Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why You NEVER Take the Kids to the Mall!

I've gotten into this lazy really smart habit of staying home with the kids during the day. I used to take them everywhere, but lately I've been putting off my errands until Joe gets home from work so I can leave the kiddos with him and enjoy shopping solo or with only one or two of the older kids.

Today I decided to run out to the mall so I could get Brooklyn's and Clayton's pictures taken. I needed to get Brooklyn's 2 year pictures taken. You know, because she just turned 2. Just a mere 3 1/2 months ago. Don't want to rush into these things, you know. Heck, if I'd put if off any longer, I could've just taken her in for her 3 year pictures.

I used to be good about these things. I used to get the kids' pictures taken on the exact day of their birthdays. Then I became a giant loser a busy mom of 6 and no longer cared about trivial stuff like pictures had the time to keep up with things like pictures.

Anyway, being the intelligent, organized person I am, I made an appointment at the photo studio 2 weeks ago. What? It could happen! Ok, so I didn't make an appointment. I got it in my head that I was going to take them for pictures when I woke up this morning. Unfortunately, the photo studio was booked and couldn't fit them in until 2:30pm. OK, no problem. We'll just walk around the mall for three hours and come back. No problem, mon.

So, I did a little summer clothes shopping for the kids. I was holding up a pair of capris and asking no one in particular, "Do you think Lexington will like these?" when a woman, who was walking by, turned and asked me, "Are you Dawn?"

I answered her in a confident, proud manner, "Ummm nope. Why? What have you heard? What did my kids do now?" "Umm yes, I'm Dawn."

This woman said, "I read your blog!"

Can you believe it? I was just recognized on the street (or in the young girls' clothing department at JCPenneys)! She introduced herself to me, but I'm such a dork and was so excited about being recognized that I forgot her name! Ugh, I could pick her out in a line-up, but I can't for the life of me remember her name. Anyway, she had her lovely daughter with her and told me that she was getting married next week. The daughter. Not her. I believe I said something profound like, "Are you excited?" Well DUH! Of course she's excited! Is anyone NOT excited a week before their wedding? This is exactly why I like writing - because I don't have a backspace button on my mouth.

So, we did a little shopping and then we stopped at McDonald's to waste a little more time until our photo appointment. After lunch, I stopped at a cell phone place because I'd been thinking of changing our cell phone plan and getting new phones. The phone Joe had been using weighed 15 pounds and was the size of a VCR. The guy who helped me was really nice, very knowledgeable, helpful, and not at all pushy. Despite this, it took some time to switch our service and transfer our numbers and Clay had officially run out of good behavior. He was bugging Brooklyn, shaking her sippy cup, sprinkling her with juice. He was jumping around, trying to push her stroller down a nearby ramp. He was grabbing cell phones and calling China. He even flung his stupid McDonald toy across the mall, just grazing a passerby.

I'd answer a question for the cell phone guy, and then reign Clay in. Sign a paper, then grab his hand. Pick out a phone, then threaten to leave him at the mall remind him of the importance of good behavior. I impressively kept my cool despite his wild antics and Brooklyn's tired, incessant screaming. Until the very end. I ran out of patience after about an hour of this. I turned to Clay, told him to SIT DOWN and said that I was one of the Incredibles and would shoot laser beams from my eyes if he so much as moved an inch.

It worked. Sort of. Well, for 30 seconds anyway. I finished up with the cell phone extravaganza and looked at the time - 2:20. Yay, just enough time to get to the photo studio for our pictures. The only problem was - Brooklyn was out cold, just snoring away. So much for that. We headed for the door to leave. Clay was walking along grabbing his butt the whole way.

"Clay, stop that. Clay, what are you doing? Stop grabbing your butt. Clayton!"

He responded in the loudest voice EVER. "BUT MOM! MY BUTT ITCHES!"

All I can say is that I'm so glad I didn't run into my blog reader at this point. I was sweating, my hair was sticking out like Roseanne Roseannadanna, I had a crazed look on my face, and laser beams were shooting from my eyes. I now remember why I avoid taking the kids out in public.

69 comments:

Jana said...

Dawn, you are hilarious! I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old at home right now, and I just told my husband the other day that I was no longer going shopping during the day for the exact same reasons! At least Brooklyn will stay in a stroller, my son practically claws me to death if I even attempt to restrain him in any way whatsoever. I was hoping to see some pictures of your kids, though. Oh well, better luck next time!
Jana

VanDerHoekArt said...

