Monday, February 11, 2013

Tip of The Year: Don't Take Your Kids Shopping

The other day I took Connor shopping with me. Connor is four. Connor thinks that he needs everything he sees, everything is magical, and everything in the world is the key to his life's happiness. Not a day goes by that he doesn't ask me or his dad for a minimum of twenty "special" (read: ridiculous) things, starting with asking for gum or lollipops at 7:30 in the morning.

He is always denied. Yet, he tries. Every day.

First, we went to Toys 'R Us, otherwise known as the Seventh Circle of Hell or Mecca of Insanity. You choose. Actually, you probably have your own special name for it but whatever. We started in the baby clothes section, not because I have a baby anymore (a thousand daggers went into my heart at typing that; I fucking LOVE babies) but so I could look for onesies for my business. Connor found some onesies that he liked and asked if we could buy them. I asked who they would be for and he said for him and Ethan... 

...Ethan is six. 

I explained to him that they weren't really his or Ethan's size, and then complimented his fashion choices. On we went to another section. Connor asked to buy a dish set for Brandon, seventy-five different tubes of toothpaste, some Q-Tips, and an Angry Birds toothbrush. Denied. Then we walked past the baby swing section and he asked to buy a baby swing for Brandon. 

Who is two and a half. 

Then we went to the toy side, and that's where shit got real. Every twelve seconds, I heard "Mama, can we buy this?" After a while, I stopped answering him and he didn't even notice because he had moved onto The Next Best Thing That Will Make His Life Worth Living. Finally, he asked if he could get some Legos.

I told him that we could at least take a look at the Lego section and see if there was something small that he would like. He got super excited and happy and I felt like the Mom of The Day for finally telling him that he could have something. I was thinking we could probably find a small Lego set for like five bucks.

Obviously, I am a Lego-buying virgin. We went to the Lego section and I saw the prices and about shit myself. 

I thought formula and diapers were expensive. LEGOS ARE THE BIGGEST WALLETFUCK I HAVE EVER SEEN.

To make matters worse, Legos are the bane of every parent's existence. Well, except for Play-Doh. You pay out of your anus to bring these bastards home, only to step on them, sit on them, break your eardrums at the sound of them being dumped out of a box or at the sound of little hands swishing through the box for 39 minutes to find the flat, two-millimeters-square reflector-light-looking piece that is the only thing that will complete the car, listen to your kids fight over them, watch your kid and husband spend 75 hours putting together the intricate windmill only to have it fall apart 45 seconds later, and have your kids cry at night when they can't find the beheaded, one-armed Lego Man that is the only thing that will comfort them to sleep - that night.

What a bunch of stupid, masochistic people we are. I'm not sure which is more insulting: Paying that much to be tortured by Legos or some dude paying for a hooker and then contracting a venereal disease from her. Paying to be Lego-tortured or paying to contract V.D.... Toss up.

But I digress. Back at the store, Connor was looking at the Lego sets and of course he wanted the Really Cool Fighter Jets and Lego Cities and Gigantic Trucks at $70+ a pop. I kept telling him that they were too big and "Remember, I said you could have a small (read: cheaper) Lego set. Why don't we look down here." We looked "down here" and when I saw that the cheapest Lego product I could find was $9 and it consisted of a two-piece motorcycle, I started bribing Connor with candy to distract him from the fact that we weren't going to get a Lego set and to get him the hell out of the store. On our way out, I bought him and Ethan Angry Bird sticker books, a Cars sticker book for Brandon (yes, I paid to find 1678 stickers all over the house for the next month), and some candy from the quarter machines. 

I thought he'd be satisfied. I am stupid.

We went to Dollar Tree next, to get Valentines for the boys' classmates to throw away 27 seconds after receiving them, and various other shit that I didn't know I needed until I saw it there. "It's only a dollar!" Connor of course began his ritual of asking me for crap every twelve seconds, and at one point, when I saw that he was asking for some unidentifiable lead-based plastic piece of crap that would break instantly, and then Brandon would choke on the parts and Ethan will die of lead poisoning, I asked him, "Do you even know what that is?"

He responded, "No."

Jesus. Then he asked me if I could buy him a box of "feminine rinse" a few aisles later because he liked the pretty flower on the box, and I told him to stop asking me for stuff - not that he listened. I did cave on the sparkle toothpaste, four bags of candy, pack of pretzel dips, Angry Birds mouthwash, pack of glow sticks, Scotch tape for his brother (don't ask), pack of gum, and foam stickers.

That's eleven dollars, plus tax, that I can never get back. Not even to mention the Toys 'R Us purchases.

The moral of the story: Don't take your kids shopping.

Look at the Angry Birds loot I conned my mom into buying!

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  1. OMG. I so wish you would have had a pic of him with the douche...

    1. Fuck. Clearly... I wasn't thinking. Hope your hangover is waning.

  2. I go grocery shopping with Addison, and I do pretty well, but there's always one item in the bag that my wife finds and raises her eyebrow at. It's not even something Addison asks for.

    "She was getting fussy and I panicked! I just grabbed something and threw it in the cart without thinking about it. And then she tried to lick the conveyor belt and somehow it ended up scanned and in the bags. I'm a failure."

    And now I have to return a box of those little slidy things you put on the bottom of furniture. I always have stuff to return.

    1. I suspect that your wife is onto you... You may need to come up with a different lie, see if that works. ;-)

  3. Replies
    1. One of my favorite terms! I got it from Drew Magary, he writes for Dadspin (spinoff of Deadspin) and many other places and is hands down my favorite writer in the entire world.

  4. I shall be brief:

    Walletfuck shall now be in my vocabulary.

    I am so glad my kid can't talk in sentences yet, but you're scaring the shit out of me

    You said don't ask, but I want to know why scotch tape was needed. Don't let my imagination run riot. Or, do... it's pretty fun.

    I love your etsy store

    1. The Scotch tape thing is really actually lame... Ethan loves making things and uses a roll of Scotch tape a week.

      Thank you so much for checking out my store and loving it!

  5. haha!! I can't take my kid shopping because she is a 21-month-old-nightmare-ball-of-never-ending-nuclear-energy-on-the-verge-of-a-meltdown. Glad to know that as she chills out (maybe), she's going to instead start asking me for $1 unidentifiable objects and feminine rinse.

  6. I DREAD shopping with the kids!

    My hubs will ask if I can swing by and pick up _____ real quick? Are you kidding me?! There is no quick picking up of anything. Ever. Six years and he still SO does not understand. I'm glad someone does, though I don't wish it on anyone!

    But he is not allowed to shop, unless I want to eat marshmallows and Frosted Flakes every meal while spending three times our budget for no real food and an added assortment of crap-plastic toys that break in two seconds and I get to hear crying about.... (okay, I get side tracked, too), so I usually have to grin and bear it.

    1. Yeah, there's definitely no such thing as "real quick" anymore! I love to leave the kids with him and go shop alone. There's no better way to do it!

  7. I just found your blog and I LOVE it! I hate to tell you, but as they get older the in-store-begging turns into sophisticated negotiations. My dd is 11, and could give a car salesman a run for his money.
    Her: I'll do the dishes every night.
    Me: You already do that.
    Her: But I won't cry about it!
    Me: Yes you will.
    Her: I'll clean the bathroom (I shake my head)AND fold the towels. (She sees I'm wavering)AND I'll take the little kids out side to play so you can take a long shower by yourself!
    Me: Done.

    1. Thank you! Yes, I can already see the potential in my seven-year-old. I'm screwed!


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