Girls like to shop. It’s programmed into their jeans. It can’t be in their genes because I’m as girly as they come and I don’t love shopping. I also don’t crave chocolate but that’s another story.
Back to the shopping thing. So I have this two year old daughter who is the epitome of femininity.
Seriously. Girlfriend started using the phone at 14 months.
And this is a girl who loves shopping. Her favorite Barenaked Ladies song is the shopping song. She likes to sing along, “Everything is gonna be alright when we go shopping!” She asks to go shopping. My favorite was when some kids at the playground were eating grapes. Gwen came over and said, “Mom, let’s go shopping. Need to buy grapes.” The kid’s mom offered Gwen some grapes and she polished them off. She’s too polite to ask for some but once they’re offered . . .
Having a girly girl makes my heart sing. The shopping thing, however, has caused me some stress. I always hoped I would love shopping with my daughter. I always hoped the agoraphobia would disappear once I had a daughter. Stop laughing because it did.
Who knew that the antidote for my bizarre mental illness (ok, not really) would be my toddler? But it’s true. We take Parker to school and then go shopping. More often than I ever thought I would. In fact, I had so much fun running errands with her that one day we went to Michael’s just to walk around. I had nothing I had to do that day but I wanted to get out of the house so we browsed around Michael’s for the hey of it.
Today we went shopping again. I had started the plans in my mind yesterday when I was cleaning bathrooms. I get the best ideas when I clean. Then I remembered something I needed to buy and added it to my list of wants. Parker asked if he could wear a pair of pajamas that I know no longer fits. When I told him no he put them on anyway. Apparently I speak another language my kids don’t understand yet. They’ll get it when they’re parents. So Heath told me to buy the kids some winter pajamas. Temperatures have been in the 90’s almost all month but it will cool down soon. I think. So pajamas were added to the list.
The day started really early. I worked out with Steven and finished just as dawn was cracking. That is one huge downside of winter. The shorter days with innumerable hours of depressing darkness. Friday’s are rough days for me. I meet a friend at the playground at 9:00 am every Friday yet I can never seem to make it on time. I don’t know why. Well, I had invited two boys in Parker’s class to come this morning so I was trying really hard to be ready on time. I figured 9:15 was a new record for me!
Stay with me. All this lead up is important to the shopping story. The park was fun. Parker had his little friends to run around with and Gwen had her best friend plus the little sister of one of Parker’s friends. She and Gwen don’t get along well though. The park started filling up with people about 30 minutes before we needed to leave.
We ended up getting home much later than I wanted to. I have my mornings timed to the minute. It’s the only way I can get lunch in my kids before having to leave for school on time. And 11:25 comes faster and faster every day. Good thing I have a 5 minute grace period before I really need to go. Lunch was rushed and I felt rushed getting to school. I debated about coming home before shopping. In the end I decided to just go for it. Parker was happy at school. It was noon and I was still excited to go. This is something I had been planning since last night. Kind of a big deal for me.
Impressively I even planned a map of the stores in my head and knew how I was going to hit each one. That’s how excited I was about this! Location and convenience said to do the needs before the wants. So we went to JoAnn’s first then on to Target. By the way, if you pronounce it as Tar-zshay it sounds much more exotic.
After Target I was feeling kind of spent. I was tired and ready to just go home. But Heath was so supportive of the stupid things I wanted that are not important right now. If I actually get the stuff I will write about it then. It was only 1:15 so I decided to keep plugging along.
We hit Marshall’s next. I will never do that again! I admire bargain shoppers. I really do. But those stores seem to attract the scum of the earth. This is why I won’t shop at Wal-Mart. When I lived in Cedar City Wal-Mart was the only choice unless I wanted to go to St. George or Salt Lake City to shop. A roommate from Parowan would do her Christmas shopping in Las Vegas or Salt Lake. I think she alternated years. But I digress.
Marshall’s feels less creepy and warehouse like than Ross. But it was crowded as could be with . . . let’s just call them ghetto parents. You know the kind. They have zippo patience for their kids and are always yelling. They are oversensitive to other people being in their way but manage to always be in everyone else’s way as if the world revolves around them. Ghetto parents. Don’t get offended. I think I’ve been a ghetto parent myself. I looked at those parents yelling at their kids and hoped I don’t look like that in public. But I’m sure I do. Must stop yelling at kids in public. Luckily my kids are fairly well behaved in public. Just not Costco. I understand. That’s an introvert's nightmare.
I looked at the picture frames twice and then made a mad dash for the exit. And because I must be a glutton for punishment we went to Michael’s next. I don’t know why. I didn’t even really know what I wanted. But by then the fun was over and browsing for what I didn’t know I wanted was more of a chore than a relaxing activity. Michael’s was crowded too. I thought I would be ok. It’s mostly sweet grandma types that you just want to smile at while you secretly envy their knack for creativity. Today those women were there but also hustle and bustle get out of my way or I will sneer at you women and a lot of young 20 something in love couples. We didn’t stay long. I felt like I was in everyone’s way if I stopped to look at anything. Plus, I could feel my blood sugar dropping like a rock.
No rest for the weary though as someone followed me to my parking spot waiting for me to back out. I ate fruit snacks at the light thankfully getting them all in before I had to turn. Meanwhile Gwen was crying because I didn’t get her any. She was taken care of at the next light. I’m hoping that one day my kids understand that when I’m low I eat first.
On the drive home I realized that I hadn’t sat down or had a break all day. I had been on all day for people. And there were a million people out today driving and shopping and it was all getting to be too much. My heart never stopped racing. As soon as the blood sugar issue was resolved as best as can be since I was driving, it was racing because of agoraphobia aggravated by the fact that I am an introvert.
I pulled into my neighborhood and saw the gardeners mowing the lawn. Will the people never end? We got inside where I tested and saw I was 93. I still grabbed a package of animal cookies to share with Gwen. I sat down with my purchases and cookies and just breathed. We were home for about 40 minutes before I had to pick up boys. But the break at home was enough to renew my spirits to talk to moms at school. Now I’m in my soothing office with the invisible walls oblivious to anything going on around me smiling at the pictures I took of the kids in the things I bought for them today.
The witch shirt was cheap so it became an impulse buy. I hope it fits next year too since I got a 4T. I also hope she can wear it this month what with all the near 100 temps we’ve been having. The waving picture of Gwen is her waving and saying hi to her grandmas! Parker was so excited I got him Toy Story pajamas. He said he can’t be Buzz every night. And Gavin is thrilled to wear his new pajamas to school next month for Pajama Day. I’m wishing I bought the less loud and more conservative pajamas but then I remind myself he’s 7 and shouldn’t grow up too fast.
Retail therapy is not for everyone. I’ll try again another time. Never again on a Friday after a play date!