This post was particularly scary for me because it paralleled my life a little too closely. My son turned 3 in January and I am still putting his birthday pictures off. Every week something comes up that is more of a priority. And yes, my husband and I took him with us recently to get new cell phones. Your description of the experience was eerily similar to mine.

kathi d said...

Once, in a grocery store, my nephew, who was about 3 at the time, started screaming, "Mom, my big penis hurts!" OK, so they taught him the right name for body parts and all. But the "big" part? He had a little brother, so I guess that was his comparison.

Bloggin' Mama said...

My husband is out of town until next weekend and I took my 2 kids (boys ages 4 and 23 months) into the grocery store with me today for a mere 6 items.... By the time I left I wanted to shoot myself in the foot for even considering doing this. They behave everywhere EXCEPT the grocery store. Our 3rd child is due in September and I've decided that unless there is some sort of food emergency I am never, EVER taking 3 kids to the grocery store. I would lose my head!

Anonymous said...

This is right up there with the grocery shopping story. Very funny!

Anonymous said...

I'm first
xD

Me, Myself and I said...

OMG..You just lived one of my past memories!! ONly without the part of being recognized for writing a blog that is. I was always recognized as the mom of that wild kid from school...lol. Hope tomorrow's a better day and you can get Brooklyn's pictures soon!

Rhonda

Mum-me said...

That sounds just like whenever I take my children anywhere - except for the bit about the a lady recognizing me from reading my blog.

Domestic Spaz said...

Wow.... you poor thing... all that and you didn't even get the pictures done!

But what an excitement to be recognized! You're really famous now. :)

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH, the butt story had been laughing out loud and as we ALL know it only gets worse!! My son was at soccer practice tonight grabbing his butt, and he's 12!!!! I'm sure we can all remember a time in the last week that our husband's have scratched their butts too-----it's a boy/man thing.
Can't wait for you book to come out! You bring humor to parenting!!

Lisa

Katrina said...

Dawn, you have just made my day!!!!! I feel so much better about all my shopping expeditions with the kids in the past

roseys madhouse said...

raflmao sorry but that is exactly why we dont take them with us!!!!!

nutralady2001 said...

And did you end up getting the photos done? At least Clay's??

Dawn you are FAMOUS now people everywhere will recognise you.Get used to it !! Just wait for the day when you are A GUEST on Oprah and not in the studio audience!!

Kim Williams said...

Laser beams from your eyes?!?! ROFL!!! I personally like to use "You know, SHAMU is watching you right now!" because my little girl is so enamoured with all things Sea World that the very thought that her killer whale hero might be seeing her behave badly is just more than her 4-year old heart can bear. Of course, I have her convinced that you can only go to Sea World when Shamu sends you an invitation, otherwise Mommy would LOVE to take her everyday just like she wants.

And Dawn, my DD is 4 years and 4 months and I still haven't taken her "4 year old photos". Haven't even gotten as close as you have yet, so you are, in my book, well ahead of the curve here! Thanks for sharing, and we loved the video of the kids on the chair!

Mabunny said...

Yay! you got recognized! ,i'm great at faces, but can't remember names wortha flip, so I'd probably see you and go , darn I know her just can't place her!!!lol

I know what you meanabout kids and meltdowns.. you going aboutyour business and them meliting totheir last possilbe shread of goodness. It happens to all of us:))

Have a great day!

Sarah Davis said...

Oh, Dawn! I've recently just started shopping with all my 6 again. (Since the baby has been born---a year ago--I also waited until my husband got home.) We homeschool, so if i go anywhere, they ALL come. If nothing else, it sure helps me sleep good at night (that deep, exhausted kind of sleep).
And seriously, if you ever happen to be in the center of Michigan, I'd LOVE to do portraits of all your kids (no charge whatsoever).
I know what it's like----I'm a photographer and I'm ashamed to say that my kids (esp. #'s 3-6) are sadly lacking in portraits of themselves.
Wishing you a great weekend!!!
(click on my name to go to my site)

Anonymous said...

I used to be obsessive about the whole "their 2 year picture will be on their 2 year birthday" too. Now I'm just glad to get it done within a month or so. Luckily all 3 of my kids have Spring birthdays so we just did one long miserable session and got them all done at once. I'm so relieved that they are done and they actually turned out great.

Anonymous said...

Oh Girlfriend,

I just finished reading your blog before leaving for work. I now have to change my clothes because today's blog made me pee! You are in top form today!

Oh, I remember those days so vividly! I just wish I had your sense of humor back then! My boys used to hide in the circular clothes racks and make me go through each rack to find them. Then, they wanted me to hold all the treasures they found on the floor while they were hiding (tags, plastic clips, coins, etc.). They didn't have those big security clips back then, or else I would have quite a collection!

