Today, I took the kids shopping. And they lasted 6 hours! That's right. SIX hours. We never get out of the house early. And at least one of them naps on a daily basis. Usually around 2:00. So generally we get about two hours in before someone has a meltdown.
But today was different.
We still got a late start. BUT.
1) Hit Lowe's for a lamp shade, landscaping rocks, and window shopping on bathroom vanities. The girls had a mahvelous time standing in corner showers and opening/closing the door. Because, you know, they're in an elevator.
2) Hobby Lobby was next. Returned a lamp shade and found cute Father's Day projects. They picked them out. Dad is so blessed to have daughters like them. They were required to keep a body part on the wall at all times during checkout because of all the breakable doo-dads that were calling their names.
3) The mall made for our longest stop.
- Sears for Dad's shirts.
- Bath and Body for smelly goods. And btw, Bath and Body has the BEST employees! While I was wishing for eyes on the side of my head so I could browse AND keep my girls from touching absolutely everything, a wonderful young woman did the unthinkable. She took my girls to the sink, let them choose a soap, and washed their hands for them. Then she asked them how they liked the smell. Then we chose lotion for them. My Indian Princess whispered to me later, "Mom, they were REALLY nice to us!" So thank you, B&B, for making my girls feel valued while giving Mom a little time to focus.
- The Children's Place to find a white shirt for the Littlest Girl. 20 minutes later, no white shirt but three pairs of shoes for a grand total of $18. The girls wore the shoes out of the store. 15 feet later my Littlest Girl was screaming in pain. Back to TCP to exchange them for their rubber fake-Croc mary janes, which I preferred anyway.
- Claires. Ran through it but didn't want to stay too long. Small things have a tendency to disappear or lose parts in my house. Don't.need.more.clutter.
- The Mall Playground!!!! Yay!! The reward for shopping so nicely. Although my Indian Princess is getting noticeably too big for the toddler equipment.
- Gymboree just to see if there was anything good. 99 cent tights were totally worth the stop. As was the TV in the back for my girls to watch so I could browse. Seriously. Marketing genius. Anyway. Talked to a woman scouring the clearance racks for her little girl. They are moving to Alaska in TWO days and she needed more winter stuff. (Remind me NEVER to complain about SoDak winters again.) She was moving to Kodiak Island. They JUST got a Walmart. All other shopping requires a ferry or plane ride. I gave her a few helpful hints about shopping online. Poor girl. She needs all the help she can get.
- Back through Sears to get to the car. But not before a game of Hide and Seek while I made one more scan of the clearance shoes. (I know. It's a sickness.)
4) Sam's Club for staples. You know. 225 paper plates and a 5 lb bag of carrots for my family of four. Milk was a dollar cheaper there than anywhere else, so I felt good about dragging the girls through 1.5 miles of aisles. I also didn't worry too much because they got a root beer float and a cinnamon pretzel out of it. Until my Littlest Girl blew bubbles in the float. Then all she got was a view of her sister finishing the float. If she could see through her tears. She got the last word when the door checker made a smiley face on my receipt as he glanced at it. Then gave it back to her. My Indian Princess was GREEN with envy. I think it was envy. It might have been the float and the pretzel.
5) Drove around some back roads trying to find a place that sells mulch by the truckload. The girls thought it was an adventure. But it disrupted the 25 minute nap I was hoping they would take while we were driving home. As it turned out, they got in a good 10 minutes before we got home. Oh, how I wish they would sleep in the car in our driveway while I put stuff away. But no. The minute the engine is shut off, they are wide-eyed and confused about where they are. They also cry a lot if I happen to walk into the house without them. Because how dare I leave them outside by themselves. Never mind they are outside by themselves for hours during the day playing. I'm sure there's a logic there I'm just not seeing.
So, with their 10 minute nap, they were a tiny bit rough around the edges tonight. But compared to the last 5 years, I was THRILLED. They are becoming such fun people to shop with. They help me pick things out. They steer the cart. They keep each other and myself entertained. I loved this day. And I love these little people I get to hang out with.