That is before I had to take a stroller with three children to the store with me. Have you ever tried to fit a double stroller with three children, a mom, and a thousand pairs of jeans in one dressing room? It is a sight to behold my friends!
See I was down to ONE pair of jeans and they were getting holes in them. (Somehow I wear out jeans ridiculously fast with as much time as I spend crawling around on the floor and chasing children, go figure?) This may not sound like an emergency to some of you because clearly it is summer and most people wear shorts. After 4 pregnancies in 5 years, it would have to be 130 degrees in the shade for these legs to ever grace a pair of shorts again. You may understand the urgency a little better to know that the dress code for the conference we are working at in a few weeks is jeans for like 6 days straight. I didn't really think the one pair would hold up, nor did I really think it socially acceptable to wear the same pair six days in a row.
Now, at this phase in life, shopping for jeans is up there with getting dental work done. It is bad enough to search for the perfect pair of jeans when you are the only one in the dressing room. Add three people under the age of 5, and it is a NIGHTMARE!
I ignored the signs that say "limit of 6 items" because there really should be a disclaimer on the bottom that says "unless you have three children with you that make it virtually impossible to go back and forth from the dressing room, then by all means take as many pairs in as you desire because you deserve it lady!" I had the jeans piled so high on top of the stroller that we had a bit of an avalanche that buried poor Miss O as we were TRYING TO CRAM A DOUBLE STROLLER IN A 4 X 4 CUBICLE.
Once I uncovered her and saw that she was still breathing, the real fun began. The girls got an up close and personal view, which always brings the greatest questions. The kind that have you grasping for appropriate answers that will not bring serious bouts of belly-laughs from any ears listening in the adjoining rooms. I considered putting tape over their mouths before going in so as to avert any of those questions, but decided that there were probably people there who already thought that making those poor children walk through a mall inside on a beautiful summer day was some form of child abuse with a seriously selfish mother who is addicted to shopping. I thought the taped mouths would maybe send those people over the edge.
We successfully make it through ONE pair of jeans in the pile before Miss C says "Mommy, I have to pee, really bad!" My mind is thinking, are you stinkin' serious? But out of my mouth comes, "Honey, you are going to have to wait because I still need to try on all these jeans." Did she realize the amount of work it took to get here in the first place?
"Mommy, I think I might go in my underwear. I really have to go." Do you remember the commercial with the mom running out of the dressing room with the tag on the dress to take the little girl to the bathroom and then the security guard watching them? Yeah, I didn't think they would overlook the entire mountain of jeans on the stroller like they did the one dress she had on.
So, we ditch the jeans on the return rack (because I have to follow the rules, you can't leave them in the dressing room, even if you are a mother with three small children). Off to the bathroom. At this point, I pondered just packing it in for the day and heading back, but then I remember my ONE pair of jeans with the ever-increasing holes.
We head back to the store. Back to the racks. Build up ANOTHER mountain of jeans. CRAM back into the fitting room. Consider taping the mouths shut, decide again not to. This time we get two pairs of jeans tried on while answering many more of the want to crawl in my purse and hide types of questions and comments from children seeing you in your underwear.
"Mommy, I need to go potty again." Um, are you even kidding me? I need to start praying for your future husband now, because if your bladder remains in its current state and you become pregnant, heaven help the poor man! As you can tell, I was so very sympathetic. My response of "I am NOT taking you to the bathroom again, you can just hold it", was pure genius. Until I remembered a little event with the same child during our house shopping days a few months back in which she nearly peed all over the carpet in a house that we had no intentions of buying and had to go without underwear for the rest of the tours that day. I kid you not.
Before you go thinking she has some bladder-control issues and we need to have her medically inspected, I just want you to know that this only happens in public because she has a very unusual need to see other people's bathrooms, even if she doesn't really have to go. Therefore, we never believe her when she says that she needs to go (she cries pee, not wolf).
So, off to the bathroom again, because cleaning pee off the floor sounded even less appealing than shopping for jeans at that moment.
This time, I decided to go to a different store to continue the jeans expedition because pretty soon the security cameras were going to be following us around the store trying to figure out if it was some weird new way of shoplifting. If they only knew that shoplifting would have been so much easier.
We make it to a handicap accessible dressing room at the next store to which I breathe a sigh of relief because we can all fit and the girls don't have to be so close to me, but the drama, oh the drama! We had reached the 4 people in small cubicles limit for the day. I think God snuck three suckers into the diaper bag, because I had no clue they were there and when I reached into the diaper bag there they were like pieces of gold shimmering in the lights and singing the Hallelujah Chorus. Now my children have an uncanny way of sucking through a sucker at supersonic speed (which just amazes me seeing how none of them took to breastfeeding). I knew I had precisely two minutes to try on all those jeans and make decisions.
I found four. They were expensive. I deserved them. We bought them. I won't even tell you the drama at the checkout. I'll just say that it took 32 minutes, involved a prepaid credit card (from a rebate) that wouldn't work, a driver's license that didn't match the address on my check, and three I-have-reached-my-limit-and-you-need-to-get-me-home-before-I-turn-into-Chuckie children. Oh, and one lady who says, "Your kids are so cute. They were so good in the fitting room. I was in there too and I could hear them talking to you."
Lord, have mercy. That poor soul probably has a blog to go home and post about me on. I'm sure someone is in stitches about the questions they overheard in the fitting room today.