The holiday season is upon us. The traffic is slowing, the malls and stores are crammed, and I am facing hypertension and claustrophobia. Today we participated in the madness of the ritual and have sworn off for the rest of the year.
First stop... Party Store for Isaiah's birthday (He is turning 4 in two days) . My blood pressure was normal as I waited with Lydia(2) and Toby(8 months) in the van waiting for my wife and Isaiah to return with the supplies for the birthday party tomorrow. My wife hating city traffic asks me to drive. Since I was off work today and will be off through Monday I was feeling fairly relaxed and said "Sure, I don't mind at all". "Lets go to Toys-R-Us and see what we can find for the kids for Christmas" she said enthusiastically. The first trip stop had gone without a hitch so feeding on her enthusiasm I said "OK". That is about as enthusiastic as I can get about shopping.
Second stop... Toys-R-Us. Traffic slowed slightly as we made our way deeper into the city. we reached the parking lot to find it was nearly full and instead of doing what any sane person would do and going to another store or better yet taking this as an early warning sign and heading home we circled, dodging pedestrians and road raged drivers. Finally parked in the last spot on the face of the planet it started to rain. I am getting a little less enthusiastic about this trip. When we made it inside we were shocked at how many people were in this store. "Isn't Christmas like a month away" I pondered to myself. We made it to a section of the store where we would like to browse and as we started down the aisle we realize that store had miscalculated the width of the carts when they set up the shelves and displays. There was no way to fit more than one cart down an aisle at a time and if someone was standing in the aisle you could not get past! Pre-Hypertension was setting in coupled with claustrophobia because there were far to many people in that store. We slowly made our way around the store while the kids, overwhelmed with the selection, want everything in sight and begin to whine, beg, and plead.
"Can I have this"
"Will you buy this for me"
We found what we were looking for. We looked at it and then left without buying anything, kids pleading all the way out the door and continuing in the van.
In the van... I was glad to be out of the store and plopped down into the passenger seat, a little drained from the excursion. While we sat and waited for my son to calm down from toy overload my wife and I made a pact to never go back to Toys-R-Us especially with any child. My son finally calms down and comes to grips with the fact that he is not going to get that new Ben 10 toy that he picked up in the store. Aimee looks over at me as exhausted as I was and ask me "Will you please hand this back to Isaiah now that he has calmed down". I looked down at the cup of pretzels and selfishly said "No" (He is in the very back seat and you have to get out of the van to do this). "Come on, he is on your side" she retorted. Still feeling somewhat tired I refused again but realizing I was being lazy and selfish gave in after the third attempt.
As my wife drove down the circle to the the other side of town we noticed a significant slowing of traffic. A wreck... how did we not see this coming... there is always a wreck in the city when it rains. I became frustrated with the number of people in city today especially the ones from Ohio. "Don't they have enough stores in Ohio to shop from" I thought bitterly.
Third Stop... Another Party Store which we thought may have the decorations that the first one did not. I volunteered to go in this time while Aimee sat in the van with the kids. I rushed through the aisles and not finding what we were looking for returned to the van.
Hunger sets in and we made our way across the road to the Outback Steakhouse to use a couple of gift certificates that I received as a bonus from work. The meal was excellent and the children were well behaved. My wife and I were now energized enough to continue the journey to our last stops and then on to home.
Fourth Stop...Whole Foods...Aimee and Lydia went in after rounds of, "I HAVE TO GO PEEEE!" My daughter has a bladder the size of an empty water baloon and this is the fifth time she has been to the potty on this outing. Quick and smooth stop and the kids got a free sheet of stickers there.
Last stop... Walmart... We needed to get some finger foods for the party and to get Isaiah's birthday gift (Yes, I know bad parents not having a gift until now). After grabbing all the groceries we could fit in one cart with a car seat in the lower section we headed over to the toys. It began again.
"Can I have this"
"Will you buy this for me"
We alternated turns distracting the kids while we tried to come to an agreement on what we should get for him. We came to a decision and started towards the checkout line. "Oh wait, I saw something that I wanted to get Lydia for Christmas" Aimee said. She sent me away with the kids and placed the Ariel doll on the bottom rack of the cart covered by some random food items.
As we stood in the checkout line, I make the suggestion that I take the kids on to the van. As I turned and started off she spotted it. "Are you going to buy my Ariel?" Lydia said excitedly as she escapes my grip and grabs it. Not wanting to ruin the already ruined surprise I took it from her and asked "How did that get in there?" as I set it up on a display knowing Aimee would pick it up after I left. The man in front of us tried not to laugh. This upset Lydia far more than I had anticipated and she did not stop her fit all the way out the door, after she was buckled up, and at least 5 minutes after that. Feeling sorry for her at this point I offered her a drink. She immediately proceeded to vomit all over my hand and herself.
The rest of the night was uneventful comparatively.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Since Aimee had to go to the rehearsal for Brooke's wedding I had to take the kids (minus Toby) trick-or-treating by myself. Here are a few pictures of Halloween and several other occasions that they dressed up prior to. We got a lot of hand-me-down costumes so there are a lot of different princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, Tinker Bell, and Aerial) . Lydia is set for the next 5 years.
Lydia as Cinderella