Saturday, February 27, 2010

What was I thinking?

I'm exhausted.

But I'm writing from a functioning computer! Score.  Now I have no excuse not to write all kind of things you don't care about reading. Fun!

So, Evany has always been a super annoyed baby...she can give a better dirty look than I can, and believe me, I'm no slouch. She's like an angry old lady and she's not even three months old yet. It's pretty intense. So I thought maybe if I got her a present it would perk her up...who doesn't like presents? I love presents. And food. And Evany seems to be like me. I feed her regularly, so maybe she's been put out because I haven't been showering her in gifts. There was this playmat at IKEA I've been eying since I was pregnant, and I thought she might like it.

So this morning I got the bright idea to pack all the kids up and head to our big mall to get an accessory for my phone I needed. That took several hours, mainly because I started to say we were leaving about 9 am and we rolled out of the house oh, about noon. I'm really peppy like that. Of course I didn't feed the kids before we left because I had fed them breakfast super late and thought that they wouldn't be hungry.

They were.

By the time we got to the mall, trolled the parking lot for a space, and walked in the rain into the mall from the back 40 where we parked, I was ready to quit. But we were there, so I decided it was a good idea to take the kids into a loud, crazy busy store full of computer and phone equipment. It was probably one of my most brilliant plans ever. Every time I said "Now don't touch!" Jace's fingers shot out involuntarily to grab something, and even when he tried to stop himself he ended up knocking things over anyway. I didn't see that you had to sign in to get help, so I didn't, so we were totally ignored, which...well, I would ignore me, too. Seth was trying to disassemble his ears, and he managed to pull them off just before I told him "no!" every time, so he never even heard me. Evany's hat kept falling over her eyes and she was royally ticked so she was screaming bloody murder and even when I found the accessory I needed I couldn't, no matter how many times I circled the store running over people's toes with the stroller, find a register.

Someone had the bright idea that taking away the registers was a good idea. Apparently now the associates just wander around checking people out all willy nilly. There is no line, no order, and I almost threw up when I realized I was going to have to go walk up to one of them and TALK to them. Finally, though, I realized I really needed the stupid thing and I got up the courage to ask someone to check me out, and after she looked around trying to find anyone else to do it, she rang me up with her fancy ringer up thingy. But then she had to walk all the way across the store to find a bag, which took the better part of five minutes. Then she needed my zip code so she had to walk all the way again back to get my receipt. It was eerily similar to a walk of shame. She knew taking away the registers was a silly idea, I know she did.

Um, as fancy as that was,  I think just having a register would have been quicker. Sometimes people get too fancy for their own good. Smack me if I ever try to do something like that, ok? Thanks.

So by that time we'd spent nearly an hour in the store, and the kids were begging for every overpriced baked good in the mall. I managed to drag them back to the car, literally kicking and screaming at some points, and the part of my mind that is sane was screaming "Just go home!"

Instead, the crazy part typed "IKEA" into the GPS, and away we went. By then it was 2:00 and we were all hungry, but for the life of my I couldn't figure out how to eat at the cafeteria, then go back down and check the kids into the play area. You can't go back the same way you come in at this store, and so instead of walking the long was I just suggested to the kids that they go to the play area first and that we'd do lunch afterwards. They were fine with that, considering there was a ball pit. Ava said "When you hear me scream 'WEEEE!' you'll know I've just leapt into the ball pit. I only say 'WEEE!' for ball pits." Then Jace said "When you hear ME screaming it'll be because I fell off the rock climbing wall. Come back when you hear that, okay?"

Of course, there was a line, and after waiting for longer than any of us would have liked, I was first in line. I grabbed a sign in sheet just as the check in girl stopped checking kids in. They were at their limit, and kids had to get checked out before mine could go in.

Seriously. Stupid childcare laws. (Kidding! Don't email me).

So after about ten more minutes watching the kids discuss just exactly what they were going to do first, bringing our waiting time up to about 25 minutes altogether, they were signed in.

That's when the check in girl told me that the time limit was 30 minutes.

Are you freaking kidding me? You can't even see a fraction of the store in 30 minutes. I've never gone and had the time limit be less than an hour before. Ridiculous. We'd literally waited in line as long as they could play.

So that's when I ran as fast as I could and jumped onto an elevator with roughly 80 other hardcore IKEA goers and went in the opposite direction of the arrows, which, whoa, apparently a big deal to some people, in search of the play mat that was going to magically make Evany a happy baby.

Then I got distracted by some pretty boxes, then I got the idea that we needed some more toy storage options, and, oh! Hey! Look, there's a wooden slide that Seth could use with his processors on! Then I remembered that I'd meant to price their cribs. And we were running low on the kids' table ware. And oh, there was that playmat, which was way bigger than I remembered, and it wouldn't fit in the basket of the stroller, and Evany was in the bottom and Seth was in the top and in the end it had to go kind of over my shoulder like a hobo's stick. Classy.

Aaaand that's how I was late picking the kids up. But only by a couple of minutes. The downside is that even after I picked them up, we still had the entire bottom half of the store to navigate before we could make it to the registers and the hot dogs I had promised them. It was like they were slogging through the desert, dragging one foot behind the other, arms outstretched, wailing "Hot Dooooooog!". That is, until they got distracted by something pretty. Ava saw a rug and said "Mom, what if I had my own room and put that rug in there, with like a nice little loveseat and then we could get those lamps, and..." that's when  I tuned her out because she doesn't even have the first part of that sentence which made the entire thing pointless.

Finally we made it out to the self service area where I had to find and load up the storage stuff I'd found. Then we found another table choice and weighed the pros and cons and compared the different table leg styles and then I decided on it, loaded up, and then couldn't find chairs that matched in stock. So I had another idea and I unloaded everything and reloaded something else, then went to look for stools, Ava careening behind me with the stroller with the babies in it and Jace saying "I can't do this anymore!"

The the stools were the wrong color. Then The storage unit I'd picked out was out of stock although the cubbies were there.

I stood there with a push cart of stuff that wasn't complete for various reasons, and it was practically four o'clock and Evany woke up screaming bloody murder, and...

I totally left the cart right there, checked out and bought one stinking thing...the playmat.

Then we ate hot dogs and chips (read: Ava, Jace, and I ate while Seth threw everything on the floor.) and I fed Evany.

Then it was five o'clock and we were still 45 minutes away from home and out of diapers for Evany. I loaded everyone up and we headed for Target, and...of course, by the time we got there, all four kids were passed out in the car, so I drove right by.

Diapers do not trump waking up four sleeping kids. We'll survive somehow.

And just so you know, I just put Evany on her brand new playmat and for five whole minutes she looked interested and kicked her legs...and then she started yelling at it in a very mean voice.

So...yeah. That was a fun day.
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