I have two small children and anyone with two kids can tell you that taking them places alone is not always easy. Luckily, I have never had that much difficulty the few times I’ve done it. So I took both the boys to Wal-Mart last night. We needed some stuff so we went. Dave was busy playing a church somewhere. Don’t ask.
Shortly after arriving I have to go to the bathroom. So we went to the back of the store where there is a family bathroom. It was locked so I waited a few minutes. Despite the toilet flushing three times no one ever came out. I thought perhaps I didn’t want to go into an enclosed room that needed the toilet flushed that many times. I got both boys out of the buggy and took them with me into the ladies’ room. I went all the way to the last stall which is typically a handicapped facility so it’s roomy. No sooner then I had sat down than Connor got on his hands and knees and vacated the stall. Through clenched teeth, trying not to yell, I growled that he had better get his tushie back here. Then Sully started trying to get out. I pulled my pants back up and started collecting my children as Connor crawled back under from the next stall over.
Then I thought, I sure hope there wasn’t anyone in there. That’s just what I need; my two year old crawling from stall to stall, weaving between women’s legs, punctuated by the occasional piping of “’cha doin’?” Luckily, there was no one else in the bathroom. I scooped up the baby who was still trying to get his head under the stall door and grabbed Connor as I headed for the door. I plunked them both back in the buggy and headed for Customer Service as I had something to return.
I did what needed to be done while Connor flirted with the lady behind us who thought Connor’s cries of ‘Daniel-Hannah’ was him saying Pochahontas. So close. Once that was taken care of I still had to go to the bathroom seeing as how I hadn’t gotten to go previously. So I parked the buggy outside the nearest bathroom. Connor refused to stand up to get out of the buggy and since I was already holding the baby I couldn’t make him get up. After several threatening remarks and Connor still not moving I put the baby down and ripped Connor out of the buggy.
Again, I went down to the last stall. Perhaps you see where this is going. This time I made the mistake of actually starting to use the bathroom. Well, the big difference in this bathroom and the other one is...the other one had a door. So despite my yelling, both Connor and Sully took off. Again, there was no one else in the bathroom to hear my pleading cries of “Someone grab my kids!”
I righted myself as fast as I could all the while hearing Connor squealing at least fifty feet away from the bathroom where I was struggling to get out of the stall. And those weren’t I’m-lost-and-scared squeals, those were I’m-loose-and-no-one’s-chasing-me-and I’m-in-so-much-trouble-that-I-don’t-realize-my-mama’s-going-to-beat-the-tar-out-of-me-when-she-catches-me squeals. Yes, those.
I tore out of the bathroom in time to see Sully toddling as fast as he could down a checkout lane; Connor was nowhere in sight. That’s when I saw the looks. I didn’t focus on any in particular due to the fact that I was a tad preoccupied, but I could feel them. The stares of onlookers, judging me. The disparaging glares of the holier-than-thous. Those people who either don’t have kids or have never experienced having one run off from them. The ones who don’t know. So instantly as I flung the diaper bag into the buggy I was a bad parent. I felt the stares and heard the questions attached to them, “Don’t you know how to control your own children?” “Do you just let them run around like that?” “Someone should take those children from you.” However, there were also some people who were pretty amused by the situation. I ran and grabbed Sully as he tried to loot a candy display. Connor was streaking through Women’s clothes squealing with unconcealed glee as I ran after him. The chase ceased in Menswear where he tripped and fell. Turning, he looked at me and said ‘what happened?’
I snatched him up out of the floor and dragged him like a sack of potatoes back to the buggy, half a store away. The same stares beat down on me, but I glared back at them this time. I had triumphed; I had caught my children and once again corralled them. Two little girls about six years old stared at me as they pretended to get a drink of water from the fountain. Yeah, I know you’re not really drinking when you don’t open your mouth but continue to stare at me. Finally I got tired of it and said “What?!” They ran off. Don’t judge me, you little punks.
Unfortunately, I still had shopping to do. I accomplished what I believe to be the fastest Wal-Mart shopping ever. It was just under ten minutes. I screeched to a halt at the self check-out knowing that I was going to be faster than anyone else at that time. I started scanning stuff and Connor holds something up to me and says “I’ll help you, Mommy.”
Go ahead and ‘awww’ all you want to, that did not change anything. Sure it was cute but he had also just treated himself to a free-for-all through Wal-Mart. Yes, I was still pissed. When we left, though, I did get him a Happy Meal at McDonalds. However, when we got home I realized that I don’t have a key to our new house.
And I still had to pee.