Thursday, July 24, 2008

To shop or not to shop?

While shopping with children, the question is not, "How much money do I have to spend?" , though that is a good question to ask yourself. Rather, "Do I have enough energy to shop in one more store?" :) :) :) :) I must say that I am very proud of my children; they have been improving in stores the older they get. Today we went to JCPenney to get Caleb's pictures taken (coupon....b-day coming up), and I was hoping to do a little shopping afterwards. Caleb did great .....but the younger two became tired of waiting while we were picking out pictures, and drew needless attention to themselves with their fighting and bickering. I was torn between child discipline and picking out pictures. The children ended up behaving while I made the final selections, but my mood to shop had nearly fizzled out. Mall shopping is simply not a good idea for a 3 year old who's been waiting forever in a portrait studio. Instead, we went to a couple of other stores that were either geared toward children or had shopping carts (to strap Ashlyn in). :) I'll have to plan a trip to JCPenney another time just to shop (maybe when I leave the kids with Richard for an evening). :) Honestly, it does get easier shopping with children the older they get. I'll never forget when we first moved here to IL. I was in an unfamiliar area and was getting out of the house for the first time after having had a baby (Ashlyn was 6 wks old when we moved here; the boys were 3 & 5). I did not know a soul in the area....I felt like such a stranger! First of all, it took a whole hour or two longer to get out of the house than what I had originally anticipated because every time I thought we were ready to walk out the door, one of the boys needed to use the restroom, or my baby girl needed another diaper change and needed to nurse again. I remember thinking, "I'm never going to get out of here...and I'm just trying to go to Walmart!!" During our shopping spree , everything went pretty smoothly....I only needed to find a couple more items...and then Ashlyn started to cry. As a newborn, Ashlyn rarely just cried. She screamed at the top of her lungs (she was colicky)!!! I immediately changed my course and made a bee line toward the layaway area--in search of a "quiet" place. If you know Walmart, however, you know that there really aren't any quiet areas. I later learned that the dressing rooms make good nursing places ...so now you know something I had to learn the hard way. :) :) I decided I didn't have any other choice but to nurse in Layaway, and told the boys to stay with the grocery cart, while I sat as far away from the public area as possible (the cart wouldn't fit near me...and the room was crowded with people ). The boys did well for the first few minutes, but then began playing around the cart, holding the restroom doors wide open , making the water fountains spray water.....I felt so helpless. There I was nursing my baby in a crowded room of people who were staring at my boys for their behavior....but there was nothing I could do (without having a screaming baby)!!!! We all survived the ordeal....somehow we ended up back home-- happy, and with our groceries. Well, the kids were happy. :{
Shopping has gotten much easier....I'm so glad kids grow older. I used to shop more online, but now can visit 2-3 stores before the kids get bored. I have to play it by ear and ask myself, "Can they handle one more store?" On the other hand....I miss when my children were so little, and wish I had stopped to enjoy that age a bit more. Screaming baby and all. : ) : ) : )

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