Have you ever tried to go shopping with a toddler? Not food shopping. Not picking-up-diapers-at-Target shopping. More like “Mama needs a new pair o’ shoes” shopping. But in this case Mama needed a new bathing suit.
The thought plagued my mind: I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but I have to! I need to! I must!
Please Be Advised
If you currently have children then you have an idea where this story is going. It’s okay, go ahead and laugh at my mommy naivety. I now know what I did was wrong (so horribly wrong) and I am sorry (so very sorry). Please forgive me.
If you don’t have children yet then please pay close attention from here on out. Described below is a cautionary tale of what to expect from a toddler.
Mommy made a mistake, and another, and another.
One afternoon I set aside some time to go bathing suit shopping with my daughter. Lillian (22 months) and I happily walk hand in hand through the parking lot and into Nordstrom department store. We gleefully giggle while squeezing each other’s hands. I even think to myself, I have the perfect child. Motherhood, yea— I got this in the bag!
Unfortunately Lilly and I were entering the alternate reality that exists within a shopping mall: the ominous place where perfect children morph into tiny gremlins who run, scream and hide from their parents until they are forcibly returned to the sanctity of their own home.
We walk through Nordstrom with the intent to check out Victoria’s Secret’s bathing suit sale, and I think, Nordstrom must have bathing suits on sale as well. Hmmm, curious. I should check it out. An evil Grinch-like smile emerges as I pick Lillian up and march over to the Active Wear section. Mistake number one.
I put Lillian down (mistake number two) as I sift through the suits. I can hear her humming to herself as she walks around the Active Wear department. I think, as long as I can hear her, its ok. She’s close. Oooh! This white floral bikini has serious potential. [The Grinch-like smile reappears.] Excellent. “Lillian, come with mommy. Lillian? Lillian!?!” Crap, where is my child!? My eyes dart to each department in the store and I see three sales assistants in the Lingerie department violently waving their hands at me while saying, “She’s over here!” I put the suit down and hurry over to collect my daughter.
I should leave now. I have made a scene, made a fool of myself and displayed some flawed parenting skills. But that cute suit is just sitting there on sale! Ahh! I’ll be quick in and out like a professional jewelry thief. No more stress. Easy. Done. (Mistake number three).
I shamefully walk up to a sales assistant who has undoubtedly witnessed the recent chaotic event and request a fitting room. I place a squirmy, whiny Lillian on the seat in the room and hurriedly try on the suit. The top fits perfectly, but the bottom—not so much. I’m pretty sure there is a bigger size on the rack outside. I place my hand on the dressing room door knob and it appears to be unlocked. I thought, I can do this. I’ll just go out, grab the suit and be back before Lilly will know what happened. Quick like lightning! I put on my jean shorts but stay in the bandeau bikini top (No reason to change if I’m going to have to change back, right?). I close the door (with Lillian inside) dart out to the sales rack, grab the new bottoms, and hastily make my way back to the dressing room. I turn the knob to enter and it’s locked!
You have got to be kidding me. How am I supposed to explain this to the sales assistant? [Heavy on the sarcasm] ‘Excuse me miss, I seem to have locked my toddler inside the fitting room when I knowingly abandoned her to retrieve new bottoms. And yes, I’m only wearing a bikini top. And no, I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.’ I can’t face her. I just can’t!
So, I did the only logical thing I could think of: I got down on all fours, gauged the distance between the dressing room door and the floor and began to army crawl my way to my child. I am careful to not abrasively rub or damage the bathing suit top because I still really like this suit! I involuntarily emit a bought of nervous laughter as I realize a video security man somewhere is having a field day watching my quick demise as a parent. I shake my head and trudge on.
Monkey see, monkey do.
I make it into the dressing room, pop up into a standing position and look around. My perfect little angel is nowhere to be found. Apparently while I crawled into the fitting room, my little monkey crawled out and had escaped. My daughter’s gleeful giggles echo through the halls of the dressing room area, but are growing fainter with every passing moment.
I abruptly open the fitting room door with a crazed expression on my face and bolt off in pursuit of my child. My eyes dart from department to department: Active Wear, no. Lingerie, not there. Men’s Suiting—empty. Where is she!?! Ahh! Panic is setting in. Children’s department, YES!!! There she is! As if I am running a 5k race, I, STILL IN A BIKINI TOP, sprint through all of the aforementioned departments to retrieve my chuckling child.
I am utterly embarrassed at the chain-of-events that occurred, yet for some twisted reason I still want to buy the bathing suit. In my mind I just ran the gauntlet of the Motherhood Warrior Dash, survived and will be rewarded with this bikini. So, with a squirming toddler in hand I march up to the sales desk, flash a nervous smile at the sales assistant and purchase my on-sale-yet-still-ridiculously-overpriced bathing suit.
The Take Away
Even though I wasn’t amused when this happened, I am definitely smiling now. As a parent sometimes you just have to laugh at the ridiculous events that comprise your day!
If you take away anything from post let it be this: never EVER try to go shopping with a toddler—or you may end up running around Nordstrom in a bathing suit.
Then again, I did get my speed work and strength training in for the day!