Sunday, June 5, 2011
Nightmare at Walmart
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.
Posted by dulce de leche at 5:28 PM