January 20, 2015

Costco: 4 kids. 5 hours. 7 glasses of wine.

 Dude. Costco is an event. And I'm not talking black tie. I'm talking 5 hours from start to finish. Literally.

OK, let me back up a little. But not with the cart - that thing is too heavy...I must say I have Costco down. Like I run out of everything at the same time and go every two weeks to restock it back up. (And the off weeks I hit up the market for the few random things I can't get at Costco.) Never mind that everyone always asks if I'm stocking up for the month. (Have you seen Levi's cheeks? They have to come from somewhere...) 

Don't let Lola fool you. She's not asleep. She's too busy pulling my hair. You think I'd explore something called the PONYTAIL. But no. Apparently I like to live on the edge.

Anyway, Costco usually goes something like this. Actually, it pretty much goes exactly like this because, in order to succeed (or not die) with anything in my current state of life I need to have a process. A process that I can move through without having to think so I can spend my time thinking about the toddler who wants to keep secretly reaching to the back of the cart and smoosh ALL THE THINGS.

10:45 am: The big kids (and me) all ready. Clothes/socks/shoes/hair done. House picked up (mostly). Because I hate coming back from Costco and having to unload while tripping over cars and legos.

11 am: Feed the baby. And pray the baby nurses well so she won't want food in the middle of aisle 17.

11:15 am: Big kids sit on stairs (with coats on) while I load Lola and my bag into the car. Then big kids put on shoes (NOT RAIN BOOTS. Do you know what a personal H - E - Double Hockey Stick it is trying to get a kid into and out of a cart with boots on that get stuck?????) and get into the car. Usually I bring a Kombucha or bottle of sparkling water as a my treat to look forward to on the way home. But I don't drink it on the way there because more worse than having a baby who wants to eat while being worn is having to pee an hour out from when I could actually do so.

11:30 am: Arrive. Park in the way back, next to the cart return. MAKE SURE TO REMEMBER TO BRING IN REUSABLE BAGS so I don't have to deal with boxes when we get home. Hashtag annoying.

11:30 - 12:15 pm: I can usually get our run, in the store, done in about 45 minutes. That is if I don't get distracted BY THE MIDDLE AISLES. Oh Costco, you get me every time. I go counter-clockwise and pretty much know the list in my head. To keep the kids corralled the boys are in the cart, Avila walks (her reward is holding the receipt. If you're a parent you know how valuable that receipt is...) and I wear Lola in a backpack or wrap. I alternate between bribing, threatening, and having fun with the kids. Bribes usually come in the form of a lollipop when we get home. Threatens come in the form of a loss of limb (nothing like toddler-man yelling out in the chip aisle: NO I DON'T WANNA SPANKIN') and the fun comes when we find a space with no one in it and I push the cart down the aisle and let it go. Easy to entertain boys, I tell you. I send Avila to get things I can't reach and I pray I can fit everything in the cart, like a little jigsaw puzzle. Not easy when the run calls for every single piece of produce in the store, 3 large 24 counts of eggs, lots of meat, two sets of diapers, baby wipes, TP and Paper Towels, plus the boxes of milk, plus the other things on the list. Usually I have to leave something out. Or shove it all in and pray it doesn't fall over in the parking lot. Or pray the toddler doesn't ruin the orchid. 

Not pictured. The three bags in the trunk already.

However there are two events that are pretty much guaranteed to trip up my time in the store: the samples and the people wanting to come touch the baby. Sample people, really? Do you have to be on the end of the aisles causing California like traffic jams with people who park their cart at the entrance blocking any sort of passageway? And regular people, really? Do you have to come up and touch my baby's face with your germy sample-filled hands? I know she's cute, but I'm on edge already and my pink lipstick can only hold a smile for so long. 

12:15-12:30 pm (if I'm lucky):  Check out line. Actually this is the time I usually exhale. I chit chat with the kids. Try to be patient 'cause I don't have control over anything. And muster the energy to face the tough part of the whole deal: the LOADING and UNLOADING. And if it's raining outside I say an extra little prayer. But checking out generally goes smoothly (except for the paying part - I usually choke) and people are pretty helpful if I need it.

12:30-12:45 pm: loading the car. This part is like a well choreographed dance. First I throw my purse on my back - all backpack like. Because it is. That way no one can jack it if it's in the cart or in the open trunk. Then I load the big kids. Then I load the baby. Then I load the goods. Then I enjoy my beverage of choice before throwing on some awesome music and heading home. 

Here is where stuff gets real....

1:00 - 4:00 pm. Yes three hours. I timed it...
  • nurse baby and put her down for a nap
  • throw freezer stuff in the freezer
  • get big kids lunch
  • unload the rest into a big pile in the kitchen
  • break up big kid fighting
  • get myself lunch
  • dishes from lunch
  • start organizing crap into piles
  • put Levi down for a nap
  • get Avila and Max set up with puzzles or school
  • put away kitchen stuff
  • help with school
  • put away garage stuff
  • baby wakes up: nurse again
  • Levi is poopy - change diaper and yell at him for messing with the lamp
  • more school
  • put away closet/upstairs stuff
  • say "screw it" to the rest of school and put on a show
  • put the kitchen back together after 3 hours of chaos

OK, I'm tired from typing now. Or am I tired from reliving Costco in my brain on a non-Costco day? I actually went last Friday BY MYSELF which was awesome because no one was there but NOT AWESOME because the trunk was full. Hashtag stupid Goodwill stuff.


Kim said...

Bah, this is amazing. I can relate to every single part of this. Costco with kids is stressful, man! I need to get my Costco runs down to a science, I go weekly because I never run out of everything at the same time. As for the random baby touching, it totally weirds me out too. Maybe if you left the bow off and put her in less cute outfits people wouldn't be so drawn to her, she is way too cute :-)

Kristine Mauss said...

Seriously I think the "dressing her ugly" part would totally help, haha. And once I got my trips down pat it was like a whole non-stressful world opened up. Not sure how it happened (maybe other than the fact I throw all the produce into smoothies if we're approaching the Costco trip so I magically "run out") but it does help!