Raise your hand if you enjoy shopping?
Now, Keep your hand up if you want to go shopping?
Alright, leave your hand in the air if you want to go shopping with a four year old and a ten month old?
Why did you put your hand down?
Exactly. This past weekend, my wife and I came up with the brilliant idea to bundle up our family, on a below zero day, and make our way to the local shopping mall. My wife had a list of things we needed, and some that we just wanted. It wasn't a huge list. The usual diapers, formula and milk, and then the non-essentials of clothing, shoes and some giftcards that were burning a hole in her purse.
Great idea!! Let's pack up the crew and head out. The mall is supposed to be a one-stop shop. Bing, Bang and out. Right?
Not on this day. Our four year old had plans of his own and our 10 month old didn't want anything to do with any of the plans that were made. Besides the frigid temperatures, every store we entered was much too small for our giant sized double stroller. Leaving me to fend for myself and battle every obstacle, no matter how big or small. To add to the frustration of maneuvering this beast were the two little arms that randomly grabbed anything and everything that came within reach.
Then there was a four year old that decided shopping just wasn't on his master agenda for the day. However, riding in every coin operated car, rocketship or boat was very appealing. His plan left us kicking and screaming every 50 feet or so as coin operated machines are strategically placed in most shopping malls. I am sure there is a great reason for having soo many of these machines so close together but I fail to see it at this point in time.
After 2 hours of trying to pry little hands off of clothing racks, racecars and every other obstacle the towel was thrown in. We were extremely unsuccessful at any type of shopping, only garnering about 1/4 of what we had intended. We were, however, successful at carrying a screaming 4 year old through a crowd of people, and getting home in time for all of us to crash and take 2 hour naps.
I start to think that our lives are starting to slow down and that things will get easier and easier for us as we grow as a family. This does not seem to be the case. When one obstacle gets surpassed, there tends to be another one just waiting to be met. This great idea to go shopping quickly turned into a reminder that our plans just don't always work out and to just roll with punches.
Maybe it was a not so subtle way to let us know that we all needed to just stop and relax. I am typically not a napper, so a two hour snooze is very unusual. Or maybe it was a sign to tell us to slow down and not try to accomplish so much in one day. Just enjoy our family and the time we have together. Or maybe, just maybe, it was just as simple as this... Kids don't like shopping!!