My two oldest princesses recently had their birthdays. 7 and 9. Grandma very thoughtfully put together cool little craft kits for each of them containing all sorts of goodies to make friendship bracelets. For any extras they might need, she gave each girl a $25.00 gift card to Michaels to go and top up their kits. A very thoughtful gift for my girls, a ticking time bomb for Michaels. We were on our last day of 3 days off of school, and after having pestered, um I mean, kindly asking me for weeks, I finally decided to bite the bullet and take them on their crafty spending spree. Having had the "pleasure" in the past of shopping with my children on someone else's dime (I never knew it was possible to spend 6 hours in Claire's) , I thought establishing a game plan might help in reducing the amount of time we spend debating which pink shiny beads to buy. "Ok girls, let's sit down and make a plan" I said as I rallied them around as if we were about to march into battle. "What kinds of things would you like to purchase with your gift cards?" I was stupidly confident that they had already planned out their whole shopping trip, like winners of one of those timed shopping sprees. Wrong. "Wellll..." starts Princess B, "I dooo like scrap booking, but I also like beads, but I also like painting, and I like clay, ooh but I kind of like making birdhouses, sooooo, yeah, I don't really know." Yup, there it was, the moment where I realized just what I was in for, and I hung my head in defeat. "What about you miss?" I hopefully asked the older of the 2..sure she, had given this whole thing some serious thought. "I just kinda want to go there and see what I want." she answered with an excited glint in her eyes. And that's when my "shopaholic" thinking kicked in. Yeah, why pre-plan a good shop? Let's just go and see where the gift card winds takes us. A little retail therapy with my 2 oldest gals...oh right, but there are 3 princesses in this family. Princess I was, at 2.75 years old, NOT shopping compatible. She is my "spirited" child who is not a fan of being strapped down in a stroller, but given the freedom to walk free, is like a loose puppy after a can of Redbull. I also was dealing with a sprained ankle after a breathtakingly graceful fall the day before while out for a walk with my girls, so my mobility was also somewhat restricted, and therefore so was my patience. So with a deep breath and a turn of the key we were off!
We pull up out front of the store, clammer out of the van, put Princess I into her stroller, and short of duct taping her to the damn thing, I make sure those straps are secure and "snug as a bug". We can do this. I can do this. Deep breath....and....through the doors we go.
We start in the scrap book isles. I didn't know there were sooooooo many choices in scrap book stickers. Wow. So far so good, even I was enjoying myself. I wish I scrap booked, but with ADD and the focus of an infant, I know better than to delve into this detail oriented, attention required type of crafting. Frick, I still have an empty photo album waiting to be filled with pics from our trip to Disneyland...3 years ago.
"I want to get out mommy" Princess I started. Uh oh. "No luvvy, mommy needs you to stay in your stroller in this store" I told her quietly. My girls picked out some stickers rather painlessly and now we were on route to the beads. "I waaaaaaant to get OUUUUUUUT!" she asked a little louder this time, and I knew we had just witnessed our TSN turning point. I was dominating the first half of this trip, and now, I was being overtaken by a 2 year old. We were in the bead isle, and good lord, there were a lot of beads. "Ok girls, what kind of beads would you like to look at?" I asked. "All of them" they said in perfect harmony. Just then, I remembered I had pushed the stroller over to the side to go and chat with my oldest gals, and what made me remember that was the sound of an "oh oh" and a rack of beads hitting the floor. Mental note: NEVER park your stroller next to a wall of individually strung beads in every colour of the rainbow. That's when I heard the other sound every mother hates to hear in a store, "ummmmm, can I help you find anything?!?!" the service lady said as she starred at the pile of beads on the floor. Now I'm on all fours gathering beads, and my little "sweetheart" is fake crying at the top of her lungs. Ok, I'll let her out and just try and hold onto her. Once she was out she spotted a plastic alligator that was out of place, yet in the perfect spot for us at that moment. Momentarily she was quiet and occupied pretending the alligator was kissing different boxes of beads. "I have to go peepee and poopooo mommy" she yelled. Crap! Literally. "C'mon girls your sister has to use the potty...let's go." I grabbed them all, and hobbled my way all the way to the back of the store to visit the bathroom. Once we were back, I put the crunch on my girls to decide or leave with nothing. I turn around to see little miss flat on the floor, pretending to swim with her mouth down on the dirty linoleum. "Awwww noooo GET UP! Ack! Dirty! Gross!" I yelped as I started to sweat. I had tried. I gave it a GREAT try...but it was over. I was done and so were they. "Ok girls if you don't have all you want by the time I count to ten, you leave with nothing" I presented the ultimatum unaware that they were standing quietly behind me, baskets full and ready to go. They were so cute, taking their turn going through the check out, putting up their stuff and paying with their little gift cards. Princess I was back in her stroller, still whining and crying, but as I headed towards the door, it didn't seem to matter anymore. We had survived. My oldest girls were tickled with all the fun goodies they had found and climbed into the van to compare purchases. I strapped wee miss into her car seat and gave her a kiss on her pink little cheek, and all was forgiven. I limped around the van, climbed in and buckled up. As I started the van, Princess A says to me from the back of the van "where to now Mom?" and without a second of hesitation I calmly reply "the liquor store".
I'm rambled out...until next time.