Friday, December 21, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Barnes and Noble

Next year, we are buying everything on Amazon. Just warning you all now.

For the record, I just want to run in. I only need 3 books and I know exactly where they are. We are on our way home from a lovely dinner with the Awesomes and the Supers are sated and sleepy. I find the idea of dragging them out of the warm cocoon of the mini-van fairly repellent, but Awkward Dad thinks that it will be "fun" to all go in together. Fun. Barnes and Noble. 5 days before Christmas. At 8pm. With 3 children under the age of 4. Just look at those numbers, Readers, and tell me if they add up to anything less than certain disaster.

Oh, and it's raining.

We stand around next to the van for awhile because Super Toddler is looking for a Hotel Transylvania McDonalds toy that he recently unearthed from under the backseat. Actually, it is only half of the Mummy toy. So, when Super Toddler is finally armed with a mummy bottom and ready to go, we are completely soaked and already regretting this decision.

Well, just me, I suppose. Awkward Dad strides off, full of purpose and arms full of Super Baby, Super Toddler, the mummy bottom, and the umbrella. I am left to trail behind with a soggy Super Preschooler, who is talking about getting an Angry Birds cookie. Who told this child that Barnes and Noble had cookies? I am glaring holes into Awkward Dad's head but he just starts humming We Wish you a Merry Christmas and waving at fellow shoppers.

We tumble into the store and immediately have a fight. The books I need are upstairs. Upstairs can be reached via Escalator or Elevator. Super Preschooler thinks that the idea of moving stairs rivals the invention of the wheel. Super Toddler thinks that whoever invented moving stairs needs to be burned at the stake. The Super brothers start screaming at each other over the dulcet tones of Michael Buble.

Super Preschooler: Come on, Super T. Let's go upstairs and see the toys.

Super Toddler: No stairs! No scary stairs!

Super Preschooler: It isn't that bad, I'll hold your hand, let's go. Come on!

Super Toddler: No! Elevator. Elevator!

Super Preschooler: Escalators are magical.

Super Toddler: NO!!

Super Preschooler: Come on, they are so cool. You ride stairs. You really ride the stairs. Come on, Super T. That is pretty cool.

Super Toddler: NO!!

This goes on way too long, but we are at an impasse. Super Preschooler will not use the elevator and Super Toddler will not use the escalator. Eventually, I head up the escalator with Super P. and Awkward Dad goes to the elevator with Super T. and a Super Baby who has somehow snagged a copy of People magazine that she is chewing on. Oh good, well, I suppose we have to buy that now even though I completely read about Kate Middleton's pregnancy in the checkout yesterday.

Escalators truly are magical and we beat everyone else to the children's section. I get the 3 books that I need in under 30 seconds, which is about half of what this trip would have taken if I have just been allowed to run in. By the time the rest of the Awkward family makes it upstairs, Super Preschooler is already bored and ready to move on.

Super Preschooler: Come on, Super T. Let's go downstairs and see the games.

Super Toddler: No stairs! No scary stairs!

Super Preschooler: It isn't that bad, I'll hold your hand, let's go. Come on!

Super Toddler: No! Elevator. Elevator!

Super Preschooler: Escalators are magical.

Super Toddler: NO!!

Only this time, the store has turned Micheal Buble off because a folk singer is setting up in the coffee shop part of the store. We easily drown out his sound check.

So, after about 2 minutes arguing upstairs, we repeat the split and journey downstairs separately. Once together again, I grab Super Baby and the damp People Magazine, and we go to buy a card. Awkward Dad heads into the game section with the Super boys, and it is, quite literately, 45 seconds before this happens:

Super Toddler: I want!

Awkward Dad: No, Super T. Not today, maybe next time.

Super Toddler: *Horrifying scream that I think they heard in space.*

Awkward Dad: No, not this time.

Super Toddler: No! Ahh! Please! I want! *more screaming*

I go racing over there; greeting cards and drooled-on princesses flying in my wake. Turns out that Super Toddler has spied a remote controlled helicopter, (Why is this in Barnes and Noble?) and it also turns out that he can't live without it.

Super Toddler: You are killing me! Killing me! AHHHH!!

Awkward Dad: Good, you are here. I am going to buy some Christmas CDs.

Super Preschooler: Angry Birds Cookie!!

Awkward Dad: And an Angry Birds cookie. I'll even take the baby.

Super Toddler: AHHHHHHH!!!

Me: Gee. Thanks.

Coffee Shop Folk Singer: This one goes out to all the parents out there.

Super Toddler: I want! I want! I have to have. Helicopter!!

Me: Sweetie, that is a really big toy. We are only here to get gifts for other people right now. But Daddy is buying you a cookie.

Super Toddler: NO! No cookie! Helicopter!

