Priorities & Milk

This post isn’t about what you’re assuming it is about.  I have to tell you a little background about myself.  Sometimes I get my priorities screwed up.  In a funny way.  It usually happens when I am flustered, not thinking clearly, and usually when I am running errands with all three kids.  Most parents would agree that shopping of any kind with three kids, all at different stages of concentration can be a nightmare.  Today wasn’t exactly a nightmare…just crazy.  Very much “me”.  I can be forgetful and constantly take notes on my phone, make lists, set alarms as reminders, losing my keys/debit card (because I constantly switch back and forth between a purse and diaper bag) etc.  I didn’t used to be this way before kids.  I guess that mama brain thing is real…

It all began when I told the kids we had to run to Sam’s Club immediately after picking Addie up from her after school Coding Club (she’s in 2nd grade and in a Coding Club.  By choice.  Not art, home ec, or music.  Coding…websites and games.  What?!).  At first they were a little mad because they detest going to the store right after school.  They want downtime, and I don’t blame them.  Today was just a day that I didn’t have time to make this errand happen, and if they wanted to go to the bathroom ever again in our home they would come with me to get toilet paper.  They all agreed to my mandates of how they were to act in a store, warnings of consequences should they act out, etc.  All was well in the land.  Until we got into the store.

The older two kids ran ahead inside while I grabbed a cart and got Gideon (our 20 month old) buckled in.  I showed the nice gentleman my card and off we went.  All three kids?  Check.  Cart?  Check.  Phone list?  Check.  First thing I do when going to Sam’s Club is always, without fail, check the book section for deals.  I have gotten many of my YA Fiction books at nearly half off the cover price, and sometimes cheaper than Amazon Prime.  Today was one of those days!  Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth was released this week.  I thought about pre-ordering it, but it was still full price at $25 (I usually won’t pay more than 3/4 the retail price on a book).  Same at Barnes & Noble.  I knew Target would release it slightly lower than retail value, but when I saw the only copy left in the store at $13, it was a no brainer.  I grabbed my copy and continued a lovely shopping trip, filled with samples (because apparently today was sample day).  We went through the store and picked up what was left of this phone list:  paper towels, toilet paper, and milk (3 gallons).

This was where things went awry…

I left the toilet paper and paper towels in the cart and put the three gallons of milk and my book on the checkout belt.  I walked around to the other side of the belt to grab the diaper bag out of the cart, only to realize to my dismay, that it was NOT in our cart.  And neither was my debit card, credit card, or driver’s license!  At first I wanted to panic, but remembered I put Jack (our 6 year old helper….really he is!) in charge of carrying it around.  I looked at him and he didn’t have it on him.  “Jack?  Where is the diaper bag?” I asked as sweat began to break out on my forehead, panic starting to set in.  He replied, “I put it in the cart!”  But his eyes told me a different story.  Big as saucers he looks at me and says, “I put it in A CART.  Just not ours?”

Quickly gathering the kids and our cart, I got out of line and went to customer service to ask if anyone had turned in our diaper bag…and yes they did.  Whew!  As we were waiting for our diaper bag to be retrieved for us, I remembered that I left three gallons of milk and my book on the conveyer belt.  I groaned and Addie asked me what was wrong.  “I left the milk and my book on the belt in the checkout line…they’ve probably been restocked.  Well, the milk has.  My book has probably been snatched up by someone else by now.”

She told me she would run and go get it, but if you’ve shopped at Sam’s Club (or Costco for that matter) you know how far away customer service is from the checkout area…and it’s blocked off by stock items so you don’t have a clear line of sight.  This was one of those moments I truly hesitated.  She’s eight.  I can’t see her.  What if something happens?  She looked up at me and said, “Come on mom!  I can DO IT.  I’ll run really fast.  Nothing will happen.  I know karate.”  I laughed so hard, not because she doesn’t know karate.  She does!

By this point I had pulled the cart so far away from customer service so I could see her.  I let her go, just to tell the clerk what happened and to let them know the milk and book was ours and we were coming back as soon as our diaper bag was retrieved.  She came back to me just as the diaper bag arrived and when we finally checked out the cashier said, “That book must have been important!  Your daughter told me “we can always go get more milk, but that book was a steal!”  I was mortified.  Only because CLEARLY that’s what I was thinking.  And, PRIORITIES in a book lovers life….

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