Monday, May 11, 2009

The 48 Hours In Which I Bought My Kids Coffee And Stole From WalMart

Yep, I sure did.

A few weeks back, back when exhaustion was at an all time high due to my husband's crazy tennis schedule and my youngest son upchucking every 12 minutes or so, the chaotic fervor of my life hit an all time high and I completely lost my mind.

Spence's birthday was right around the corner, and literally, even though it pains me to type this next sentence, we did not have time for a party. Brad was gone on a tennis tournament for three days and the following weekend was supposed to be spent in Seattle at another visit to Children's so it had to be done. But the thought of several nine and almost nine year olds running wild while I had sick baby and no second set of hands to help me was too much. I offered Spence the option of having two friends for a sleepover and he readily agreed, only asking that I "let them play Wii as long as they wanted without the timer."


So Thursday night, with Brad off in another state playing tennis, I found myself ready for a warm bath and some quiet time. I was subbing the following day and had just made it home from a particularly frustrating PTO meeting. Spence made his way into my room and said "what kind of cake are you making me?"


I ALWAYS make my kid's cakes. It's something I love doing and even though I'm not great at it, I love the look on their faces when they see what I've come up with. But since to my mind we weren't having a "party" the idea of a cake never even occurred to me.

Another mothering high for me.

I asked him what he wanted and he said, naturally, a Wii cake.

So once all my kids where tucked into bed, I sat and tried to figure out how to do this. A quick call to this gal, some speedy internet searching and I was raring to go. Unfortunately it was about 10 pm and I was just putting four mini cakes in the oven but whatever.

The following day was a blur and when I made it back home after a day of subbing, I put the cakes together and Spence was thrilled. I made each boy his own Wii controller and even though they were a bit fat, it worked. Spence's face was worth it all.

The boys ate homemade pizza, snarfed their Wii controllers and played until all hours of the night. I last checked on them at 11:30 when I fell into bed and they were still glued to the screen. It's a wonder any of them can still see clearly.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt like a fog of exhaustion had took up residence in my brain, intent to stay for weeks to come. Austin had another difficult night and I was pooped. But I had baseball games to get to and playdates to figure out, not to mention 2 additional boys in my house so I showered and was off.

Our first stop naturally was Viera's Bakery because really? How else do you start a Saturday? I had Spence and his friend Quentin with me and little Austin in tow and I gave them the tray and tongs to go pick out their goods. When they called over to me from the cooler and asked for chocolate milk, I wearily yelled "Sure thing!" across the store in hopes of keeping my status as world's coolest mom. We made our purchases and hoped back in the car to get ready for baseball.

We were just about home when Spence called out from the backseat "Uh Mom? You just bought us coffee!" Which they had since inhaled. Or rather, Quentin inhaled and Spence, conflicted over his constant mantra of "Choose The Right" took a sip of and then thought he should wait for me. And this is where I get annoyed. Because really? It totally looked like chocolate milk, complete with goofy cow on the front and ad for Spongebob Sqaurepants on the wrapper. Luckily, I was not really concerned with whether or not they had just had coffee but more concerned with 24 oz of caffeine racing through my 60 lb 9 year old. Great role model, right? Quentin went on and on about how good the coffee tasted and I reflected to my pre-Mormon life in which I LOVED all things coffee. So much so that one Mother's Day, when Spence was asked by his primary teacher what the one thing is that I wished for this world, his response was "that coffee would be good for her."

It. was. awesome.

I now understand the idea behind this though, as I am one of those people who would literally tap my jugular and main-line it into my body at all times. And how healthy would that be?

Fast forward to Monday, when I had my two little ones and these two little ones in tow. I had to run to WalMart since Austin was still purging everything in site and I had no food to feed little Chloe and if you know anything about Chloe, it better be that the girl needs food. Everyone was doing great until Austin unloaded in the middle on the aisle, right in between the Campbell's soup display and the canned veggies. I reached for my diaper bag only to discover I was out of wipes. I ran to the end of the aisle where there was a paper towel dispenser. I got as many as I could, covered the contents of his stomach the best I could and sheepishly moved on. It was not a proud whiskey tango moment.

