Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Trip to Costco

Let me tell you about our trip to Costco today. This is pretty typical.

Both kids are loaded in the basket. Madeline has one of Charlie's onesies on underneath her sleeveless sundress. We get looks, but I think she looks pretty cute. Charlie is wearing the shirt Rob put him to bed in last night. It's from Pottery Barn and has his name embroidered on the front, so no one will actually realize that I just threw some shorts over it.

We walk around the store trying samples. I'm trying to keep Charlie from spilling the mango juice from the tiny paper cup he's crushing in his hands. A jolly older man with a white beard and perfect mustache winks at Madeline and hands her a card, which is undoubted intended for me, in case I want to hire a Santa impersonator. It has his summer and winter address (North Pole Lane) so we can write him a wish list. It's a little creepy, but Madeline is enchanted. Every time she sees him, she goes crazy and asks me things like, "Why is Santa buying milk, Mommy?"

The sole inspiration for this Costco outing is to find a gift to thank our wonderful neighbors who took care of Maple a few times this summer, including this weekend while we were in Colorado. I'm looking for Wii games, but can only find Rock Band for $150. So instead I grab a two-ticket movie pass for $15.50, but they're a family of five, so I decide to buy three packs. Do some quick math and realize this is pretty expensive, especially since I wanted to buy them a pizza for dinner too. Kids are already starting to get a little antsy, so I grab and go. Put some more groceries in the cart and grab the pizza. Some moisture from the refrigerated chicken has gotten the movie pass a little wet and it grosses me out. So I put it back, intending to grab a dry one. Now Charlie's getting really hungry for lunch, so I dart to the check out line. Have you ever shopped at Costco? I'm digging out my Costco card, shuffling through my wallet for cash, when I realize I never threw a new movie pass into the cart. There are three full baskets in line behind me. The check out clerk (a young guy who definitely doesn't have kids) tells me I can go grab another one and get back in line; he doesn't say it rudely, but it rubs me the wrong way. So I buy what I have, then ditch my full basket (full of shrimp and other frozen items) and go to the hot dog line to feed my starving boy. Twenty minutes later, Madeline's covered in smoothie and Charlie's playing under the table, but our stomachs are full. Madeline's enthralled that Santa's eating a piece of pizza (he winks again. Time to roll). I realize I have to go all the way out of Costco, then check back in to re-enter the store and buy the movie passes. Feel like I want to just skip it, but give myself a verbal pep talk ("Meg, you can do this. Just get it done. Do you really want to make another whole trip for this gift? No! So suck it up.") I sneak the wrong way through a line back into the store, leaving my basket by our hot dog table. Now I don't have a cart to clip the kids into, so I'm holding their hands. Charlie has one shoe on. He takes off running, practically shrieking with joy at his new found freedom. Madeline thinks it looks fabulous, so she follows suit.

I have completely lost control.

Wrangle kids. Get the movie pass. Wrangle kids some more. Get back in line, which has gotten even longer. When I notice the woman in line behind me holding a $15 Wii game that would be perfect for the kids next door. This would put me back within my budget (especially since we have nonstop birthday parties -- i.e. birthday presents -- this month). Decision time.

Grab the kids. Go back and find the Wii display that eluded me the first time around. Grab a Twilight game for the girls and a baseball game for the boy. Horrify a group of boy scouts as I chase my wild animals and say, "Mommy's starting to lose her patience!!!" Back in line. Madeline is covered in ketchup and smoothie. If people were looking twice before, you should see them now, especially since she's lying on her back spinning on the floor. A dad with a few things in his cart takes pity on me and ushers me in front of him.

Buy the stupid gift. Grab my cart full of thawing meat. Tickle the kids and try to finish strong. Charlie's laughing and throws his hands up in the air. Oops. He accidentally smacks Madeline in the eye with his flip flop (which is in his hand instead of on his foot). She's in agony and has a cry that I'm sure people can hear all the way back in the loading dock.

Deep breath. Soothe her. Get to the car. Get to the car. All I can think is just Get. To. The. Car.

Locked and loaded. Driving back home, trying to keep Charlie awake so he'll take a nap in his crib.

Cross my fingers and hope that they both actually sleep. I haven't heard anything in the ten minutes since I started this post, so I might actually get to put my feet up and recharge for this afternoon (an absolute necessity since they're literally powering up like a drained cell phone as I speak...)


The Brown Family said...

This is hilarious. Literally laughing out loud as I sit here reading! Only because I can picture every second you described, and it's so easy for these things to happen, right?!? You are great to finish strong. Enjoy those naps.

The Stucks said...

You made it!!! Many similar CostCo and Sams versions have occurred in my own life...piercing screams from Lauren kept a lady out of the gas station bathroom when we were on our way home from KC last weekend. Poor girl just wanted the handicap stall but Mady got it first! Unpredictablilty is half the fun huh!

Johanna said...

Love it!!!!!!! Congrats on your survival. :) I love the mental mommy pep talks- I do them daily. :)

Chelsea said...

AARGGGH!! When it rains, it pours. The only thing that could actually make a trip to Costco MORE stressful is doing it all over again! ha!

You deserve a BIG glass of wine, girl!

Buffy said...

Hilarious!!! I am literally sitting here laughing out loud, Megs! I did Sam's club once with 2 kids (and one was still a baby - much easier), and I will never do that again. You are a champ!! Super-duper, #1 mom award for that one for sure! So, when is your book coming out???