Coffee Shop Folk Singer: Children are special, children are lovely. Children are the reason for life.

Me: Honey, not tonight.

Super Toddler: You are making me cry! You are making me dead! AHHHHH!!

Awkward Dad: Hey, which do you like better; the Beach Boys Christmas or Christmas with the Three Tenors?

Super Toddler: AHHHH!!

Super Preschooler: Cookie! Cookie please!

Me: Is this really a question for right now?

Awkward Dad: The Three Tenors, it is!

Coffee Shop Folk Singer: Children are life. Children are amazing. Children are why I get up in the morning.

Super Toddler: *hyperventilating*

Me: Sweetie, maybe Santa will bring you a helicopter.

Super Toddler: NO! NO! Right now!!!

Random Woman: Ummm, excuse me. Is this yours? I nearly tripped on it.

Me: Oh, thank you. Sorry about that.

Random Woman: What is it?

Me: It's a mummy. Part of one, that is. It's a McDonald's toy, not that I let them have McDonald's a lot. I really don't!

Random Woman: Right. Well, Merry Christmas.

Coffee Shop Folk Singer: Children are the reason for the season.

Super Preschooler: Hey guys, check out my cookie! It's an angry bird.

Super Toddler: I HATE ANGRY BIRDS!!

Me: Shush, Sweetie. Just calm down.

Super Toddler: AHHHHHH!!! HELICOPTER!!

Coffee Shop Folk Singer: Children are peace. Children are love.


Awkward Dad: OK, now how about between Frank Sinatra and the Muppets.

Super Preschooler: Hey Mom, can we get more Angry Birds stuff? Look, here's a real angry bird as big as Super Baby. Can we get that? Huh? Mom, excuse me. Excuse me!!


Super Preschooler: Mom! Mom! Mom! Come on, I said Excuse me!

Coffee Shop Folk Singer: Children. Children. I love them. They are the best.

Me: Ummm....I don't know. I am kinda in the middle of something here.

Awkward Dad: OK, I'll get both.

Super Preschooler: Mom said I could get this stuffed bird.

Super Toddler: Daddy got gift! Super P. got gift!! I want helicopter!!! HELICOPTER! HELICOPTER!!!

Barnes and Noble Staff Member: Hello, Ma'am, can I help you find anything?

Me: Um, no. We are good. We are just leaving.

Barnes and Noble Staff Member: Good. I mean, the line is pretty short right now. Do you need help finding it?

Awkward Dad: You haven't checkout out yet? Well, I have. I got 7 CDs and this magazine that Super Baby ate the cover off of.

Super Preschooler: And Angry Birds cookies! Want one? Well, a bite of one?

Super Toddler: HELICOPTER!!!

Coffee Shop Folk Singer: Thank you, thank you. That was our song, "Children are Great." Here is our song, "Children Grow up too Fast, so Enjoy it Now." Our CDs are for sale by the checkout.

Awkward Mom may be paraphrasing the song a little bit. Since that CD wasn't one of Awkward Dad's 7, we may never know for sure how accurate her memory is, musically. As far as the other quotes in this go, they are all true; Super Toddler's contribution to the evening is burned into her brain forever. As is Awkward Dad turning to her in the car on the way home saying, "Why didn't you just run in? You should've just run in."

Angry Birds cookie-face is slightly redder, but this gives you the general idea.


  1. Hilarious!!! And oh, I feel your pain! How do you manage to make these adventures entertaining and funny when all I can do is whine? :)

    I really think Super T and Katie are cut from the same cloth. I can't wait until she can put words to her screaming and tell me that I'm killing her, in the middle of throngs of Christmas shoppers. For now, we just have to guess whether she's saying "You're roasting me over hot coals" or "You're dipping me in a vat of acid."

    Totally with you on the Amazon thing! Shopping with kids is for the birds. Ditto the post office, which we did yesterday. Words fail...

    1. It is :)

      Yes, Super T. is quite vocal now, but it certainly took him some time. I am not sure he said much at all between his 1st and 2nd birthdays, but "cake" and "more." The "you are killing me" is pretty clear in any language. :)

      Ugh, post office.

  2. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL And a Merry Christmas one and all.You have to admit though, there is a certain nostalgia built into such an experience - even if it can only be seen in retrospect. And to be able to live through it and talk about it is quite admirable.

    1. Oh and also laugh about it.

    2. I think an exprience like this can only be seen in retrospect. During, you just close your eyes and pray for it to end. :)

  3. Oh, after having a somewhat similar experience about 6 months ago in Barnes and Noble, I will not take my kids IN until they are old enough to pay for their own purchases. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! :0)

    1. You are a wise, wise woman. :)

      Merry Christmas to you as well!!!