An adapted version of this post was published on Scary Mommy.
10. Your clothes shopping. As if dressing your post-child body wasn’t hard enough. Trying on shirts, swimsuits, undergarments with kids in tow, even if they’re both confined to the stroller, can be an incredibly torturous experience. Even if you race through Old Navy, grabbing any shirt that looks remotely workable, then wait for the handicapped dressing room and get the kids inside, you have exactly 4 minutes before a fight breaks out, someone’s hungry, needs a change or you realize the baby lost his favorite paci at some point in the last 35 minutes. I’m usually sweating by the time I’m done trying on clothes. The stress of the whole situation usually leaves me completely incapable of making even a remotely-informed decision regarding my wardrobe, so I end up buying the top 3 items (even if I haven’t tried them on), and reason that I’ll try them on at home, decide in a calm environment which one I like, and then return the other 2. So basically, that means this whole shopping trip will happen again soon. Oh boy, I can’t wait.
9. The pharmacy. ‘Cause whenever you do this, of course the pharmacist will be like, ‘Oh, we haven’t received your prescription yet. Whoops. You’ll need to wait 20 minutes.’ And that’s even when you’ve called ahead. So now, you have 2 kids who are 15 minutes past lunchtime, and what you thought would be a 5-minute errand is now a 35-minute torturous stroll through Target with 2 whiny, overly-tired, overly-hungry kids. You sneak off to the grocery section to quietly bust open a box of graham crackers and walk slowly down the gardening aisle, all while avoiding the toys section at all costs. You will only go to the drive-thru pharmacy from now on. Who cares if it’s 10 minutes further from your house.
8. Drycleaners. Of course, you’re not picking up your clothes, since you stopped wearing dryclean-only pieces 4 years ago when you stopped working. Now, even your favorite cotton yoga pants get stained with blueberry yogurt and coffee within 7 minutes of waking up in the morning. But, you’re a good wife, so you attempt to pick up your husband’s drycleaning from time to time. Problem is, it’s literally impossible to keep track of both kids and carry the drycleaning. You try to streamline with a strategy. Bring just your keys and bank card inside, carry the baby and hold the toddler’s hand. Unfortunately, when it’s time to pay, you have to let go of the toddler’s hand to hand over your debit card, at which time he spots the gum ball machine by the door, darts over, puts his hand into it and whines for a gum ball. And, just as the drycleaner is handing you your husband’s perfectly-pressed clothes, the toddler bolts out the door. So, you smush the perfect clothes between you and the baby to sprint out to the parking lot and grab the toddler with your free hand before he hits the asphalt. As you scold him while putting both kids in their carseats and hanging the now-kind-of-wrinkled clothes in the back of your car, you’re just glad this errand is over. You realize when you get home that you forgot your bank card. Then, you text your husband. To tell him that he needs to pick up his own drycleaning in the future.
7. The vet. As if juggling 2 human animals all day weren’t enough, it’s always humorous to add the family dog or cat to the mix, and try to go out in public. NOT. I mean, do I even need to paint the picture for you? Carrying the baby, holding the toddler’s hand and now also holding a dog leash with your way-too-excited-because-she-never-gets-walked-anymore dog on the end of it? Yeah, that’s my idea of fun. As soon as you get into the vet’s lobby, you realize there are 2 other dogs and owners waiting, so you’re third in line. And now, you not only have to keep your kids entertained for the next 25 minutes, but you also have to keep them away from the scary-looking dog (whose owner has told you twice already that he “doesn’t like” kids) while you wait for the vet to call you back and hope your dog doesn’t crap on the floor (since you’ve had time to contemplate that you never let her out this morning). Then, just before you’re about to go into an exam room, the receptionist calls you up to the desk to inform you your dog needs her rabies shot today too. So that’ll be another $45. Sure, whatever.
6. The DMV. Okay, seriously. This one doesn’t even need any explanation. Because it’s awful without kids. And with them, cruel and unusual.
