Went to Rite-Aid today with three children of mine (Eden was at a friend’s) and the neighbor boy. Supposed to be a quick trip: pick up prescriptions and Sudafed and nylons and NyQuil. Out.
However, Rainbow brought her allowance to buy some candy (as if we haven’t been on a continual sugar high since Christmas, but whatever) although she ended up buying a sparkly crown with earrings instead.
(Tangent: don’t you just love the random junk found in drug stores? I think a really fun game would be to go with a group of friends to Rite-Aid or Walgreen’s or Bartell’s and give everyone ten minutes and five dollars to find the tackiest and most unusual item in the store. Just imagine how cool that would be!)
So–we then went to Goodwill (even though my brain was telling me, “Beware! Unwise!”) to get some random items for a couple of Zack’s science experiments. We found the stuff, and the kids begged to go and “look” at the toys for a “minute”. I spent about ten minutes just chasing Colby around, then said, “Okay. Time to go.”
Wait a second. I forgot an integral plot point to this story.
In one of my forays back to the toy section, Rainbow was sitting on a tricycle. “Look, Mom! A Little Bike!”
Rainbow never got a Little Bike. Eden outgrew hers, so we figured Rainbow could just use it. And then Rainbow got a Big Bike, so we figured all would be well.
We figured wrong.
Little Bikes are especially good for tearing down the steep driveways of our neighborhood into the cul-de-sac. So Zack prefers his Little Bike and Eden prefers her Little Bike and Rainbow gets stuck out in the cold.
Still, the Little Bike at Goodwill was almost a Real Tricycle, not a plastic sort-of Big Wheel. Real Tricycles, while charming and undoubtedly fun, are also more tippy than the sort-of Big Wheels we’re used to. And if there’s anything I’m sure of, it’s that we don’t want tippy things where children can fall over and break bones.
I told Rainbow, “Well, it’s nice, dear, but I think your dad will need to stop by on his way home from work and look at it.”
So, back to “Time to go.”
We arrived at the checkout exactly behind the lady who, I kid you not, had two carts full of stuff. TWO. You would think she would have taken pity on Zack, who is not only cute but also only had a small hand-carried basket to check out. And he was paying cash.
We waited for at least ten minutes, probably closer to 15, though. And the entire time I was chasing Colby. I set him down; he laughed and walked toward the doors; I caught him and brought him back. Repeat.
Sorry—-I again have neglected a key plot point in my narrative. We stepped in line behind the two-cart lady and I realized I was missing someone. “Where’s Rainbow?” I said.
Seconds later, Rainbow tore around the corner. Riding (at a fast clip, too) the Little Bike.
Here, the bargaining began. Between bouts of Colby-chase, I tried to get Rainbow to put the bike away. I told her Dad would come and look at it after work. I put on my stern face and told her to put it back NOW. I eventually gave her an ultimatum: Put the bike back and Dad will come look at it after work, or I will rip it out of your hands and put it away and there isn’t a chance you’re getting this Little Bike.
She pouted. She stewed. She glowered.
As the items in the second cart began to dwindle, I told her, “If you don’t make a decision now, I will have to make one for you.”
Here, Neighbor Boy (who is an only child and probably has never been left unattended in the store before, as I kept doing to retrieve my two-year-old—-but he was with Zack and Zack is eight! Right?) put in, “Wendy, I think I will decide for her. She needs you to rip her hands off the bike.” (You thought that phrase was just narrative embellishment. It wasn’t.)
I nodded. “That was the same decision I was about to make for her.”
[Insert ripping of hands off of Little Bike—plus disentanglement of legs—here.]
I tucked Colby under my arm like a football and jogged, with the Little Bike in my other hand, to the back of the store where a particularly efficient employee had already put another large toy in Little Bike’s place. Maybe we could use some of this efficiency to Open Another Check Stand. Of course, I do have a degree in Business Management, so perhaps I am just being snooty.
I returned to the front, finding Rainbow in the exact position as I left her: sprawled out on the floor as though the world had ended. Zack purchased his spoons, birthday candles, and magic cookie jar (another check stand had finally opened, but he decided just to wait). I took Rainbow by the wrist (or was it her ankle? No, I’m pretty sure it was her wrist) and pulled her along the floor.
We reached the door, where Colby arched his back towards outside and screamed. I could no longer carry him with one hand. Rainbow immediately retreated into a little ball when I let go of her. I sighed.
I try not to be a yeller. I really do. And I am happy to say that I was successful this day. I said, very calmly, “Rainbow, I can’t carry you to the car. I have to carry Colby. If you don’t get up and walk to the car, you won’t be able to play the Wii at all today.”
She got up and walked to the car.
(Of course, she ended up losing her Wii privileges later, due to biting her friend on the leg, but that’s a different story all together.)