Friday, June 06, 2008

costco brings out the best and worst of me

Today, I went to Costco.

At Noon.

On a Friday.

It. Was. A. Mad. House.

Considering the gas prices at the Costco Station were around $4.15 a gallon, as opposed to $4.65 down the street, there were cars lined up for as far as the eye could see.

Parking was very lean and because I secured a spot immediately next to one of the cart corrals (which is THE place to park when you have to unload four small children in to a shopping cart and don't want to run the risk of the cart rolling away or getting hit by an oblivious driver) I was in an immediate good mood.

I rolled my cart full of kids in to the store. We tried everything the food demonstrators were offering. We sipped on imported Acai Blueberry Juice and I discovered the higher the stain potential of a substance, the more likely that the children will spill it all over themselves and each other. It is guaranteed that if they were sipping on a two-ounce cup of water, they wouldn't have spilled a drop. But give them a dash of juice from the the super potent anti-oxidant Acai Blueberry, and they will be covered in it from head to toe.

But I didn't mind, because I was happy.

And nothing can bring me down when I'm happy.

As is always the case, I was stopped by SCORES of people.

Are they all yours?

What is the age separation?

Do you have help?

Are they twins?

Are you here by yourself?

How do you do it?

Are you on medication?

I stopped and took my time talking to everyone because that is what a happy person does. The children said hello and would hold up three little fingers and tell anyone that asked they were "Fwee". I would then add that they were "three" not "free" ... which on a lesser day, I'd be willing to give them away at that price, to a good home.

The key to survival, I would tell people, is that it's important to keep a sense of humor and not let little things upset us. "Yes indeed, I have the patience of Job."

We completed our shopping and then made our way outside where we had a nice picnic lunch at one of the tables in front of the store. We even spent a few minutes talking with several firemen who pulled up on their bright red fire engine.

Then, we happily made our way back to the car where I unloaded the children, unloaded the groceries, buckled everyone's seat belts and started to make our way home. By this time, it was 1:15 PM. I was beside myself with joy because after having spent a solid hour at gymnastics in the morning the kids were spent - there was no kitchen to clean up from lunch - we would have a house full of food to last us through the week weekend, and I was (almost certainly) guaranteed that the kids would take a solid two hour nap.

Driving to the exit of Costco, I needed to get in to my right hand turn lane. I had about 100 yards before I would need to turn right, but checking my mirrors and looking over my shoulder, I could see that my blinker would be necessary to ALERT the nearby motorists of my intent.

So, with my right blinker on, I began to slow down because ... the ... time ... was ... coming ... where ... I'd ... need ... to ... turn ... and ... if ... someone ... doesn't ... let ... me ... in ... I'll ... need ... to ... go ... straight ... and ... then ... I'll ... have ... to ... drive ... a quarter-mile .... up ... the ... road ... before ... I can do a U-turn and come back.

And although a U-turn isn't terribly bad, gosh, it sure would be a whole lot better if one of my fellow motorists would let me in especially since I've got my blinker on - the turn is coming up - and for Pete's sake, I've got four kids in the car who if I don't get home soon, will FALL ASLEEP on the way and that will SHOOT my two hour session of peace and quiet.

No one was letting me in, so I did what any person who had a car full of full-bellied, drowsy children would do. I noted a small opening in the procession of cars and I eased in to it. I then immediately held my hand up and waved a perfunctory "Thank you".

Just then, the car behind me, the car that I had just THANKED, a souped up member of Civic Nation, laid on their horn. They didn't honk their horn. Or beep their horn. They LAID ON THEIR HORN.


Then, they did it again.


And again.


But this time, they drew up especially close on my bumper so that I couldn't even see their headlights in my rear view mirror. They were within INCHES of my rear bumper and any safety cushion I felt existed for my children (and the week weekend worth of groceries) who were riding in our vehicle, was instantly compromised.

At that point, I had come to a stop at a red light and I immediately lost consciousness.

Some other being took over.

A being that wasn't happy and couldn't just ignore the jerk in the car behind us.

From some safe spot in my psyche, I could only watch while this crazy maniac that inhabited my body put the vehicle in park - set the emergency brake and got out - with one hand on the door and one hand on pepper spray - and yelled at the driver behind us that the vehicle they were honking their horn at and pretending to ram had FOUR SMALL CHILDREN INSIDE and WHY ARE THEY DRIVING LIKE AN A$HOLE and WHAT WOULD THEIR MOTHER THINK?

And the maniac added that last bit because the driver of the vehicle behind us, was a young man no more than 20-years old with spiked hair and funky sunglasses. And anything that the 20-year old driver in the vehicle behind us might have said - or tried to say - or thought about saying - was drowned out by the maniac from my van, who felt physically capable of CRUSHING their hood.