Congrats on being recognized! Get ready for it to happen again! Just make sure you walk by a mirror before leaving the house. When I forget, I always run into someone from school or hubby's work!

Thanks for all of your sunshine!!

God Bless,

stlmom

Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time commenter...LOL pure gold

korkie said...

I dunno Dawn .... sounds like it was just another fun day out with the kids to me.

All except the itchy butt. Just be glad he wasn't dragging his butt across the ground like my dog does when he gets worms.

.....see, now doesn't that make you feel a little better?

korkie

Brenda said...

I think there is an old saying about "scratch where it ithces" or something like that. Dawn, I'd recognize you anywhere!

Patty said...

Congrats on being spotted. You are now an official celebrity!

I dread taking the baby to the mall. Twenty minutes and he's done. Of course it saves money.

I always give the crazy eyed moms the benefit of the doubt when I see them start to lose it. We've all had that day. It's much easier to stay home.

Chelle said...

Ha! I know what you mean! Taking kids out in public can be just nuts!
By the way, as I read this, I am blog reader #3014461! Congrats on reaching the 3 Million mark! I'm sure you will reach the 4 Million mark by next week! Hugs!

kawowski said...

Been there, done that. Glad to know I am not the only one who threatens my kids with laser beams :0) Thanks for you blog it is a fun read and always makes me smile!

Marit in Idaho said...

Maybe you should have taken the opportunity to have your own picture. After all, Roseanne Roseannadanna opportunities don't come along often enough. Or you could have used the opportunity to threaten getting Clay's picture taken in the phone store. Especially, scratching his backside...

I have a video of my almost 4 year old son being a "puupy" jumping around in his favorite undies. He refused to wear pants at that age. And the hole in the seat was about 2 inches across. Yes, call social services, I actually videoed him that way. It is so funny to watch as he cheefully tells me he is being a puppy. Major leverage when they are teens...

I am sure you would never do anything like that, however. You might get recognized doing it....

Irishmama said...

Ah, yes, the dreaded take the kids to the mall story.........I swear the last time I took all 3 of mine to the mall, people must have thought I had mad cow disease. I can so relate.

How cool is it that you're recognizable on the street, or rather, at the mall.

Face it Dawn, you're FAMOUS!!

Valarie said...

What crazy person decided that it was inappropriate to duct tape your child to a stroller when out in public?? Obviously someone who has no children!

Angela72181 said...

You are a brave brave woman. I don't even go to Walmart with just TWO by myself unless it's a dire emergency. It's always a disaster even if we only go for one or two things and we're in and out within a 1/2 hour. The mall is the only place I will take both kids with my fiance tagging along and that's only to take the toddler to the inside "Park" to run off all his extra energy. Kudos to you for even trying that. And the pictures we haven't even gotten my 3 year olds pictures taken. I think we'll just wait till sister turns 1. After all it's only 1 1/2 months later. Heck get her dressed nice at home and just use your digital camera. I have learned that I get better pictures doing that myself. Then just send it to Walmart or the nearest photo developing place over the internet and pick them up when you get a chance OR just have them delivered to your house. Cheaper and a lot less stressful in my opinion.

Laurie said...

LOL...maybe you should have just taken the pictures anyway. I mean, what could be more "real" than cranky, juice covered, butt itching kids???

TheHMC said...

Alright, I'm cracking up like an insane person right now, because I had a rough night last night and totally know how you're feeling! We thought it would be great fun to take the whole gang to our oldest boys' soccer games(back to back last night) and hubby and I decided that the youngest two will now go with a sitter. What's the point in me going to my boys' games when I don't even get to see them play because I'm chasing my 22 month old alllllll over the community center(and it's a big community center), or listening to my 3 year old complain about how he wants "to go back to the playground".

You're braver than I am though. I want to scream and run at the thought of getting professional pics done of ANY of my kids. It's always a stressful experience that I dread(hence the last prof. photos being taken in 2006, before our 4th child was born-and that being the first time my 3rd child had ever had prof. pics.
Our 5th was born last December ;)).

Becky said...

You know you are famous when people stop you like that, lol!

