I’m headed off to Target. I’ve got lots of shopping to do.
I load the car with all three of my kids: 5, 3 1/2 and almost 2.
My oldest is headed to Kindergarten, so this is my very first year,
I’m armed with a plan, pen and paper in hand, I’m prepared and my mind’s crystal clear.
My mom friends are all complaining. For items they search near and far.
I think to myself, “oh come on guys, it can’t really be that hard.”
We enter the store hand in hand, we settle in to a big cart.
The wheels are rolling as we begin strolling the aisles of the everything-mart.
I easily find paper towels, the classroom supplies are a breeze,
Then chaos begins as the oldest child falls and somehow scrapes both of his knees.
I place him back in his seat, asking him in my nice voice to stay.
I say to myself, “get this show on the road before this trip spirals away.”
We arrive at the school supply section and it seems that the end may be near,
So why have I been here an hour? And why am I so close to tears?
The baby is crying, the 3 year old’s whining, the oldest is running around,
Meanwhile I’m only through half of the list and the other half can’t be found.
I try to stay focused despite the kids shouting about who is looking at whom.
They’re snatching things off of the shelves and hooks, I give them the stare of mom’s doom.
Which kind of binder? Three ring or prong? How many inches? Oh dear.
8 packs and 10 packs all over the floor. Please, gracious Lord, keep me near.
Why are there so many kinds of glue? White, purple, clear and sparkles?
And seriously, what does a 5 year old need with so many dry erase markers?
I pride myself on motherhood and being a good, loving wife,
But trying to check off this list has me asking: dear God, what’s become of my life?
At this point I’m just grabbing anything that seems appropriate for school.
I shrug, roll my eyes and head to check out ’cause these kids are acting a fool.
No time to get clothes or to look at shoes. No time for anything else.
If I don’t get out of here now and RIGHT now I’ll be ready to punch myself.
“CHIPS! GUMMIES! SODA!” They scream from the cart as I pay… The end is so near.
“You all acted crazy, so NO!!” Comes out louder than I expected to hear.
One final quarrel over who presses “enter” on the pin pad machine.
One final decision that they’re getting straight in bed, I don’t care if they’re not clean.
Everyone is staring, but I know this much is true:
The other moms and dads in here all know just what I’m going through.
So when you see a fellow parent struggling down an aisle,
Be sure to nod in understanding, and if you can, give them a smile!
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