(While also thinking that perhaps they need an anger management class because
rational people don't get out of their cars and yell at absolute strangers in the parking lot of Costco.)

As fast as it started - the fury storm dissipated - the maniac disappeared, I climbed back in to my car with restored consciousness and turned around and happily said to my children "Yay! It's Friday! So, what are we going to do this weekend? Pick out grave sites for your mother who will surely need one if she keeps this up?? Or, maybe we'll go the ZOO!!!"


  1. BBBBBWWWAAAAHAHHAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAA I love it when you're human. Great post as usual. I love Henry sitting in the cart by himself totally absorbed in nuthin. Great haircuts too!
    XO It's cocktail time kiddo! somewhere!!!
    Hugs Rooth

  2. Totally unrelated to your post... but I need to tell you that I love, love, love your bread recipe. It is so easy and my husband things I am some sort of domestic goddess for baking bread and taking care of three two year olds. There is no way I need to tell him how easy it really is to make. Thanks for the recipe! I love recipes that are easy and tasty. Take care!

  3. AWESOME! That guy probably pooped his pants after your comments! Please be aware that pepper spray is useless in a gun fight... just a thought, because we do live in crazy California!

  4. That is AWESOME! You did what I have only WISHED I would have done. You are totally my hero!

  5. Oh. My. Gosh. Dying over here. You're an inpiration. Do you know how many times I've wanted to do that?

  6. You don't know how many times I've wanted to do that! Maybe I should arm myself with pepper spray. I think that would give me the confidence I need to chew some deserving punk out and then run, run away. = )

  7. yup, i've been tempted to do that many times, but never quite had the guts. maybe a pepper spray purchase for me too!!!

    good for you being happy, and standing up for yourself/kids!!

  8. I have met this crazy maniac.

    I saw "her" run a car off the road after it's driver had the NERVE to roll up against her back bumper and FLOOR THE GAS PEDAL. All because he didn't like the way she LOOKED at him in her rear view mirror.

    Yes ... the crazy maniac took that car OUT. And injured her neck in the process.

    Don't mess with Mom's man! Yeah. If my kids had actually been in the car, it might have gone down differently. Thank GOODNESS they weren't in the car.

  9. Remind me to never honk my horn in your direction! ; )

  10. Hilarious. You rock the world.

    "because that's what happy people do" makes me chuckle. a lot.

    I just want to know...did you get the two hours of peace?

  11. LOL. I'm glad your shopping trip went well. Did they nap for you, or was their adrenaline pumping too?

  12. We came home and the kids napped for an hour. Almost immediately after I hit "publish" on this post, they woke up cranky with fevers. Today, I've diagnosed 2 of 4 with hand, foot & mouth.

    It's a virus. It will probably last a week. I've administered Tylenol to the "patients" which refers strictly to their medical status and NOT their persona, and I've stocked up on apple juice and popsicles. Now we just wait and hope Charlie and I don't go nuts from all the whining.

  13. Jen- you can mix one part benadryl and one part Maalox and coat the inside of their mouths with a Q-tip. It takes the sting out of blisters. This was a really bad one for us. Almost as bad as rotavirus. This happened last year right after Austin was diagnosed with the brain tumor and right before he had surgery and they were SO SICK. The crying and crying and crying. But the Benadryl/Maalox thing works really well. Those poor babies. It's awful. Also, mine got it at the YMCA. Once all the camp kids are there, it gets ugly with germs.

    As for you, you are Super Woman. That gang banger has no clue how important naptime is.

    Hang in there!

  14. It is not nice to fool with Mother Nature--That poor bum will never cut anyone else off. Kids look great and I am so glad you are calm.

  15. OMG, that was hysterical!! You did what I've wished to do several times. I'm so proud.

  16. Good for you. I hate when people think letting one person in is really going to make them late for whatever they are doing... maybe like 2 seconds. Anyway, you go girl!

  17. Yep, you're a hero in my book for sure! I don't think I would have had the nerve to do what you did, although I would have liked to. Man!

  18. YES! I think we've all wanted to do that at one time or another.

  19. Hi.
    Good read. Have a nice day~! :)

  20. GOOD FOR YOU!! You did what we've all wanted to do at least once!! I hope the kids are ok - do you think they got HFM from Costco?!?! I hope not!

  21. That is awesome. I did something like this once, except that when I got out, I told the guy behind me that I had "two sleeping kids and a SHOTGUN", and he should think about backing off. Um... yeah. I didn't have a shotgun though. Good thing, too, because I was so mad...