The Family Dollar and Bi-Lo are side by side. I wanted to look for the same (late) birthday present for my sister-in-law that I've been looking for for a few weeks. A pretty photo type box for storing letters and several pretty packs of notecards. (Have you noticed that, whatever you decide to buy as a gift for someone is always everywhere in plain view until you decide that it's exactly what you want to get , then suddenly, you can't find it anywhere.) And then I was going to pay a bill at Bi-Lo and pick up a short list of five things. Did I mention that I had three kids with me? Let's begin now.
Exit van, cross parking lot, "can we ride on the merry-go-round?", no quarters.
In dollar store, Ethan stops at shoe bin, flashing flip-flops, they're cool, searching for sizes, Rose takes off ballet flats to try them on, too small, back to looking for present.
Find only one pack of notecards, try to continue down aisle, "mom, look at this", "see this", "can we get this"
"If you ask for it, the answer is 'no' " (haven't I said this before)
"Look at this" (picks it up), pass shoe shelf, Rose has shoes off again to try on adult flip-flops, put shoes back on (did I mention they're a pain to put on)
"No one is to pick up anything else." Each one picks up one more thing. Informed that I've begun a tally for each infraction, now standing at 1 and 1, Mom finally wins a round.
"Who are we shopping for?", "Aunt Kristy", find beautiful storage box
"Mom, look at this", am I crazy?, "I said the answer is 'no' ", "It's not for us, Mom, it's for you", "Thanks, but the only thing that I want is to get out of this store."
Eventually we make it out of that store. Stop at merry-go-round with perfect $.50 change. Head to Bi-Lo. Put girls in cart.
Go to bill counter, "Mom can we get a [free] cookie", pay bill, get cookies, debate over rotisserie chicken flavors, compare sizes, "ooo, broccoli", Ethan weighs chicken just for fun, choose apple slices over melon cubes, Ethan weighs those too (even though they're packaged and the weight is marked).
On to the sample guy with his delicious sauteed veggies and chicken. We all love it, except Rose who doesn't like veggies or chicken (or anything else, really, except breakfast, PBJ, and bananas). Add seasoning to the list. Try it on the chips...
"AHH!" "Too spicy!" "We need a drink" "Where's the water fountain" "I don't know" Catch up with the pharmacists (that we, thankfully, haven't seen much this year). Find fountain. Get everyone a drink. Go to spice aisle. Can't find spice. Get it from sample guy. Back to original list. Get pull-ups. "Ooo, I really want poptarts." "Not this time."
Okay, Scotch toilet scrubbers. Do they have them? "What are they?" "What do they look like?" Show picture on coupon. "Is this it?" Give up. Get milk.
On spying a grapefruit juice carton Ethan: "See, Anna, I told you that there were red lemons" Me: "They're pink grapefruit, not lemons, and they're called Ruby Reds."
Head toward batteries. No button cells. Look around elsewhere. Sick of looking. want to go home. Forget button cells - Walmart another day. Get in line.
Anna: "Look, Mom, are those poptarts? I really want poptarts" "They're not poptarts." "I think they are, Mom, can you go look?" "I can see them, they're not and we aren't getting poptarts today."
Ethan: "Ooo, Mom, this cereal has an Indiana Jones spoon in it. "Oh?" "Can I bring it to you?" "Honey, you can't eat it. It has gluten" "Please, Mom, just check it." "It has gluten." "Please..." "Fine, bring it... It has gluten." "That's okay, you guys can eat it and then I can have the spoon." "I don't even know how much it is." I go to find the price. Why am I doing this? I don't even want this. Am I really losing it? $3.57. "I am not paying $3.57 for cereal just to get a spoon." "Please." "I'll get it on sale or at Walmart later, if I can."
Finally. Check out....
One and a half hours.