Check Yo’Self

I hate shopping. I especially hate shopping when there are only four lanes open, three of which are loaded to the brim and the fourth is being operated by the store newbie. So when the self-checkout lanes became a reality, I was over the moon. I could get in, grab my stuff, check out, bag my items how I wanted them bagged, and get the hell out of Dodge.
But lately, it seems like the self-checkout has become a haven for the technologically disadvantaged and/or perpetually slow shoppers and I’ve had it, damnit! However, the other day as I was waiting to check out with all three kids in tow, it occurred to me that there should be a MOM’S ONLY self-checkout lane. And I’m not just talking about the moms who seemingly have it all together, all the while screaming internally. No, no. I’m talking about all moms.
You got it together? You wearing a scrunchie from 1984 with a baby clutching to your chest? Are you talking at your kids through your teeth, “just-you-wait-til-your-father-gets-home” for the millionth time in ten minutes? No problem. At this self-service line, you’re all welcome. Enjoy complimentary chocolate and a carry-out cup of wine or coffee, courtesy of the house. Kids screaming? Here’s some melatonin. Caught judging another mom’s mom fail? You’re banned for life, Mindy McJudgerson. And you can leave the coffee.angry screen poke
Adding to that, the penalty for going through the Moms Only checkout lane without any children is pretty strict. Even more so than going to a family restroom with no kids. Well, maybe not more strict; they’re both pretty on par with one another. Even still, the rules on both those issues should be relatively sizeable given the offenses. We’re talking members-only line, y’heard?
Listen, I’m not implying that a childless person’s time isn’t just as valuable as someone who does have ankle biters. But let’s be real for a moment, shall we? If it takes a childless adult 45 minutes to check out with a gallon of milk and a package of Orbit gum, then they CLEARLY have bigger fish to fry. And there’s no way on God’s green earth that you need an 8×8 bathroom space to relieve yourself. Saddle up in a cubicle style stall like the rest of us, ma’am. Just saying.
I’m not saying that I’d live at a checkout like that, but I’d probably have a regular reservation. Ditto on that whole family bathroom thing. I can’t be squeezin’ all of this plus three kids into a glorified closet and expect us all to come out having not been peed on. So, Target? WalMart? Marshalls? Maybe consider us dry-shampoo using, spit-up smelling, kids-are-whining-because-we’re-not-at-the-zoo moms. I think you guys will find the rewards would be pretty fantastic.

Stranger Things

As a parent, you are forced to do some strange things.  Things that would never occur to a normal person to do.  Possibly, even, things you swore would never happen.  These things include, but are not limited to:

  • Sniffing baby bottoms.
  • Saying anything remotely close to, “Get your tongue out of your brother’s ear.”
  • Tasting random, splotchy brown things — hoping to God it is, in fact, two week old chocolate.
  • Making sure that the carrots aren’t touching any other root vegetable or the bread.
  • Having the psychic ability to know exactly what color bowl kids 1, 2, & 3 will require to have as smooth as possible any meal.

Y’all know the jig.  We are all painfully aware that our kids, while precious little beings that we adore, can be a royal pain in the ass.  Thorns in our side.  A possible one-way ticket to the Big House.

But, y’all — I never in my wildest dreams thought that I, Sarah Paul, would EVER humor my four year old’s request to remove the outside crust from his POP TART.  Oh, yes — his Pop Tart.  You know — those absolutely disgusting, sugar-laden, frosted PASTRIES that call themselves breakfast when, in reality, they would be better labeled as “Diabeetus”.


Now, there are just a couple details you guys should note:

  1. I did that thing that no childless person or pregnant woman should ever do; I swore that I’d never give my kids Pop Tarts.  I’d say I have egg on my face, now — but come on.  I do not have time to cook made-to-order breakfasts every morning for my kids, especially since they both have wildly different tastes.
  2. For those of you lucky and/or health-conscious individuals out there who have never eaten a Pop Tart, let me fill you in on a little secret that has OBVIOUSLY gone over Con’s head:  a Pop Tart is made entirely out of crust.  Yep.

Before you guys jump on the, “This bitch here doesn’t like to cook breakfast for her kids” wagon, let me stop you.  I don’t not like to make breakfast for my kids.  And if I were Martha flipping Stewart who had any concept whatsoever of time management (and I’m not talking about serving time, either), then I’m sure I’d be happy to make the 4yo his cheesy eggs and the 8yo his waffles all while bouncing the baby on one hip and packing (nonexistent) lunch boxes with my second set of hands — which, I’m still lacking.  No, no.  If my kids didn’t ask for things like crustless Pop Tarts and pulp-y orange juice, sans pulp, then I’d go for it.  Sometimes I do go for it.  On the rare occasion that I wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed enough to get up greeting the sun while flipping pancakes, home-squeezing juice, and frying bacon, then inevitably, disaster will still come.  And it usually comes in the form of the 4yo spilling an entire gallon of milk onto my nearby laptop.  But that’s a whole other post, there.
Parenting, in and of itself, is a strange thing.  Raising kids to be semi-decent, bath-taking citizens is an odd concept — especially since so many of us are hardly semi-decent, and I’m no stranger to dry shampoo.  But removing crusts from a Pop Tart really takes the cake.  So to speak.
Y’all let me know I’m not alone out there!  What are some things you’ve done as a parent that makes you shake your head in sheer disbelief?