Sunday, 10 June 2012

That Time I Conquered the World

And by "conquered the world" I mean, "took three kids to Target by myself"- which feels like exactly the same thing.

I noticed on Monday that Tommy needed new shoes. I came to this conclusion by observing his big toe sticking out of his current footwear. I knew those shoes were due to be replaced, but since he had worn sandals every day for the past month (and I've been slightly busy), I had forgotten about it until the new shoes became a dire necessity. Mom had an appointment on Tuesday that was set to last an hour and a half, so I girded my loins for battle and decided to take the kids to the store after dropping her off.

Barring one unfortunate incident it went amazingly well.

Besides shoes for Tommy, I had one other important mission for our trip: find a pair of bathing suit bottoms. The weather is nice now and we have been going down to the beach, and while my old bathing suit "fits" it does so in a very unattractive way. I found a cute tankini top at Old Navy over the weekend, but the bottoms that went with it were hideous (think rouching on the behind- in what world is it attractive to have a bathing suit pull down and show off one's crack?) , thus I needed to try my luck at another store.

I find that shopping with my boys for women's clothes is generally unpleasant. It takes so long to find what I want, pick out a color, and get the right size that they have all kinds of time to get bored and touch things on the rack, pull them off, try them on, and so on. I don't think it's really fair to ask them to sit through a big clothes shopping trip, and it certainly isn't fun for me, so I almost never do it. However, since I only needed one thing and I didn't know when my next chunk of free time would arrive, I decided to go ahead and give it a try.

In order to navigate the store, I had Kenny strapped on my front in an Ergo, Nic sitting in the child's seat in the cart, and Tommy in the cart basket. Kenny slept while I rifled through suits, while Nic and Tommy waited and attempted to keep their hands to themselves. They soon broke down and one of them ended up wearing a pink and white striped bikini top...I won't say who. I calmly removed the suit and pushed them through the maze of ridiculously close together racks to the dressing room, which was, of course, blocked off by a bunch of carts. The fitting room attendant rescued us from the traffic jam and kindly gave us the handicapped stall when I pleadingly asked if there were any rooms that would fit us all and (most importantly) the cart.

At that point I was feeling pretty accomplished. The big boys were delighted to find three whole mirrors in the fitting room and were happily making silly faces. The little boy was safely arranged on the large bench in the room, and I was able to try on two of the bottoms...and one of them wasn't too bad.

Then Tommy jumped up and started fidgeting like crazy and clutching himself while yelling, "I have to pee, I have to pee, quick, quick, I have to go NOW!"

Imagine my chagrin. I was standing in a the dressing room in a shirt and bathing suit bottoms. No way was I running through the store to the bathroom in that get-up. Plus, I really really really did not want to have to get dressed, load up Kenny, push the boys across the store, and then go through the entire process of settling back into the fitting room so I could try on the rest of the suits.

So, I took a gamble. I told Tommy to cross his legs and hold it and I scrambled to try on those last five suits. The entire time there was a loud, running dialogue in our dressing room that went something like this:

Me: Hold it, hold it, you are doing a great job!"

Tommy: It's coming, it's coming, I have to go.

Me: Cross your legs, you can do it.

Tommy: I'm dancing, I'm dancing and it's not working.

Me: You are a big boy, you can hold it.

Tommy: I'm squeezing my wiener!

I don't know if we were as loud as I think we were, but I think I heard some laughter from a few rooms I'm guessing we were.

As soon as I rejected the last suit, I grabbed the top two contenders to take home for further evaluation, got dressed, loaded up Kenny, gathered up all the discarded suits, and backed the cart up as quickly as possible out of the dressing room and into the larger store. The fitting room attendant pointed us toward our destination and we ran to the restroom as fast as I could push that cart. Of course, we get to the door and I notice the sign that says you can't take unpurchased merchandise in the restroom. I asked a passing employee if there was a place to put my items where I wouldn't loose them, and she said I could go see if there was a cashier to watch them for me, but that they might not. At that point Tommy was really dancing and squirming, so I decided to be bold and break the rules.

That's right, I took two bathing suit bottoms that I hadn't paid for into the Target restroom. You want to know what I was thinking?

If they arrest me for attempted shoplifting they will have to watch all three of my kids. No way is anyone going to volunteer to do that. They will have to overlook my transgression. Ha!

I am happy to report that my gamble paid off. Tommy made it in time, I got to keep my bathing suit bottoms, and no one got in trouble with store security. We managed to find Tommy a pair of shoes that he is really excited about (Lighting McQueen, of course), and to pick up a few other things that we needed without incident.

When I left that Target I felt good. It was the first time I had taken all three boys out to do anything significant by myself, and while I knew that I could do it, there is a big difference between knowing that you can do something and actually doing it. And not only did I do it, but they all behaved very nicely and no one was injured or emotionally scarred by the adventure. My original goal was to survive Target with the boys, but instead, we conquered.


Heather said...

Great story! I love the first line. Also, just last month I was at Target with my three, trying on bathing suits, and N had to pee. Maybe they are consipiring together against us.

Jess said...

Hilarious- The things kids say in public!