Summer’s halfway over. Does anyone else out there feel like they’re getting a whole lot of their kids? Like maybe a teesy weensy break is due – not a major August-back-to-school break, but I don’t know, maybe a weekend break? Or maybe just a break to…hmmmm, let’s see…the grocery store alone?? Can you even imagine that? The freedom??
Over the weekend, I made sure my husband knew I had a 4:00 eyebrow waxing appointment at Ulta – I wanted NO CHANCE of taking a kid with me. I was so excited about that appointment – just the fact that I wouldn’t be watching over, keeping up with, or nagging any children for 20 minutes seemed like complete bliss. I actually enjoyed getting waxed and plucked over sunscreening my kids for the 400th time this month.
So sad. But that’s the reality of summer, folks. All the time in the world, but it’s all with the kids. Don’t get me wrong – love my kids – just don’t love running errands with them. And there are certain places that I literally LOATHE going to with my kids. Here are my Top 5 – are any of these on your list?? (Side note: it has nothing to do with the store itself – it’s actually because the stores are pretty fabulous. So fabulous that my kids go CRAZY in them!!!) Big shout-out to my stay-at-home-dad-of-four friend, Zack, who helped me come up with some of these. We often lament about the joys of errand running with lots ‘o kids in tow!
Top 5 Worst Errands to Run with Kids
1. Hallmark. Lots of little cards and doo-dads that make noises. And should be arranged neatly. And I’m one of those that loves the perfect card, so I need to read a bunch. The Perfect Storm for a toddler. I’d rather just make my own card and call it a day.
2. Book stores. OK, I know I shouldn’t hate this one. I actually LOVED to hit the Barnes and Noble when my two oldest were babies. The story times, the train table – those were my saving graces on rainy days. But now that the kids are bigger the book store is a palace of the gimmies. I literally can’t walk out of there under $50 full of junk – they rarely want the books, you see. It’s the toys, stuffed animals, doodle books, whatever is NOT educational they want. I have dreams of going to B&N alone one day and just perusing like I did when I wasn’t a mother.
3. Any big box warehouse store OR grocery store. The cart is half full by the time you get the kids in the cart. Add a week’s worth of dinner ingredients, some junk the kids beg for, two gallons of milk and some Diet Coke when it’s on special, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Don’t even get me started on the Cadillac carts that you can’t even steer through the narrow aisles. And the warehouse stores – love the deals, hate the bagging (or lack there of). Not so fun to be lugging unbagged items from the cart to the car in sweltering July heat with kids running around. After a trip to the grocery store or warehouse store with the kids, my workout is officially complete. I’m sweating just thinking about it.
4. The mall’s department stores. OK really anywhere in the mall that isn’t Chick fil A is a huge no-no for me. But department stores are the WORST. Too many nooks and crannies. Too much STUFF. And really all I want to do is look at the shoes and make up, and I haven’t met one (coherent – not sleeping) kid who wants to shop either of those for long. And forget trying on kids’ clothes. My word of advice is go alone and keep the receipt.
5. Rack Room Shoes. Or any other shoe place with millions of Nikes and Adidas in the wide open for the kids to pull out and try on. I mean, I know you really need the kids there for this one, but let me tell you from experience: it’s painful. We were just there yesterday, and I’m pretty sure Rack Room at the Arboretum still hasn’t been able to clean up the Nike kids aisle from my boys. It’s not that my kids are so out of control, but obviously attention is diverted to the child who needs the shoes, allowing the others to “get away” and “shop.” Eeeek. Sorry guys! LOVE your store and prices (especially the BOGO 1/2 off right now!). Just don’t love my kids when they’re there.
What have I missed?? Let’s hear it, Smarties!
I hate anywhere that has kids toys/candy bars in the check out line. (which is pretty much everywhere – even Old Navy!) As I stand in line and then try to focus on checking out – my kids are tearing through the millions of things the stores lay out for you just in case you want to buy a $5 mini Barbie before you pay (bought several of those). I used to get in a tizzy when in a matter of 30 seconds my kids ripped all the gift cards and ball-shaped chapsticks and lolipops shaped like baby bottles off the racks – and now I kinda just pull the “out of sight out of mind” approach, leave the mess and walk away (usually saying “yes, Santa can bring you another Tinkerbell flashlight for Christmas.”)
Toys & Co ! I have lived there for the past few months with all of the summer birthday parties. I try to sneak over there without my kids. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get out of there without tears and fits. I’ve even fallen for the “Mommy, I just want to play in there for a little while and I promise I will not ask to buy anything”. LIARS!
Don’t forget the post office at Park Road shopping center. The line in there is always out the door, and everyone else in there glares at me as my kids run around and whine about how long its taking.
Amen on the grocery store, which is why I do my grocery shopping online…I simply pull up, push a button, wait until the wonderful peeps at Harris Teeter come out with my goods, swipe my card and load them all up for the low low price of $4.95!!! Seeing as how my kids are I are marketers DREAM (if it’s in a shiny new package, ‘new and improved taste’, has sugar…you see where this is going) it goes in the cart. The way I see it, I’m SAVING money by not going in, and maybe just my sanity ;o). As for Toys n’ Co, I too have succumbed to the ‘ol “I promise I won’t ask for anything” bit…liar liar pants en fuego!
Mine is any restaurant with all four kids. My boys think of food as fuel only, they just don’t appreciate a nice meai out. My girls love any reason to get dressed up and get away from their twin bros, so we often do this as a Plym girls night out.
I guess that doesn’t count as an errand, huh?! Then I’m going to amen to the grocery store. Nothing worse than that with four kids in tow.
Maybe you’ll think I’m nuts but I like taking mine to the grocery store (10, 7 and 5). They push the little carts and love it. I agree completely about Hallmark though. I really don’t like taking mine to the alteration lady (all those pins) and the post office (more cards).
The party store. Oh my goodness! It is horrible with all those balloons floating around!
Furniture stores or Pottery Barn. Furniture shopping takes time and consideration which is super hard when the kids are literally bouncing off the couches and eyeing the big glass vases. UGH!!
The library. I know… that is horrible. However, I am so much better at picking out books for my kids than they are. There are so many wonderful children’s books that it is beyond me how my kids can find the few that should have never been printed. “But we can get them ALL mommy. They are free!” Gotta run — have a pile of books with the word “toilet” or “fart” in the title that my son picked out and is dying to read for the 10th time.
Andee – I can’t BELIEVE I forgot the library!!! I loathe it as well. I have kids running in all different aisles, the toddler banging on the computer, and I end up lugging 500 books out – 400 out of which I end up paying for since our house seems to eat library books! 🙂