Shopping with Four Kids, Really?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Okay. I am officially ready for school to start.

But for kids to go back to school, they need supplies. And clothes. And taking all four kids shopping is number 2 only to having wisdom teeth pulled. Without anesthetic.

Before we could even really get started in shopping for supplies and clothes, we had to purchase football gear. Justin is playing his first year of tackle football and we had to buy padded football pants and practice jerseys. That part of the shopping I actually looked forward to. I mean, it is football, after all.

One of the stores we had to hit closed at 3pm, so I began gathering the troops towards the car at 2:30p. As the herd of turtles begins to load, the littlest one announces she needs to poop. Her words not mine. Business done, we are able to leave 10 minutes later.     

We made it to the store in plenty of time. As a clerk was searching for what I needed, little girl announced she needed to go potty. Again. Off we go to the ladies room. Bowel system working well.

After I reappear, Seth comes to let me know that he invisions Justin’s mouth being taped shut. Cooper comes to tell me Seth is bossing him and pinched his arm with fingernails. Justin has found a chair and is falling asleep since he didn’t sleep at his church retreat the night before.  His mood reflects his lack of sleep. Bickering is at a low grumble, but still contained.

Next stop is to buy more football gear. The 20 minute ride increases bickering to a higher level while my patience drops lower. All 5 of us climb out of the truck like clowns from a circus car. A young girl greets us at the door and leads us to the pants. I grab a small and medium size and send Justin across the few feet to the dressing room. Seth and Cooper decide to take it upon themselves to take helmets and shoulder pads off the nearby wall racks and try them on. Dropping every other one with a loud thud. Anabelle found a punching bag by the helmets to kick and punch.

My multi-tasking consisted of kneeling to lace the crotch of my 12 year old’s football pants, yelling at Seth to stop trying on and dropping equipment, Anabelle to stop punching and Cooper to come sit in the floor beside me. He had long since left the clanging of equipment to run around the clothes racks. This young girl working may never have children after this experience.

The young clerk had to go seek out an adult male employee to help us determine if the pants fit properly. While talking to him the other three continue to run amok. It is like herding cats. You get two corralled and the other strays. In the midst of trying on pants and discussing proper fit, Seth came over to interrupt at least 4 times to show me what he is going to need someday. We finally decided on the right brand and size after trying on three pair, and I tell the clerk we need two practice jerseys. As I am browsing the options with the clerk, Anabelle decides to make an announcement to the whole store.

“I have to poop again! My poop hates me! Hurry! I gotta poop!”

I get directions to the bathroom, threaten the two boys left behind, leave Justin changing in the dressing room and grab Anabelle’s hand. However, she won’t move.

“I have to go so bad I can’t walk. It’s going to come out!” We need to keep working on the concept of the inside voice. I pick her up and carry her in front of me, waddling to the bathroom as fast as I can. We made it. Again, bowel function is not a concern. She holds her head high as she bounces back into the store, proud of her success. Apparently, she has no memory of the declarations she made to the entire store before going in to deal with her personal business.

Justin has his selections in hand and we learn they are out of one of the padded shirts he needs. This means we are going to have to make another stop at another sports store before we can go purchase school supplies. It has already been 2 and a half hours since we left home. And it is much too early on the to-do list for me to be this stressed out and exhausted.

We all crawl back into the truck like some comedy of errors and I am sure I have hives. I don’t even need to scold them, they immediately begin scolding each other and pointing out who behaved the worst. They argue the entire 15 minutes to the next store. I strongly inform them we need one thing, so behave and it will go quickly.

As Justin and I are looking for the proper type and size, Anabelle and Cooper decide to play with one of the male mannequins donning a running outfit. They go back and forth between hugging him and holding his hand then to stomping on his foot. I get on to them. We head to the check out line. Short line. Thank You, Jesus.

I am positive I still have hives, and I can feel the crease between my eye brows deepen. As I step up to the counter, I turn in time to see Anabelle pull down the running shorts on a female mannequin and Cooper attempting to pull them back up making both Anabelle and the mannequin wobble. I run to cover the mannequins privates before anyone else sees. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Hey, at least we made it to one store Anabelle didn’t have to potty in. She only de-pantsed a mannequin.

It has been a full 24 hours since this outing and I still have not gathered the courage to take them to buy school supplies. Maybe they can borrow from a friend.

I’m ready for school to start.



3 thoughts on “Shopping with Four Kids, Really?

  1. Cindi Tennison says:

    Kimberly, I laughed out loud at this story! I can so relate! My children are teens now, so back-to-school shopping is not quite so bad. I take one at a time. Of course, there's still the teenage attitude and rolling of the eyes from my daughter and the constant, "Can we go now?" from my son. But overall, it's not the nightmare of an experience it used to be. I wish you luck! It does get better!

  2. KWrighter says:

    Cindi, thank you for the light at the end of the tunnel. I needed that encouragement! I keep telling myself we are making memories….albeit, the good, the bad, and the ugly! 🙂

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