coming home alive would be good enough. I had slightly higher aspirations, but that's okay. Who's really counting?

The first thing on the WalMart agenda was picking up Drezden's glasses that had been repaired and replaced for the 1,745,323,129th time. That didn't take very long because we've been there so many times that they know all five kids' names, interests, birthdays, and blood types. We managed to get out of the vision center before anyone took more than 100 pairs of frames off the shelves to try on and created a complete disaster.

Then I went about the bigger business at hand; I needed a great gift for Byron. This should seem like a seemingly easy task, but I was doing it with all five kids in tow. Aiden was "totally bored" and only wanted to go play with his friends. CJ was climbing out of his own skin just dying to get to the toy department "just to take a look, not to touch anything. I promise." Rachel was just sure she needed new hair nobbies. Drezden was, as usual, walking as slow as humanly possible. I think he got run over by an old lady with a walker and a pet slug or something. Honestly, it's hard work to go that slow. Then there was Liam. He was busy taking his shoes off and throwing them at other shoppers as they walked by. Each time I apologized to whoever came by, I would turn to Liam and say "Little boy, that is a bad choice. Where is your mother??". I'm not sure the diversion really worked, though.

I finally decided that I was going to get Byron a big rubber bucket thing and fill it to the brim with yummy treats that are Weight Watchers friendly. I got him some Sprite Zero, 100 calorie snack treats, and then headed to the candy aisle for the Weight Watchers brand candy they had there. Note to self: All hell will break loose if the children are ever given an opportunity to walk through the candy aisle in WalMart. Swedish fish were flying into the shopping cart as fast as I could pull them out, M&M's of every flavor and color were desperately begged for, Snickers were whined for,and there was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. After what felt like an eternity (but was really only about five minutes), I finally managed to get out of that dreaded aisle. Everything I needed for Byron was in the basket, but I wanted one more thing.

Byron has mentioned that he really wanted to play croquet with the kids, so off I headed to the toy department to get not one but two croquet sets. I needed two because our family is too big for just one set to be enough. What is important in that statement is not that I was hunting for a croquet set. It's the fact that I ventured anywhere near the toy department. Surprisingly, that part went smoothly. Just past the toy department, though, is the restrooms that are in the back of the store. My children must have some kind of bladder dysfunction because they simply can not pass a public restroom without needing to use it right away. I let Aiden take Drez to the bathroom while I waited with the other three kids out in the electronics department right by the Wii games. CJ quickly realized all the games that were there and decided he might have died and gone to Heaven. He began rambling on and on faster than the speed of light about each and every game he saw and even felt the need to give a discourse on the beauties of each game to some poor unsuspecting dad that was there with his son. That poor man shielded his child's sensitive eyes and made a hasty run for it.

Once Drezden was finally done and I managed to drag all of them from that section, I headed to the grocery area for a few items to allow my little brood to eat in the next couple of days. I figured the grocery section would be safe because it's relatively boring and there are minimal distractions to lead the small humans astray. I couldn't have been more wrong. WalMart on Saturday in any section of the story is a nightmare for any parent venturing there with five children by herself. I got to the bread aisle and there was an adult-size bunny bread brand bunny handing out coupons. Before I could say one single word, the kids ran at him. "Stop! Do NOT run over the giant brown rabbit in the bread aisle!". I didn't really want to yell and draw attention, but I also didn't want the guy in the costume to get clobbered. I think CJ may have accidentally goosed him, but the bunny was at least still standing upright when we walked away. I decided that I was more than done there and headed to the check-out line. The next thing I knew there was a life-sized Tony the Tiger walking through the store. What the heck?!?!? Since when are giant fuzzy characters part of the WalMart experience? After I managed to pry the kids from Tony's fuzzy orange and black leg,I bee-lined it to the check-out line. I was afraid the entire Disney family would be there if I stuck around much longer. Or maybe the jolly green giant or something.

I finally got all of my groceries on the check-out thing and figured out that I was (as usual) stuck in the line with the people who wanted to pay for each item separately and had to argue over the cost of each item. Then, Rachel and Drezden noticed the restrooms by the cashier station and suddenly had bladder and bowel failure so they needed to run immediately in there. I couldn't do a dang thing about it because I was still trying to pay for our items. Aiden couldn't help because they went into the ladies' room, and CJ was still trying to find something to buy with the $1 coin he'd found earlier in the week with Byron.

After all the groceries were packed into the cart, I went into the bathroom and pulled Rachel and Drezden out. As I was trying to get them to unlock their stall and then haul them out, my purse dropped with a thud and Drezden started to cry. I'm sure it sounded like I was beating my kids in there. I wasn't, though. Really.

I finally hauled Drezden out with no shoes on (he had stripped almost totally naked!) and screaming, dragged all the other kids behind me, and headed to the van where I got them all packed in and buckled, put the groceries away and determined that I would NEVER again go to WalMart alone on a Saturday. Never!

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