Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nightmare at Walmart

kid Zombie


It started as a simple errand.  Innocent enough.  We hadn't realized that we were running low on toilet paper when we did our weekly shopping.  However, with two kidlets who still don't believe that anything less than a softball-sized wad will protect their hands, we go through it more quickly than we should.  We had had a lovely day.  Our adventure at the safari sanctuary seeing lions, tigers, a liger, wolves and bears, and petting donkeys, pythons and an adorable little joey had concluded with ice cream (can I just say that Braum's new Key Lime Pie flavor is delicious?).  Like the naive and over-confident blonde in the horror movies, I blithely assured Carlos that I would be back soon to nurse the baby, and let the other three come with me.

The ominous soundtrack should have started shortly after we walked in.  The greeter generously handed out stickers for a free cookie.  I had only a twinge of foreboding about the sugar on top of the previous ice cream, and consented.  Ariana and Joel politely thanked the lady.  Elena, almost three (shrieks and thunder crashing), decided she didn't like it and spit it into the cart.  Then she promptly started climbing out.  I helped her out and reminded her to stay with me.  Then one of the older kids asked a question, and in the fraction of a second I turned my head, she took off running.

She darted between the racks of the womens department, as Joel and Ariana took of in hot pursuit.  I had the cart with a couple of items I had already picked up and lumbered behind, trying to maneuver it through the racks without dislodging anything.  I could her her giggles, and the squeals whenever one of her siblings managed to get close, then all was silent.

She found the perfect hiding place down at the bottom of a circular rack, perfectly obscured by long dresses.  If this really were a horror movie, she would have been safe.  Thankfully, the sales lady had noticed a couple of wriggling dresses and gestured toward it with a wink.  I finally succeeded in getting her and putting her back into the cart, despite her vigorous protests.

I ruthlessly steered over to the make up section to grab some nail polish on our way to the check out.  I was tempted to skip it, but I start a new class tomorrow and wanted to have polished toes.  She saw her favorite color, a Spiderman blue, and begged to get it.  Joel and Ariana had already agreed that they would not ask for anything, but their expressions lit up like hopeful puppy dogs.  Ah, well, it was 92 cents a bottle, and a fun color.  Instead of satisfying her, she began attempting to put it on right then.

She went into full meltdown mode.  As I tried to hold my writhing little Klingon and steer the cart at the same time, Joel dropped a bottle and it broke, splashing his leg, shoes and the aisle.  Ariana's shoe suddenly came apart and fell off her foot.  Silent scream.  I am desperate to get out, and the walls are closing in.  However, she doesn't have other summer shoes right now, and I won't have time to come back, so I grimly set off toward the shoe department.

In the shoe department, Elena actually calms down and begins happily trying on all the boots.  Joel joins her.  Ariana keeps getting distracted by the dress shoes, but finally finds the perfect pair--cute, comfy and only $12.  Perceiving light at the end of the tunnel, I call the kidlets to head towards the check out.  Only to discover that Joel cannot find his shoes.  We spent a good 10 minutes (I lie--there was nothing good about it) searching for his shoes.  Finally, in desperation, I grabbed up another pair.  I was convinced that some sales person saw them and thought they were abandoned.  Suddenly, I spied blue glitter.  Aha!  There on the shelf were his pair, clearly recognizable by the streaks of nail polish.  Well, I guess something good came out of it, right?

In the check out, Elena decides to meltdown once again, and like everything, she puts her entire heart and soul into it.  I'm trying to insure that her contorting, wailing, incredibly powerful body doesn't cause any damage to people or property, and still get our items on the belt, ignoring the bystanders.  I notice that the hotdog buns I put in the cart early on are smashed beyond all recognition, but who cares about hotdog buns after all this?  I am in survival mode now.  The clerk keeps smiling as she wishes that I will have a good day.  To her credit, her voice was carefully free of any trace of sarcasm.

Things seem to have settled down now that we are at home.  The horror is beginning to fade.  But, I would give just about anything to go hide under the covers right now.

13 comments:

Pearl in Oyster (Pio) said...

Oh, what a rough outing. But so vividly described, and such grace under pressure. Thanks for sharing.

dulce de leche said...

((((PIO))) Thank you! I would love to say it was grace under pressure, but truthfully, I didn't have the emotional energy to do much of anything except numbly try to get it over with. I did pick up some Tylenol in the check out lane. :D And thankfully, the older kids were very helpful and cooperative. <3 I think it was really my natural consequences for taking her out at the end of a long day without a solid meal. :(

Young Mom said...

Oh I am familiar with that numb overwhelmed feeling! And my middle child is that same exact way without a solid meal. I rarely go anywhere with all the kids by myself, so I applaud your bravery in attempting it!

dulce de leche said...

((((Young Mom)))). Thank you so much. I'm sorry you've been through that, but it is comforting knowing that I'm not alone. :)

Terri said...

Woah, sounds like a wild and rough ride. However, since you've documented it so well, maybe it will be one of those days you look back on and laugh about?! But for now get some rest under the covers.

dulce de leche said...

Thanks, Terri! <3. Would you believe that it is 3AM here, and she has already woken up 3 times? I hope she isn't coming down with something. Isn't it amazing how often when they act up it is because they don't feel well? Yet our society seems to think that making them feel worse will make them act better. :(

Kelly said...

Oh mama - that is not a fun day! :p

I do have to say - I admire your attitude of trying to get where her behavior was coming from (I know, that's your normal...but it's just so not where my parents would have been!).

Hopefully the next time around is a better one...hugs to you! :)

Elizabeth @ Virginia Is For Mothers said...

Oh man...that sounds really rough. We've all been there and thankfully, every day must end at some point, right? Thank goodness it's not like that every time or we'd all go insane!

dulce de leche said...

Thank you so, so much for the sympathy and encouragement. Your kindness has made me, an adult who was in control (more or less) of the situation feel so much better. How much more do our little ones need sympathy and compassion! <3

Theresa said...

Oh honey, I can literally picture it! It sounds like you handled it so well though. Me, on the other hand, I would have been in tears also. You really are an inspiring mommy!

My Feminine Mind said...

Am I a horrible person for enjoying the read? Misery loves company as they say and it reminded me so much of my trip to the grocery store only this last Saturday.

dulce de leche said...

Theresa, *you* are an amazing mom, and I admire you so much. Your encouragement means so much! <3

My Feminine Mind, thank you! <3 I am actually glad that somebody can get some joy out of it. Makes me feel like it wasn't just gratuitous suffering ;) I am sorry that you have been through it, too, but also selfishly glad that I am not the only one who has days like that! <3 <3 <3

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I have had many trips like that. I had to learn the hard way to make sure my kids were feed before leaving the house, or pack a snack for them. Now that they are older we will sometimes stop and eat just to keep going on the errands. It will get easier as they get older.