Isn’t it funny how something that you once thoroughly enjoyed can just as easily turn into a total nightmare when you have children? Remember how nice it was to go out to dinner when it was just you and your spouse? I do. Justin and I would enjoy a nice cocktail, have an appetizer, each enjoy our entrée and sometimes, we even would order a dessert!
Once you have kids, eating out a restaurant is like a mini-war where you end up, quite often, raising the white flag of surrender.
‘No, you cannot have a Coke at 6:00pm. You shouldn’t be drinking Coke either way, but especially not at 6:00 at night.’
‘Please get the straw out of your nose.’
‘Get out from under the table.’
‘Please don’t climb into the booth next to us. It doesn’t appear that the party next to us would like an additional diner at their table…’
or my absolute favorite:
Haydan orders a hamburger with special instructions: ‘May I please have a cheeseburger with no cheese, lettuce, tomato, ketchup….just a burger and a bun with pickles.’
Our dinner arrives and everyone stars to eat and Haydan does the opposite.
We ask her why she isn’t eating her dinner.
‘Oh, I don’t really feel like a hamburger.’ WTF?!
‘That’s effin’ awesome. Guess what? I don’t care. Eat the damn burger. NOW!!!!!’
Sweat starts rolling down your back as you imagine all the children you could feed in third world countries with all the food your child has wasted in her lifetime.
‘I can’t wait to leave this place so she can get ready for bed. AGHH!’
Well, today I realized that one of my other old school favorite things to do is also completely ruined for life: Shopping.
I used to love all forms of shopping. My all time favorite was Christmas shopping. I used to love home goods shopping, birthday gift shopping, Nordstrom shopping, and my absolute favorite: discount shopping. There is nothing quite like that feeling of saving mucho dinero on something. I am a bona fide pro when it comes to Marshall’s, Ross, TJ Max, etc. I am a G-R-E-A-T discount shopper. However, now shopping has a completely different tone.
Let’s take yesterday for example:
We had just finished church and decided that since Haydan’s entire body has grown more in the past two months than it has in the last 6 years, we would take her to get her some new school shoes and see if we could find a flower girl dress for Justin’s brother’s wedding that is quickly approaching.
We enter the store and I quickly walk past the women’s section in pain. It hurts my heart to not check out the clearance rack but I know that it will hurt my patience a hell of a lot more if I actually stop to browse. Haydan will be hiding in a clothing rack and pop out and give some old senior citizen a coronary and Justin will be sitting pretending to look at the ‘man clothes’ while he gives me the ‘Let’s get the fuck outta here’ look.
It has taken me a long time to learn this move—-however, I’ve learned that everyone is much happier when Smash doesn’t shop with family in tow. We B-line straight to the shoe section….and I do the same thing with the women’s shoe section as I did with the women’s clothing section. Walk quickly past it while I feel an ache in my heart. ‘I’ll be back to see you, you beautiful little shoes…I am so, so sorry….pretty shoes….bye bye….i’ll miss you….i’ll be back for you…’
We make it to the children’s shoe section and give Haydan a quick talking to. ‘Haydan, we are here to get school shoes. School shoes are ones that are closed toe, have no heels, and make no clicking sounds when walking on tile. We will measure your feet and then you can only look at the shoes in that section. If I find you in the women’s section trying on hooker boots or high heels, I will make you wear slippers to school, capiche?’
Haydan’s feet grew roughly one size so we were checking out the 11 1/2 and 12 sized shoes. Apparently, every other parent in Nordstrom Rack had the same idea and it just so seemed that their children all wore the same size. It was a mad dash.
First thing Haydan does is goes for the section of shoes that isn’t her size and pick out a pair of high top converse shoes with a damn tutu near the laces.
Me: ’uhm. no..’
Haydan: I like high tops.
Me: That’s fine. But those are more than high tops. Those are so, so much more than high tops. Not going to work, sorry. Pick something else.
Haydan: UGH. I want to pick out my own shoes.
((I quickly scan her size to make sure those ‘high top’ shoes aren’t also in size 11 1/2 or 12. No tutu shoes available in size 11 1/2 or 12. SCORE!!!))
Me: Those are size 11, love. You don’t wear that size anymore—come take a look at the correct size over here and see if you can find anything that you like. Oh darn, no tutu boots in this section. Oh well, looks like we will have to find another pair!’
Haydan: I want to go home.
Me: WE JUST GOT HERE!!!! Listen, you can pick anything you like, just not those tutu shoes….and they have to be closed toe.