Oh, man...those VCR sized cell phones, lol. My stepdad was the first person I know to have a cell-phone, and his looked like a car battery with a handle and a regular old coil-cord phone on it, lol. But it was cool. Much like the old "Ghetto Blasters" that used to be carried on one's shoulder back in the days before iPods, lol.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Dawn,
Great story, I feel your pain.
I only have three at home, but they are 3, 7 & 9. Amazing what they can get into in a store.
Unfortunately I have to take them all to several stores today- including a warehouse store
(they call it "Stuff Mart")!
You should see if you can find a photographer who comes to your house. I've had the same guy since my nine year old was a baby,
and they all adore him. It's great too for when someone trashes the outfit they were wearing...grab a new one and change! Of course you wouldn't be able to do "spontaneous" photo trips that way...you'd have to schedule in advance...which reminds me...we haven't done formal photos in more that 2 years...oops.
God Bless, EJT

The Emilee Grace Company said...

I do this all the time too - and I only have 2 girls. Feels like 6 many times. It makes my life so much easier and gives me some time to myself. :)

Sharlyn said...

uummmmmmm.........yup....mother of five here, been there done that :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

The mall without children really is a better place.

Raising Country Kids said...

The reason you have been procrastinating on the pictures is because you know that picture day is always doomed. Something bad always happens on picture day, and it never works out the way you imagine it will. But now, there's always the bright side that you'll have something funny to blog about, and all the moms who have ever been to the mall with small children will be able to relate.

Rebekah D. said...

Bless your heart. That sounds like a typical shopping trip with my two boys. And THAT's why I haven't been to the mall at all in more than three years. Well, that and the fact that staying at home with your kids sucks your finances dry to the point that being able to afford even the Gap clearance racks is a distant memory.

karen said...

speaking of laser beams....
http://youtube.com/watch?v=qX66i5SWq1o

this cracked me up

Nikki said...

I can't imagine taking my almost 3yr old and almost 5yr old to the mall without my hubby! Last time i went to the mall i was pregnant with my daughter and my son was at a sitters because i had just elft the dr office. Are you still going to be doing SSO? I miss them!

debbie said...

That is why they invented home delivery for grocery stores! My husband gets very annoyed that I wait until he is home to run to the store to get a couple of things. My thought is tough. When he is gone, the local grocery store here (ShopRite) has a service where you shop via their website, their employees shop for you and then you go at a specific time to have them bring it to you and load it in your car. I take full advantage of this when husband is out of town. Oh and they also have a little free daycare thing for your older kids (mine are 2 1\/2-she is too young for it, 5 and 6) to stay while you are shopping. But only while you are in the store!

And we are supposed to get our kids pictures taken????

Irishmama said...

Commenting again to add:

The fan recognizing you made YOUR day..........I bet it made HER day as well! She probably called all of her friends immediately "guess who I met ...."

Julie said...

OMG my son so did the whole "my butt itches" announcment to me not too long ago. I was like OMG you so didn't just scream that outloud!! Made me want to go climb under a rock somehwere.

Veggiemomof2 said...

Amen! I have 2, but one has Autism & tends to behave like he's 3 90% of the time!

Anonymous said...

Dawn,
I think that the reason you don't want to go out during the day is that you will suffer from "Computer Separation Anxiety Syndrome." This is a recently discovered illness confined to bloggers and/or blog readers. By going out at night and without children will let you complete your chores in a timely manner and return to the comfort of your computer.

Sandy, HE, ILLINOIS

I am Trish Marie said...

My daughter prefers to pick her nose in public. Then when I tell her not to, she will say something like "But YOU do." And, um, I am pretty sure I don't. But try explaining that to a store full of people. Your denials will only make you look worse.

Shellie said...

Why is that so much funnier when it's happening to someone else? I truly feel your pain.

Vivian M said...

Congratulations on being recognized! That kinda has to make up for everything else that happened, right?
Anyway, I am feeling your pain...Kerri at three now has the tendency to very loudly announce to the world what Mommy is doing in the public restroom.

Out on a Limb said...

You've just described every shopping trip I've ever attempted with all of mine. I'm glad to hear that the Roseanne Roseannadanna hair is a pretty common occurance at the end of one of these adventures.

After I had #5 I gave up on going out with all of them. I always wait for Dad to come home...lol.

Anonymous said...

How did you ever learn to write in such a way that makes the most annoying things in life seem so funny?? You certainly have a gift!

I have only 3 children (5, 4, and 2 years). The older two are girls and I used to take them shopping. Then the boy came...he is a bear to take even when it's just him! My husband doesn't like to shop either, so I guess maybe it's genetic for males. No wonder Brooklyn fell asleep. Shopping is just so relaxing and fun if you're female!

I guess I too should make that appointment for the yearly photos! My 5 year old and 2 year old had February birthdays.

Michelle said...

Dawn,
If it makes you feel any better, my daughter turned 2 on August 1 last year. We had her 2 year pictures less than a month ago.

