Tonight, after dinner, I went to Wal-mart all alone. All alone.
Let's review how that might be different from what a usual trip to Wal-mart looks like:
Five children out of the car seats. Put shoes back on at least one of them because it's too hard to keep shoes on the entire five mile drive. Unlatch the baby carrier (she can't sit up, yet) and hook it into one of the carts left in the middle of the parking lot by some dope (but, thank you, dope, because now, it's easy for me to grab). Put two of the other children in the basket and wait while a third climbs onto the bottom. Wait some more because the bottom-child's coat is dragging and the grocery cart wheel is stuck. Okay, we have everyone. Into the store. Right away, bombarded by quarter rides and displays of (disgusting, but slathered in current holiday sprinkles) cookies. The begging begins. No, you can't. No, I won't. No, I never buy that. Begin filling grocery cart and pulling kids out when it gets crowded. Wait, first put all of the paper jello bags back into the jello boxes that your child, so helpfully, disemboweled. All of the children are now out of the cart (excepting the baby, who is content with eating your list) and are NOT staying with Mom. There is a constant stream of No, not today. That is gross. Put that back. Run and get your sister. Where is Pod #4? Oh, crap--that's right. Run back five miles and get that, will you? Scoot over. Don't stop right in front of the cart. Now, the baby has had it and your forgot the stupid pacifier she has decided she can't live without. Pull over to the side of the toilet paper aisle and nurse the baby. Keep the kids from climbing onto the toilet paper pallet with one foot. Push an overloaded cart with one hand while you try to keep the baby happy and the rest of the Pods in tow. Holy Hell. (Wait, is that possible? Hmm.) Okay, we got everything on our list. To the check out. WHY do they put candy in the check out aisle? Give us a little help here, will ya'? Quick, pay, have kindly banter with the cashier. Above all, don't seem crazy or everyone will whisper, That is why people should not have so many children? To the car, unload groceries, buckle the car seats. Get the treat you promised them for being good in the store. Close the door to the van and take deep breaths.
So, as I was saying. I went to Wal-Mart tonight, all alone.