Thursday, February 4, 2010

"{She} was indeed a silly loon..."

Well, I failed in my pursuit against consumerism today. I bought some things I neither needed, nor even wanted. Thoreau would be so disappointed in me.

It really wasn't my fault though. It was Squirrel's. And her pet dragon...and tiger...

I had to take the kids to Enormous Rural Big-Box Store today. This is the type of thing I had spent pretty much all my time trying to avoid when we lived in Phoenix...but when you move to the middle of nowhere, it seems that Enormous Rural Big-Box Store is the only option you have for most things.

So I get my critters both loaded up, and away we go. On the way, Squirrel does this new thing, where she says, "I have a special present for you!!!" and then holds out her empty hands to offer you up an imaginary present. Well, this time, it just so happened to be a baby dragon. She offers it to me, then changes her mind because (as was explained to me) it missed its mommy and daddy and needed HER to take care of it. (Of course. What dragon
wouldn't want a two and half year old as its sole caretaker?) Okay, that's fine and all. She's welcome to take care of the dragon, but the kid would NOT put down her hands from the "I'm carrying a baby dragon" position out in front of her. When we were getting out of the car and walking into the store I was having quite the time wrangling her, since every time I tried to take her hand, she shoots me a dirty look and says, " baby dragon!" like I am some kind of fool-idiot.

So here I am in the parking lot of Enormous Big Box Store, attempting to keep Little Bird in my arms and prevent Squirrel from getting run over in a parking lot, and this little old man sees me trying to wrangle them and offers me the cart he had just finished unloading. He brings it over and I thank him.  Then, this sweet old man pulls out his wallet and says, "See here what Old Santa Claus has for you two kiddos? I bet you like shopping," and starts handing dollar bills to my kids! I am, of course, completely mortified by this. I can't possibly take this old man's money, but how can I deny him what is obviously the pleasure of giving it? I did not think this sort of thing even happened in the real world. So I stand there, with my social awkwardness spilling out from every fiber, and end up just thanking him profusely. As we walk away, I have to stick Squirrel's dollar in her pocket because she is still carefully holding the baby dragon and will only rest the money across his "back" (aka, her empty hands.)

So in we go, two dollars and a baby dragon wealthier than when we left. Just after entering Rural Big Box Store, Squirrel discovers yet another creature--a little (invisible) baby tiger who is apparently also in need of her care. Naturally, she accepts the charge and picks up the poor thing. On she goes, walking with her hands out, gently holding the baby illusions, explaining to everyone we pass that in one hand is a tiger, in the other a dragon. "Yes," I nod silently to passers-by, "I am mother of a lunatic." Our first stop (following the obligatory animal rescues) was the sippy cup aisle. As I stand there pouring over the choices, I notice Squirrel is squirming. I ask her if she needs to go potty, to which she says no, but then "drops" babies tiger and dragon to grab herself and begin the potty dance. Upon realizing she has dropped her charges, she cries out, "Oh! Baby tiger and dragon!"

I keep asking her if she needs to go potty, but her concern continues vacillating between going potty and her figmental animals. She walks with me toward the bathroom for a few steps, but then turns around in concern over them. I tell her to simply put Tiger and Dragon in the cart, but at this point, she can't let go of her crotch, she's got to pee so bad, and she's walking around in this state of soul-splitting agony with her knees together. Suddenly, as though she's made the heart-wrenching decision for self sacrifice, she cries out once more, "Baby Tiger! Baby Dragon!", spreads her legs, and pees all over the floor of Rural Big Box Store! 

Awesome. I mean, really...awesome.

I rationalize that we are going to need another bag of baby wipes eventually and grab one from a nearby aisle. (Unintended Purchase #1) I tear open the package and wipe up the mess, then stand Squirrel up in the cart. I next pick up a pack of panties (UP#2), and a sweatshirt (UP#3) and pants (UP#4) on clearance, none of which we needed--at least not before this outing of ours. We head to the layaway restroom, I get her changed, and I take the tags from the clothes and pay for them back there. Glad the episode is over, I resume my shopping, get the items that had actually been on my list, and head for the check out. On the way, Squirrel suddenly gasps and cries again, "Baby Dragon! Baby Tiger!" apparently realizing that the invisible animals were left alone way back in the sippy cup aisle. She starts to cry and tells me, "Mommy! We neeeeed FIND them!"

I figure the short detour is worth my child's undying devotion to her patient mother, so back to the aisle we go. However, upon our arrival, I am informed by the little caretaker that the beasts have wandered off, are now lost, and we
must look for them. So, around we go, searching Enormous Rural Bix Box Store for the imaginary animals, whose description and whereabouts only my 2.5 year old is privy to, all the while with her calling out for "Baby Tiiiiger! Baby Draaaagon! Where you?" Finally, at some point Baby Dragon was spotted, wrangled, reprimanded for getting lost and placed in the cart, and a few aisles later near the make-up, Baby Tiger was also found and saved, with much snuggling and words like " okay Baby Tiger! I have you" and Etc.

We happily made it out of there and to our next store, where I informed Squirrel that this particular store had a no-dragon and no-tiger policy, and so they would need to stay in the car while we went inside. Consequently, no further unintended purchases were made. 

See...? A baby dragon is feeding my consumerism. 


  1. Great story!!Keep writing; it's so fun to read. I love your kids because they give you terrific material.

  2. That is the. best. story. EVER! My daughter peed on the carpet today and I was moaning and groaning about that. I guess I was lucky it wasn't worse!

  3. What a wonderful story. These are the wonderful memories you are making now with which to embarass your children with later - when they start dateing, and you are not ready.
    Love reading your blog. You're a wonderful writer.
    Aunt Ellen

  4. That girl is hilarious. I can't decide which story is better, the "This is not a box of shoes, it is a box of vomit." story or this one. The kid is crazy :)

  5. I see severe favoritism here... Baby Tiger gets consoled after being lost, while Baby Dragon gets a reprimand and placed in the cart.
    Harsh. lol

  6. What a great story (at least it is fun in the retelling, I'm sure the original experience was more mortifying). Quick thinking on your part, though.


I LOVE comments. I LIVE for comments.
You can leave one here!