Well, I did something today that I always make mocking comments to other people about. I went to a store two days before Christmas. Now, before you castigate me for being a bad husband or lazy father, there is a good reason for this excursion. There is a particular store that my wife loves, but is not too close to us. So, the only time we go there is when I am going to the airport to pick someone up. Usually she has a list of items that we will get “next time we go there.” Today was the day she has been waiting for and she had the list and coupons to prove it.
One thing we needed was a kitchen garbage can. Ours has been slowly disintegrating and needed some help. I also needed some socks and a sippy cup for my younger children. There were coupons for the cup, so we were going to get a real deal on that one. (two coupons, but I guess I made a mistake and missed one – there goes $2) As I am writing this I was once again reminded of my error on missing one of the coupons. Whoops.
So, I was comparing different garbage cans amongst the last-minute Christmas shoppers, none of which were looking at garbage cans. My message to people everywhere shopping is, CALM DOWN. I know I have questioned people for going shopping on the last days before Christmas, but I didn’t realize my mockery was based on reality. I had various people from different age brackets cut me off with their cart and look away as if I wasn’t even there. Well, that is rude at most times of the year, but it is Christmas, so nevermind.
Oh, and did I mention that I had two of my children with me. I had my 4-year-old and 2-year-old son. What made things even more exciting was that it had rained so hard that the carts had puddles in them. I know, I had a hard time believing it myself. Needless to say, this made it unrealistic to put my 2-year-old in one. So, with my right hand I pushed the cart, my left hand I held my youngest son’s hand and with my mouth I attempted to control the wanderings of my other boy.
He really likes to wander. He is the child that will always find something at the store, as if he is on a treasure hunt. He looks for money, rubber bands, candy, or anything that he is able to find that he can take home. Today as we got out of the van he found a dime, which was an inspiring start. Then as he walks through the parking lot he finds his first of three rubber bands. He actually started to take apart a shelf today in hopes that I would let him take it with him. I convinced him that it was not ours and he should leave it there for someone else. That seemed alright to him. Way to go dad!
The main goal of this trip, however, was to pick up Grandpa. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of things that we need to bring for a simple three-hour round trip. We had the lunch box with the sandwiches, crackers, snack mix and water. Then I had the diapers and extra wipes “just in case.” Then there is the backpack of important items that my 4-year-old insists on bringing along. The bag had a motorcycle, toy phone, three library books, a one inch piece of cable wire he found, a small New Testament and a pencil. My 2-year-old is simply content with a toy hammer and his sippy cup.
They had watched my wife make the sandwiches and pack the snacks, which is always a mistake. We were not ten minutes into the trip and I hear, “hey dad, is it snack time yet?” NO! “Is it lunch time yet?” NO! Thankfully five minutes later they were both asleep. They both slept another 35 minutes until our aforementioned stop. It was 10 a.m. when we stopped and the first question was “Is it lunch time yet?” NO! I assured them that it would come soon enough. Once we return from the store immediately I hear, “Is it lunch time yet?” NO! It was snack time. So, I got the snack out and was once again the hero.
We arrived at the airport and found Grandpa right where he was supposed to be. He gets in and says to my 4-year-old son, “wow you have changed.” To which came the reply, “Of course, I didn’t want to stay in my pajamas all day.” What do you say to that? The next thing out of his mouth, “Is it lunch time?”
At that point I still wanted him to wait a little longer. In the mean time I realized, unbeknownst to me, he had drunk his entire water bottle. Which, as you know, meant that very soon we would need to stop. So, we got on the road and he started telling me we needed to stop with an increased sense of urgency. After I delayed him for about 20 minutes longer, we stopped. “Is it lunch time?” Ok. It is lunch time.
We got home about 40 minutes later and got Grandpa settled in. “Hey dad, I’m hungry.” Of course you are!
Then our 7-year-old came home from school with a card he made for Grandpa. This card is so awesome that I include it here. It captures the spirit of this season well.
Whatever you are doing today I trust you will experience the love of your family, friends and lunch.