5. The toy store. Duh. This is a no-brainer and you should have known this long before you even thought about attempting to have kids. No one doesn’t know this. But, once you have the kids, you learn that the Target dollar spot and even Walmart’s toy section are mine fields that are just as dangerous as the more-obvious Toys R’ Us. Just as you’re able to distract the toddler from the fact that he’s not getting the huge bag of Doritos he spotted on an endcap as soon as you entered the store, BOOOOMMM. The toy section is in plain view. Crap. And even if you speed past it, they will still see it. It’s like kid radar. And you are powerless to stop it. Or the kid tantrum that follows because they can’t have the tiny water gun they saw in the party favors section. I used to appease my kids by letting them play with the toys in the cart, and then in the checkout line, snatch the toys back when they weren’t looking. That worked until they were about 11 months. After that, they notice. And they will freak. And the teenage cashier will glare at you and think, ‘Man, she needs to get it together.’ Yes, I do. Thank you for noticing. Not.
4. Your doctor’s appointments. The. Worst. Ever. As if it’s not bad enough to have your OB stick a metal object up into you at 8:45am, now you have an audience of loud, mad little people right at eye level with all of your business too. Oh, and of course the kids are pissed because although you got there on time, the doctor is running behind because someone decided to have a baby that day. So your supply of Goldfish, breakfast bars and applesauce pouches quickly evaporated as you tried to get the kids excited about watching CNN Morning Express for 40 minutes in the waiting room. So, in fact, what you really want to tell the doctor is that it’s her fault that your kids are acting like little turds, but at this point, it’s easier to just say nothing and get this over with. The receptionist glares at you on the way out and you don’t even care. Hopefully you won’t be in for another year. Unless… no, never mind. That is unthinkable on days like these.
3. The grocery store. Which is awesome because what mother really needs to go to the grocery store? Bahahaaaa. It’s fine when the kids are babies, but as soon as they’re toddlers and you get into the snack section? Forget it. My attempts to buy the generic Saltines or no-name Cheerios are always countered by screams for “the good chips” or the “Spiderman snacks” or “rainbow cookies.” I don’t oblige, which only makes the shopping trip even more stressful than it was before. And by “before,” I mean when I was in the parking lot and realized this store is completely out of the shopping carts that hold 2 kids (which happens at all of them, routinely). So that means the baby has to sit in the front (and I pray that he doesn’t realize that the belt is torn, and thus there is nothing stopping him from standing straight up and catapulting onto the floor), and the toddler then has to sit in the main part of the shopping cart. Where he attempts to open everything I put into the cart for the entire grocery trip. Including bananas, the generic Cheerios and even dry pasta. Time to get those Spiderman snacks to keep him busy while I throw the last 9 items on my list into the cart. (And forgot what I came in for: milk.)
2. The bank. This one is almost funny. Who would, in their right mind, bring children into a secured, quiet building with all adults? But sometimes, we have to. And even when you cover all your bases and bring in the double stroller just to keep the kids at bay, a riot erupts in the front of your Maclaren as soon as one of them sees the hard candies on the teller’s desk. Of course, those candies are a total choking hazard so neither kid can have them, which triggers a 20-minute epic meltdown that lasts for the entire duration of your time in the branch. When my bank finally put in a drive-thru, I thanked the teller for at least the first 4 times I went. #momlifesaver
1. The post office. Ugggg, you have to send your cousin’s birthday gift (that will already be late because you’ve been putting this off for over a week now) and are hoping to just “run in” with the 2 kids. But as soon as you get inside, you instantly regret your snap decision not to bring the stroller. You were thinking it’d be a quick stop, so you didn’t need to spend the extra time putting the baby in the umbrella stroller. Wrong! The baby is grabbing your keys, wallet and cell phone, and the toddler is dismantling the cardboard boxes display and pestering the old woman in front of you. And the line isn’t moving. You make a mental note to bring the stroller next time you come here. (And the next time, you do bring it in, but no one will be here so you just wasted 4 minutes setting up the stroller you didn’t need.) You literally can’t win. Oh, and you realize when you get to the counter that you didn’t bring your cousin’s address, so the whole trip was a waste anyway.
Do you have any other errands to add to the list? Leave them in the comments section below.
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