Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Cost savings

On the weekend we went shopping at one of those enormous toy warehouses that have popped up in recent years. It was held in a large event center, for a limited engagement, and promised discounts so high that had it not been for the free admission, lack of shopping carts and food samples, I would have bet the geniuses at Costco were behind it.

Because let’s face it, you have to be brilliant to charge a membership fee to a giant warehouse filled with jumbo-sized crap people didn’t even know they needed until you suggested it. Needless to say I was giddy with shopping joy at the prospect.

We had just one small problem: the kids were with us.

The thing is, we don’t go out often enough to have established any regular local babysitters – Shaune’s folks drive the hour to where we are when we need them.  Besides, we reasoned, how bad could it be? We’d just prep Deaglan - tell him that we’d be going to a toy store to get an idea of the things he and Naveen might want to ask Santa for. We’d emphasize that we weren’t going to buy anything. And when the kids weren’t paying attention, I’d subtly point out the things we should grab so Shaune could sneak back around, pick those toys up, lose us so he could pay, hide them under blankets in the back of the van before finding us again. Seamless, right?

You can imagine how well this went over.

My subtlety was completely lost on my husband. Every time I pointed to something I wanted him to take note of, he’d look at me baffled.


“The G-U-I-T-A-R”, I’d spell through tight lips, doing my best ventriloquist.

“I have no idea what you’re saying.” He’d say loudly, clearly irritated.

“That’s because you’re deaf.” I’d hiss, “Get your bloody hearing checked!”

And Deaglan went between begging us to let him get one toy – just one and crying big fat watery tears because we were the meanest parents that ever lived, while Naveen hurried down each aisle, telling us strident and clear that he wanted every toy for his borthe-day, could he pease have his borthe-day now. He didn't care that he was born in May. 

At one point, after Shaune had left to take our purchases to the car, I was held hostage between books and playhouses. Naveen refused to come out of the Dora tent and Deaglan wouldn't budge unless I agreed to buy him just one toy. A child-less grandmother-type who’d been watching me from a few feet away came over with what I at first mistakenly assumed was a sympathetic smile.

“I guess you’ll know better next time. These poor little guys are just learning about Santa, they shouldn’t be here.” 

Miraculously, with great restraint, I didn't wrestle the old bat to the ground; didn't  pummel her with the frustrations of my day. You want to talk about savings. I mentally tallied the thousands of therapy hours I'd just saved my kids.

Instead I crawled in after Naveen, dragged him out and threw him over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes - a  screeching, kicking, pinching sack of potatoes and forcefully led Deaglan by the elbow toward the exit. 

I don’t need to tell you how early the cocktail hour came that day. 


  1. It makes my blood boil to the point where I literally see red when strangers come up to me and decide to "other mother" me. I used to smile politely, but now I shoot them "the look" that I reserve for my kid when she being a brat

  2. What a busy-body. Ugh.

    I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. You are such a better person than I, because I don't think I could have kept quiet. The holidays brings out the best in people, right?

  4. Don't you love receiving parenting advice from people who don't know anything about your family?

    We're at the point where it's almost impossible to take D to the store. Not b/c she wants the toys, but b/c she wants to RUN everywhere.

  5. I hope this won't bother you, but I laughed out loud at your description of how you left the store. You earned that drink!

    And no disrespect to your husband, but I swear men are intentionally dense in situations like that. He seriously didn't understand over and over again what you were trying to tell him? Really?

  6. I would have been tempted to "wrestle the old bat to the ground" too. Bravo for how you handled it.


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