Nope, I Just Dancing

Into the van, boys. We are going to Target!

Little, do you need to pee first?

No, I just dancing to music. It’s in my head.

Really? 

Yeah, I dance. See?

Never trust a preschooler with a reputation for peeing his pants. Even if he did use the facilities only ten minutes earlier. Against my better judgement, I didn’t force the issue and we took off to Mom Mecca: Target.

As we pulled into the parking lot, Little says in a tiny voice, “I wet.”

So many feelings! I was irritated that he peed his pants when he is capable of staying dry. I was peeved at myself for being irritated because I don’t tend to get upset with toilet training mishaps. I felt bad for his older brother who had brought his Lightning McQueen, velcro-closure wallet with him to buy a toy.

After checking the diaper bag and discovering no spare clothes (now I had to add Bearded Husband to my list of irritants) I had a plan of action.

Well, we’re going to buy you a pair shorts and you’ll wear those. AND YOU WILL LIKE THEM.

Now it was time for the big brother to jump into older and wiser sibling mode:

Little, you are going to have to wear whatever we buy, that’s what happens when you pee your pants.

Now, Little, when you pee your pants, Mommy isn’t angry, but you won’t be getting a toy.

Little, will get a toy because she didn’t have to spend money buying me new shorts because my shorts are dry. I never pee myself.

You know, you peed your pants.photo-51

Our shopping trip was mostly uneventful after that. The boys got into a slight altercation in the sock aisle, but it was nothing a threat issued through clenched teeth couldn’t diffuse.

We chatted and giggled while we finished up our shopping. As we wheeled towards the till, my youngest piped up:

Mommy? I get a toy?

No, Little, I spent that money on new shorts since you peed your pants.

I so sorry. Please? You buy me a toy? I not always pee my pants anymore.

It might take me a while and several seasons of preschool life, but eventually I learn: Never trust an almost 3-year-old. Especially one who has perfected using his cuteness for evil.

Don’t feel bad for him, though. He did get to ride home in a “big boy booster” instead of his car seat. Oh, that’s because – wait, did I mention this already? He peed his pants.

———

Unfortunate shopping experience? Share. Bodily functions involved? Even better.

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Is it on Sale?

There is a closet in our basement that I believe was intended for linens or something, but has been repurposed into what I call “The Food Bunker”.

We have four growing boys to feed and that adds up. Our commitment to keeping our spending down involves savvy shopping. Bearded Husband is quite adept at keeping the costs down. He seems to have memorized the standard price of everything.

Me: Hey! Chicken is on sale. I can stop on my way home.

BH: If it’s not less than $3.00 per pound, don’t bother.

I can’t keep those numbers in my head. In fact, I had to check that price with him before I wrote this.

Me: I picked up Oreos, they were on sale.

BH: Less than $1.99? No? Hope you kept the receipt.

Living on a budget means you have to be patient.

Me: We’re out of apples.

BH: I know. I’m waiting for the fall when they go on sale.

I’ll just start taking some Vitamin C supplements for a while.

When there are sales, we stock up. And I mean stock up. That’s when the Food Bunker really comes in handy.

We'll be eating vegetarian for the next while, boys.
We’ll be eating vegetarian for the next while, boys.
No one is allowed to be lactose intolerant for the next few weeks.
No one is allowed to be lactose intolerant for the next few weeks.
You may have sliced black olives or French sliced black olives, but no kalamata - they weren't on sale.
You may have sliced black olives or French sliced black olives, but no kalamata – they weren’t on sale.
You are in luck, natural AND processed peanut butter were on sale.
You are in luck, natural AND processed peanut butter were on sale.

The boys have grown up with the understanding that very little is bought that is not on sale, or at the very least on for a reasonable price. But they use this knowledge to try to get non-essentials into the grocery cart.

Son: Oh! Can we get these? Look, they are on sale. I love those chips.

Me: That’s a featured item, it’s not on sale.

_______

Son: Can we get some Fruit to Gos?

Me: Not on sale.

Son: But that is a good price…

________

Son: Cheesestrings are ON SALE. Can we get some? You never buy us those.

Me: Nope, still a rip-off.*

_______

Living within our means and keeping to a budget doesn’t mean we don’t treat ourselves, though. In fact, look what we are enjoying today (please ignore the pink sticker).

photo-9
I haven’t indulged in these because raisins are involved.
photo-8
They might be 50% off, but they are 100% delicious.

What do you do to save a buck or two? Seriously, I’d really like to know.

_____________

*More of my thoughts on Cheesestrings coming soon.

Congratulations, You’re Team #1

“Hey, Jan, are you willing to go shopping by yourself for a few hours on a Saturday and have various groups of youth leaders try to find you?”

Ohhh, scavenger hunt, count me in! Shopping without my usual entourage? Yes, please. Lunch is included? You had me at scavenger hunt.

(One of my dreams in life is to be the person who hands out the yellow envelope in the Amazing Race. You know, the one who stands on the mat, smiles and welcomes the contestants? That person. Might not win a million dollars, but that’s the role for me.)

Despite my big talk at all team-building games and events, I’m not competitive. I enjoy participating in things, not competing. Our staff recently had a car rally and our team was on fire! We were checking off the tasks in warp speed. And we had a blast doing it. Does it matter if we won or not? The whole point was to have fun and get to know each other apart from work. Winners, losers, those are just words. We all tried our best and demonstrated good sportsmanship.

Find a falcon. Check.
Find a falcon.
Check.
Posing on the counter was optional.
Countertop pose was optional

Yeah, WE TOTALLY WON, SUCKERS!

Back to the Epic Waldo Hunt at the mall. When I agreed to help out, I understood I’d be shopping for two hours while the kids looked for me. I figured I’d be asked to wear a certain colour or they’d be given a picture of the Waldos. I did not anticipate props. I really didn’t anticipate itchy, wool props.

I'm smiling because it's for the kids, but itchy. So very very itchy.
I’m smiling, but itchy. So very, very itchy.

It was ironic and a tad evil that I had never worn a “teacher” vest or sweater and was required to don it for an afternoon. The fact that they matched my cords is strictly divine intervention.

Being a good sport and not one to bail even when faced with poor fashion choices (I lived through the 80s), I dashed off self-consciously and ducked into the first store I saw. I browsed the racks feeling very conspicuous. I went to pay for my purchases, wishing I had a sign stating that my outfit was for a good cause and not my usual attire, when the 20-something clerk commented, “I really like your vest.”

“What? Seriously? I’m wearing this for a scavenger hunt, I’m so embarrassed.”

“Yeah, really, it’s like a new trend going around.”

“I’m very, very sorry to hear that, but thank you.”

And off I went with my head held a little higher. I was barely out of the shop when two senior gentlemen walked by and I heard one say to the other, “I really like that vest she is wearing.”

WHAT?

And then, not two shops away, a cluster of hipster clerks were milling around the entrance of their store and called out to me, “LOVE the vest!”

They were not being sarcastic. They actually thought I was wearing it by choice and I was feeling pretty good now. Itchy, but good. I started strutting a little bit. Yup, this kindergarten teacher, mom of four is alright. I held my head high and started smiling and winking at fellow shoppers. Check it out, I’m on the cutting edge, wearing my retro vest. I was the John Travolta of that mall, I was modifying the lyrics to the Saturday Night Fever theme to customize it to my new look.

Then I ran into a few people I knew and preemptively greeted each one with “I’m wearing this vest against my will.”

I am not a trailblazer.