A couple months ago I experienced a motherhood moment I'm sure
I'll never forget. For obvious reasons, I avoid stores when all three
children are with me like the plague. One day, I couldn't ignore the
fact that my potty-training resistant 3 year old only had a couple
pull-ups left. I strategized which store would be the best to run into
to pick up a pack. I ran out of time before I had to pick my 5 year
old up from preschool, so I would be forced to that which I dreaded.
But which store would be the best for minimal fiascoes?
After much contemplation, I decided that the local CVS would be it.
It was on the correct side of the road so as to not have to cross
traffic upon leaving, it was a smaller store (which would be a
benefit if a child decided to bolt), and it had an easy-to-find things
I decided against putting the baby in the stroller, after all, I would
only be in the store for a couple minutes. With baby on hip, the
3 year old holding my hand, and the 5 year old holding onto my
purse, we entered the store. Immediately, I could see the baby
section was in the right rear section of the store. We ventured
down the center aisle, but each row end contained some trinket
desirable to the little ones. Oohs, and ahs continued until
we finally arrived at the last row which contained the diapers.
I realized the 3 year old had continued to the back of the store
which had a rack of toy dye-cast cars. No problem, I can divert
them away to the destination. With a reminder that we were
not there for toys but for pull-ups, I managed to steer them
towards the goal, which quickly turned into pulling multiple
packs of diapers of various sizes and designs off the racks.
I directed the ambitious one toward the correct size and style
of pull-up, and he was quite pleased with himself for choosing
the correct diaper.
I thought I was in the clear until we headed back down the center
aisle and both older kids started asking for rubber duckies, new
hair ties, and various small toys. I was barely able to keep them
with me, but we finally made it up to the checkout area. Yeah! Then it
This was a couple weeks after Easter, so there were multiple barrels
of discount Easter candy. The children's eyed bulged. Before I had
a chance to intervene, the elder one dipped her had into a barrel
of cadbury eggs. Could she have one? At least she asked, but
the answer was still no. My little lovelies + sugar = disaster. The
younger had his eye on the prize, threw the pull-ups over his shoulder,
and didn't hesitate to plunge his little hand down into the treasure
trove of sugary delight and proceeded to unwrap the candy as quickly
as his fumbling fingers would allow.
"James, no!" I warned. His eyes met mine, his tiny jaw clenched,
and he was off! Top speed, his little legs carried him as fast and
they could go, which was pretty fast.
Before I had a moment to respond, my 5 year old yelled, "I'll head
him off!" Great, now both my children were on the run! Baby still
on hip I trotted down the aisles searching for the escapee. A couple
of times he would see me as he started down an aisle and then
doubled back the other way. Finally, I met him mid way down an
aisle. He stopped short of my reach and moved the candy egg behind
In the distance, his big sister inched closer up behind him. Unaware
of her presence, he continued to back up slowly. I made sure my
eyes did not give her away. Then triumph, "I've got it!" she shouted
proudly as she held up the prize.
Defeated, the 3 year old reluctantly held my hand as we returned
to the front of the store to check out. We had attracted quite a few
stares, something I'm immune to now. I picked up the abandoned
pack of pull-ups and rejoined the check out line as my lovelies
decided a game of tag around the barrels of candy would be
acceptable. I sighed in exhaustion. Then I heard a voice behind me,
"It's only a season." I nodded and smiled.
Only a season. A season of crazy chaos, wild adventures in
parenting, delightful dreams of princesses and pirates, little
arms giving huge hugs, little lips bestowing sweet kisses. A
season that will be over all too quickly. A season that must be
enjoyed and lived to the fullest, despite disastrous diaper runs.