Just then, Justin comes walking around the corner with an adorable pair of Vans. I tell him how perfect they are and he tells me they are size 11. WTF? Is no one listening to me? I re-route both of them to the SIZE 11 1/2 and 12 SHOE SECTION.
‘WE CAN ONLY BROWSE IN THIS SECTION!!!!!’
Every pair of shoes I pull down, Haydan shakes her head at. If I am lucky enough to get her to actually try a pair on, she comes up with some rational as to why they wont work.
Haydan: ’Oh, they are way, way too big.’
Me: ‘Okay, well they have them in a size smaller, try these..’
Haydan: ‘Oh, wow, these are way, way too tight.’
Me: ‘How can the 12 be WAY too big and the 11 1/2 WAY too small?’
Haydan: ‘How about these?!’
Me: Those are a misplaced pair of women’s high heels. Put them back.
Haydan: You said they were misplaced. Shouldn’t we put them back where they should go?’
Me: I DONT KNOW WHERE THEY GO!!! PUT THEM DOWN!! PICK ANOTHER PAIR!! NOW!!! I AM GOING TO LOSE IT!!’
Haydan: ‘Lose what?’
AGHH!! Shockingly, we end up finding three pairs of shoes. I didn’t even look at the effin’ price on them because I just wanted to get the hell out of there.
As we are walking to the cash register, Justin stops in the girls section.
Me: ‘What are you doing? Let’s get out of here!!’
Justin: ‘Uh, I thought you wanted to look at dresses for the wedding while we were here.’
Me: ‘Er, that’s right. Good memory. I wouldn’t want to repeat this experience next weekend’
We scan through the racks and find two dresses in Haydan’s size that will work for the wedding. Typically, I just grab a size 6 and run with it. Screw the dressing room with a six year old. However, seeing as Haydan is right on the cusp of outgrowing size six clothing and entering into girls size seven clothes—-we had to try the dresses on.
We wait for the dressing room attendant and she takes us to our room. It is the size of a tiny closet, maybe an oversized coffin, and I ponder if the woman herself has any children. I think to myself, ‘There is no way a woman with children would put a mom and daughter duo in a tiny coffin-like dressing room to try on clothes when there are four bigger stalls at the back. She must not be a mom.’
Haydan enters the dressing room and sits down.
Ashley: ’What are you doing!? These clothes are for YOU to try on, remember?’
Haydan: ‘Ah, right. Forgot.’
Haydan gets dressed at about the same speed I’d imagine her to read through the Webster’s Dictionary. Taking each shoe off is a ten minute process followed by commentary about why I shouldn’t have ever purchased the outfit she is wearing, the shoes she is wearing, how she wants to pierce her ears again, that she saw a ‘handsome man’ at church today, how I am really old and have wrinkles, what she wants to be when she grows up, and about 19 other things.
Haydan: ‘HEY!!! WAITT!!!!!’
Ashley: What? What’s wrong?
Haydan: Do you think Nordstrom has ice cream? I’m hungry.
Ashley: You’ve got to be kidding me. We just ate. Please put the dress on.
Naturally, Justin and I really preferred one dress over the one Haydan liked. They were both darling, however, one was more suitable for a flower girl dress.
We had back and forth banter with her and finally just told her that she could either have the dress we liked or we could leave without both of the dresses. She quickly changed her tune. We went and stood in the 4 mile long line and purchased her three pairs of shoes and her flower girl dress.
In the amount of time it took to pick out those four things, I could have scanned through the entire Nordstrom Rack store. I could have probably re-organized their entire shoe section and unloaded an entire pallet of inventory for them.
Shopping with a child is a totally different experience. I thought shopping with a toddler or baby was difficult, but you know what? Toddlers and baby’s do not have die hard feelings about clothing. As Haydan gets older and older, her opinion becomes stronger and stronger. I, also, become less ‘cool’ by the day. On Saturday, she wanted to be twins for the day. We did our hair the same, put on red lipstick, and shopped for school supplies together. However, by Sunday (uhm, the next day), I seemed to apparently have no idea what I was talking about when it came to ‘cool shoes’ or ‘cool dresses’. At this point, I am pretty sure that Haydan just picks out whatever is the opposite of what I pick out for her.
Going forward, I am going to pick out the light up shoes with glitter and sparkles that go up to the knee. I might even buy a pair for myself. That way, she will think they are lame and purchase something entirely different… I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out!
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