Sadly, it wasn't because I had forgotten or didn't want to take er or couldn't find the time. This was simply the first time that she didn't have a bruise *on* her face. She's the klutziest kid with no body awareness at all... and two days later, we had a new bruise. Phew!

Oh, and I avoid malls. There aren't any super convenient to me anyway -- I think Woodfield is technically closest -- so that's an easy way out!

Michelle
www.honestandtruly.blogspot.com

The other me said...

So funny because it wasn't me or any of my six kids! Eli ( my littlest and 4) has a habit of yelling " I need a POOH!" So we tried so hard to get him to say " I need the bathroom" so now he yells " I need the bathroom to do a POOH!" I give in.

Life of a Tortoise said...

I will be very worried the day someone recognises me from my blog!!!

Great story I am tired from reading about it!

Tam said...

Do not take kids to store! That should just be in the rule book for young mothers. That and no glitter in the house! ;)

JaneB1961 said...

Well, my kids are 20 and 15, and I STILL won't take them to the store at the same time. There was the time when DD bit my leg (the only part she could reach) in a store once, and the time DS tipped over the shopping cart with his sister in it in the Meijer - I had no idea they had in-store paramedics! Fortunately she wasn't hurt but I still could have scalped him right there. And DD loved to get in the clothes racks and hide from me - I'm calling (yelling) for her and she's no where to be found. Yeah, great mom skills. Don't worry about it - they'll grow out of it eventually (I'm still waiting!)

Becca "Gatermom" said...

I was looking at your book just now on Amazon and I saw this and thought that you might be interested:

What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item?
82% buy the item featured on this page:
Because I Said So!
$19.99

18% buy
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (106)
$49.99

Interesting... Wonder how all 18% decide to buy the exact same game???

My Semblance of Sanity said...

This was reminiscent of the very first thing I read by you - The Pokemon auction!!

Sorry you had a bad day at the mall - but selfishly glad that you, once again, had a day that could make mine seem NORMAL!

Living With Cavemen said...

Oh dear...Mall HELL! I avoid taking my children shopping like the plague and I only have 2 of them. I leave the house a sane woman and come back as some lunatic, chocolate, beer craving mad woman.

korkie said...

Hey Dawn~

I just a pre-order for your new book.

I guess that means I will be stopping by your house to get it personally organized.

Not special .... something like...
'To my dearest friend who never judges me ...heh, heh, heh'

lawnajo said...

Hilarious Post! My almost 2 year-old was a nightmare at the mall last Saturday. I feel your pain.

Kalynne Pudner said...

We get our kids' individual pictures made four times during their lives: 6 months, 2 years, 6 years and high school graduation.

At least, the first three have them at 6 months, 2 years and 6 years; the only one to have graduated high school so far has his then, too. The second three have them at 9 months, 2 1/2 years, and age 7. The last three have them at 1 year, 3 years and (for the two who've already reached this milestone) age 8.

How much do you want to bet that the only high school graduation picture we ever get is the one we've already got?

korkie said...

I'm sure I meant to say 'I'd have to stop by and get my book personally AUTOGRAPHED, not ORGANIZED.'

I must have been looking around my room when I wrote it the first time.

nomi said...

ahhh, yes! kids and malls, a "great" combination! I do wish I could have witnessed this particular outing though... it would have been great entertainment! (until I take my kids to the mall the next time and karma kicks me back in the butt for laughing at your mall trip!)

Anonymous said...

LOL! I hate when people I don't know say "Are you Chance's mom?" He's my 3rd child and has quite a reputation for being a goof-ball.

ummmhello said...

You're a bona fide celebrity!
ALL moms have those days and experiences. Some won't admit it, and some just aren't as funny as you are about it :) Hope the pics came out well.
Thanks so much for sharing a little part of your life with your fellow moms!

Debbie said...

Yes, children only have some much patience at any age.

Cool that you were recognized.

Anonymous said...

Great post!!

Mary said...

After the morning I just had I have to ask...

For SSO or a future post: Have you ever called Poison Control? Why and which kid(s)?

Heather said...

OMG...I was laughing sooo hard because, as a mom of 4 (8, 4 and twin 2.5) I could soooooo see this happening to me! Thanks for the laughs and KEEP EM COMIN'!!!

Jill said...

just found your blog. i've been laughing about your trip to the mall all weekend. i only have 2 kids (5 & 3) and i dread taking them anywhere that doesn't have a playground right next to it... you are so right on!

you have another loyal reader. thanks!

jill at www.theperlmanupdate.blogspot.com

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