But last night? Last night was different. I finally felt that high. One that I certainly didn’t expect to have going in. Back to school is almost here and I’ve been stressed for the last few days thinking about all of the things that need to be done for next week. It looked like this weekend was going to be a write-off just getting last-minute things and preparing the kids for school.
Yesterday afternoon I had to bring Miss M to the doctor for something minor. We didn’t have an appointment, but my doctor’s office offers a walk-in clinic for patients in the evenings. I was dreading the visit, thinking we would be waiting there close to two hours. Luckily for us, they opened early and she was the fourth patient called. We were back in the car in under an hour. I was excited. I figured we could get some errands done that I had planned to do on the weekend.
There were no good sales at the first department store, so we left without purchasing anything and I kept my promise to get some dinner. We headed to the food court and I let Miss M choose any place she wanted. Oh, the choices! She talked it through. Should she get Chinese? A sub? A hotdog? Nope. She finally decided on (yuck) KFC. I agreed and we happily skipped over to order her some popcorn chicken and fries. I got two soft-shelled tacos from Taco Bell. We sat and we ate. We giggled and we shared. I didn’t rush her. She told me when she was full and then I let her take the tray over to the garbage. Something I normally wouldn’t do, fearing she would drop it, but she made it just fine and dumped everything in the trash. Then she had to pee again. Luckily the bathrooms were not far. We went, washed our hands and Purelled. Then she wanted to go get ice cream. It was time for negotiations. If you’re a good girl while we’re at the next store, we’ll come back and get an ice cream. Okay, Mama, she promised.
While we were walking across the mall to Store #2, Miss M declared that she was too tired to walk and requested a stroller. Hmm, nice idea but she is a five-year-old. Not a small five-year-old, either. She’s an inch or two away from four feet tall and she weighs about 50 pounds. I told her she was too big to get a stroller and she’d have to walk like a big girl. But she complained more and I felt bad because I know her feet do tire easily, especially after walking in those braces all day. We stopped at the Customer Service desk. The lady told me she’s too big. I know, I said, but do you mind if we just try? She obliged and let us in the corall of strollers. Miss M grabbed one and tried to hop in. But the bar got in the way. She couldn’t put her legs through. Then she had an idea. She sat in it and put her legs over the bar, so that her legs were dangling. Probably not the safest seating arrangement, but it worked for me!
So off we strolled to Store #2. There were sales galore and the pants that my hubby likes were $25 off! I sent Hubby a text to see how many pairs he wanted and while we were waiting for his reply we headed over to browse the girls’ clothing section. They had a one-day-only sale of 50 percent off all outerwear! We got busy trying on jackets and snowsuits. And even though it was rather hot in the store, Miss M didn’t complain once about putting on winter coats and snow pants. We found her a perfect fall coat and a pretty snowsuit. On our way back to get the pants, we grabbed some boxers for J that were also on sale. I bought four pairs of pants, a coat, a snowsuit and three pairs of boxers all for almost half of what I would have expected to pay!
We went back to return the stroller, browsed the mall a bit and found the last thing that I needed from Miss M's list of school supplies (a nylon bag for storing her shoes). Then we got her ice cream (she deserved it) and headed to the car. It was after 8:30 and we had been shopping since 4:30. I actually felt great. We got in the car and for the first time in a long time after shopping, I wasn’t hot and cranky or snappy. We continued to talk and laugh and sing together on the way home. And the most surprising part is that I didn’t even buy anything for myself! Well, I did get a mocha frappucino, but I deserved a treat, too. I kept my patience and in turn Miss M behaved. I realize now that most times it is actually me who causes the stress while shopping, not my children. I had a new perspective last night with Miss M. I tried to make things fun for her, I didn't rush or nag. We took our time. It might have taken longer than usual, but it was worth it for both of us.
Do you enjoy shopping or dread it?
How do you handle shopping with your child(ren) (or do you avoid it at all costs)?
Do they expect ice cream, or do you bribe them with ice cream?
Do great sales make you happy?