Sunday, January 13, 2013

The things I learned on my first solo trip (with kids) to Costco

1.  If my head weren't screwed on tight, I'd surely lose it.

Yesterday, my mother-in-law treated my husband and me to a Costco membership, as part of our Christmas gifts.  I have been looking forward to having free reign inside this store since the first time I visited.  So much Coca-cola!  As a mom trying to feed my family in a healthy but not organic expensive way, I can't beat the bulk frozens and Cheerios.

Yesterday, after I signed up and had my membership card photo taken, I promptly lost said membership card.   I'm fairly confident that the checker didn't give it back to me, but who am I kidding?  That's just as likely as a number of other alternatives, like it's in one of the bankers boxes full of files in my trunk or in my kids' hamper.  Stuff happens when you have littles.

I called this morning and was advised that they immediately shred any lost cards they locate, so I decided to brave it on a Sunday morning to get a new card and take a little more time to wander.  Bad idea.

2.  Falling on your ass in public is still pretty embarrassing, even when you're a "grown up" with two kids in tow.

I was pretty sure that being an adult would make me impervious to embarrassment.  I mean, not all kinds, of course, but the kind where my teenage self would have reddened, looked around to see who saw, and come up with something witty to say within 3 seconds to deflect from my gaffe.  Untrue, in case you haven't had the pleasure of the experience!

My little guys are 2.5 and 3.5.  They're both willing to be held as often as not and, assuming they won't always think I'm the greatest thing since Elmo, they won't always want me to hold them either.  So when they ask, I'm more than happy to oblige.  Unfortunately, there are two of them and one of me, a fact they are keenly aware of!  Mikko kind of requires holding at big stores where I have to stand still in line, otherwise I will lose him.  He was also a little sleepy, so wanted some snuggles.   Kaia was feeling a little cuddly too and more than a tiny bit annoyed that Mikko was being held and she was not.  I tried taking turns until Mikko started running off.  So I sucked it up, leaned down instructed them to hang on tight and dragged them both up, one on each hip.  That lasted for about 3 minutes before I was exhausted and I went to squat down and let them each sit on my respective knees.  Somebody moved, my feet slipped on the water from the snow melting from my boots (did I mention this line-waiting lasted about 10 minutes) and I was on my ass.  Perhaps mercifully, no one ran to my rescue.  So I laughed and went back to making the kids take turns.  I think they decided to give me a break at that point.  It didn't last.

3.  No matter how many samples there are, two kids will not last an hour at the store when they're sitting next to each other in the cart.

This really doesn't require much explanation.  Kids hit and push each other in close proximity, especially when that lasts a long time.  My little beasts are no exception.  I'll let you use your imagination.  Unless you have two kids 14 months apart, I assure you that the reality was worse.

4.  They will be DONE about three minutes before you're done, and that will extend the whole process at least another five.

Costco has this hyper-efficient system wherein you go to the left and your cart goes to the right, so the checker can put your purchases right back in it.  My kids aren't awesomely behaved, so I wasn't about to let them put an entire grocery belt between us.  So I pulled them both out of the cart after emptying it of all of our items.  By the time I had Kaia out, Mikko was already climbing over the side.  I had both of their hands and shuffled them slowly forward.  Then I realized we were in front of the card reader and the lady in front of us hadn't paid yet, so I shuffled them back.  Kaia stumbled (although she didn't fall) and started sobbing.  Like my-mommy-just-yanked-my-arm-out-of-the-socket sobbing.  Oy.  I hadn't pulled her at all, just walked backward while holding her hand, but she did stumble and I wasn't sure if she had hurt herself.  When she finally settled down enough to answer me between sobs she said, "I wasn't ready to move backward."  Tantrum over, cheeks awash with tears and, as always with a kid who refuses to wear barrettes, hair matted to hear wet face, I promised her she could ride on the back of the cart if she would please just cooperate until we got out to the car.  We finally made it out of there alive.  Once we were in the car and the kids were finally quiet, munching on some Pirates Booty, I decided that...

5.  Once you have kids, you really only enjoy doing things when you're completely alone.