If I ever feel the need for some extra attention, all I have to do is go to Walmart with some – or all- of my kids.
That wasn’t the reason why I did that today, but it only took about the length of an aisle or two to realize it makes a pretty good game plan.
Today, though, I needed pampers. And wipes. And ASAP.
So in a moment of lots of energy and irrational thinking, off I went with my four little ones that were home with me. And while I was already wandering through the endless aisles at Walmart, I figured why not do my weekly grocery shopping too. In truth, I can think of a lot of reasons why not to; but like I said, it was a moment of a lot of energy and irrational thinking..
I assumed we’d find one of the family size wagons; we didn’t.
Only one kid fit in the regular wagon; the rest of it was heaped high with stuff. That means the other three little guys were my foot soldiers.
And the attention we got! Every little old gray haired man and lady in the store stopped to “ooh” and “ahhh” and “G-d bless you”. And if I felt the need to draw some extra attention to myself and my clan, I casually added, “Oh the rest are at home!” to which I got more “G-d bless yous!” from the little white haired men and ladies.
While my energy and patience were intact, it was almost fun!
Funny how it is, though. Lots of oohs and aahs from the little old folks; and lots of stares and some glares from the random moms around the store. No “G-d bless yous!” from them. But I suppose I can’t blame them; us moms are an interesting bunch, we’re too sleep deprived to be impressed or care about anything other than some shut eye.
And the kids behaved pretty well, too.
Ok, I’ll admit it. The bribes grew accordingly. Ices at the end. We picked it out in the beginning, left it in the freezer, and would go back to get it.
So when my six year old climbed into a cozy spot on the tissue shelf (that was kind of beckoning to kids) I just reminded him about the ices.
And when my three year old went to hide in the clothes rack (why does every kid do that??) I just reminded him about the ices.
And when my four year old started giving the one year old a free ride in the wagon while I bent down to get something, I just reminded him about the ices.
And when they sneaked 15 boxes of instant pudding into the wagon (look, its kosher!) And when they emptied the cereal shelf. And when they each chose a bottle of sunblock so we could have for the summer. All I had to say was “ices!” and all was back to normal.
Oh, and the apple juice boxes and dried pineapple helped too.
An hour and thirty minutes later, I was done. And I don’t mean just my list.
I mean I was done; done with my energy, done with my patience, and done with getting attention.
Walmart gives me a headache on a regular day. Today was exceeding them all.
And this little old lady at the register wasn’t the same as all the rest of the old folk shoppers; she wasn’t impressed. She was trying to work quickly; so was I.
But I also had to settle the kids with their ices so it could go as smoothly as possible. And without fanfare.
This little old lady hurt her arm and couldn’t move it much. I tried one of my best tactics reserved for when you want to get on someone’s good side or get good service from a cashier; I told her how difficult it must be to work with a sore arm and what a trooper she was.
I think we became best friends.
I bid farewell to Walmart and all its little old gray haired ladies and got my troops back in the van. Loaded the dozens of bags in the trunk and drove off…until next time.