Tonight I have such a story.
It's a harrowing tale of pee, broken merchandise, and excellent customer service.
It all started with a trip to Hobby Lobby. I had to return a couple of things and Lewis wanted to do some Christmas shopping. After I returned my items I found myself with an empty bag. I remember specifically thinking that I wished the clerk had just thrown the bag away. Not knowing what to do with it, I just stuffed it in my pocket.
Poppy and I browsed while Lewis and Jack were off on a secret mission. Amidst our wandering we happened upon a quite excellent Christmas present for Jack, so we took it up front to pay for it and wait for the boys. I noticed them near the cash registers and was just about to call and see if I needed to stay away so as to not ruin any Christmas surprises when I got a call from Lewis instead.
"Jack peed his pants."
I was planning on taking him to the bathroom before we left the store, but apparently he just couldn't hold it (we are still working on having him tell us when he needs to go). Thankfully we had packed an extra outfit. I took Jack out of the cart and set him on the floor so he could waddle over to the restroom.
If you've ever been to Hobby Lobby with small children, you may have noticed that it is not exactly a suitable place for them to be unconfined. There are lots of really tempting displays for them to touch. Displays with breakable items.
Like the one right next to us of fake fruit in ceramic dishes.
I was just telling Jack not to touch when he pulled the plastic grapes he was manhandling right off the shelf along with the mug they were sitting in.
We now needed a broom along with a mop.
Jack and I waddled (literally in his case) off the bathroom and I stripped him down just in time for another customer to come in: old lady, probably has lots of grandkids - she just chuckled knowingly. I got him dressed in the fresh clothes only to discover that my foresight in packing did not include extra shoes or socks and the material out of which his pants were made caused the urine to roll right down to his heels.
So there I was with a barefoot kid and a pile of soggy clothes in a public restroom. And I was thanking my lucky stars that I still had the bag from my return cause that gave me somewhere to put the clothes. Except for the shoes. Jack needed new ones anyway, and our next stop was Walmart, so into the trash bin they went.
"Are we pushing our luck?" Lewis wondered aloud as we headed off the Walmart. "Nah," I responded. "We'll be fine." The kid only pees about every two hours, after all. The Hobby Lobby incident was an anomaly.
Famous last words.
As we walked into Walmart Lewis and I cracked jokes that we were that family - the one out and about in 35 degrees with a barefoot kid. "It's a good thing," Lewis said. "In twenty years when I see a guy carrying a shoeless kid into Walmart in freezing weather I'll be able to sigh and say, 'been there!'"
First things first we went to the shoe section and spent five minutes negotiating with Jack over why he needed the higher-quality shoes over the exact same pair we had just thrown away which wasn't available in his size anyway.
Then we went about our business, gathering supplies for Thanksgiving. We couldn't have been in the store more than thirty minutes when we were ready to check out. So as to keep both kids wrangled and happy (Jack hates riding in the back of a cart) we had two separate carts and Poppy and I were forging on ahead to the shorter lines when I heard my name, looked back, and saw the boys back twenty yards, unmoving.
"He did it again."
You've got to be kidding me.
The trips to Lowe's and Cafe Rio we had planned were abruptly cancelled and I ran back to the home goods section to grab a towel for Jack to sit on on the ride home.
And now as I sit here at my computer I can't help but chuckle at the ridiculousness of our evening out. I have to. If it's not ridiculous, it's just sad.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the wonderful people that helped us during our pee pants saga.
-The staff of Hobby Lobby who quickly mopped and swept up our mess, wouldn't let Lewis pay for the broken ceramic, and graciously said "no apology necessary" when Jack and I went over to say thank you to the guy mopping after he was changed.
-The checker at Walmart who gave us half off the new shoes when Lewis told her why we needed them.
-The jewelry clerk at Walmart (in front of which accident #2 occurred) who told Lewis, "No problem, honey, I've got grandkids and I know just what it's like," and quickly got a clean up crew to that mess (I wasn't there for that conversation, but in my head she said all that with a southern accent).
-The staff of Chick-fil-a who got our order filled quickly and deliciously when we were hangry in the drive-thru.
|Meanwhile, Poppy Jane decided to make a break for it in the check-out line, in spite of the seat restraint.|