When I finally made it to the checkout, I ran into her and we started talking. I think she could easily see how hammered I was and tried to console me as I corralled my troops and paid for my goods. Or, almost paid for my goods. The industrial sized bottle of Pedialyte that I had wedged up by Austin was completely forgotten until I got to the car, where everyone was already buckled in. And this is what I did next.

I left.

Because really, I know I'm a good person and not one who usually steals. And I know that I would make it right the next time I returned to WalMart, which would probably be in another 3 hours. And I know I should have felt horrible for leaving but I honestly didn't. I felt as though the universe owed me a gigantic bottle of Pedialyte as reward for making it through Day 12 of Constant Puking And Single Parenting.

Perhaps the best part of the story is that when I did return to WalMart and try to pay for the stolen merch, the salesgirl did not understand what I was doing.

"So, like, you want to give me, like, money for something that's like, not in your cart?"

"Yep, sure do." I explained it several times over and finally, when managers had been called and confusion still reined supreme, I actually uttered the words "if it's easier for you, I can just keep stealing it."

We worked it out. I paid for my Pedialyte and made my weary way home. And to think I was still spoiled silly yesterday for Mother's Day!


Heather said...

This is hilarious! I'm glad to see you can laugh at your misfortune (later on, of course).

Isn't it funny when you are trying to be honest and people don't get it? So sad.

lindsay>boo said...

Yeah, those few weeks there completely sucked for you. So sorry.

And Chloe does love her some food. Girlfriend likes to eat.

What a coincidence about the "stealing from Wal-mart thing"---Chloe stole a pair of shoes for herself. She had them in her hands so I didn't realize until we were in the car and by then, I just thought, I'll pay for them next time. And the girl was completely confused the next time I came in and wanted to pay for shoes I wasn't keeping. Hmm, I wonder if this happens alot....

Sara said...

We have all had the moment when we look down and see that some hidden item has been left in the cart and was never paid for. I laughed at the fact that the coffee had a spongebob ad on it. Crazy!

hatch said...

Wow some serious confessions there. :)
You crack me up!

Sarah said...

Sometimes life has a way of making us do crazy things. Good job on the birthday cakes, they are very cute.

Do you have my Bjork CD? said...

I don't know if Christy or Michele are going to chime in on this one... but, I, for one, am not surprised about the Pedialyte.

PRP said...

That's just rude, Erica. I only steal from friends, not establishments....:)

And no, I dont' have your Bjork CD...

Kate said...

Okay, I am now totally exhausted from reading your post! lol, how you did it, I have no idea!
Love the cake!!
I am glad things seem to be better for you!

stylist to the stars said...

Mike loved everything about the party and I am soooo glad I didn't have him go to Viera's with you. I can't believe you let them drink coffee! Ha Ha I am gad that your weeks are going better!

tharker said...

I know that week can easily be classifed as "Hell Week", and I'm still so sorry for all that you had to go through.....but it did make for a great post! I've been waiting for you to tell all about your theif-ish ways ;)

Girl still missing earrings and favorite socks said...

Yeah, what Bjork girl said!

Lisa said...

Sorry you had such a bad week! Your Wii cake looks so great, though. I know who I'm calling for our next birthday!

Amy said...

LOL... you have the best way of telling things!
Great job on the cake!
Sorry about your horrible couple of weeks. I hope Austin is doing better now!

Dandee said...

Oh man. You deserve an arward for making those sweet cakes.

Hope everyone is healthy in your neck of the woods.

Kelly said...

I'm not going to tell Nolan you made a wii cake. I told him last year that it's just not possible... I suck. And you made it smack dab in the middle of "hell week". I really suck.

AOlson said...

LOL!! I love reading your stories!! I can totally relate to the coffee thing. I was a fond lover of it and still love to cheat with some Jamoca ice cream!! And I have to be honest, I probably would not have gone back and tried to do the right thing and pay for the Pedialyte. Thanks for being such a good example for me:)