I went and got us a Costco membership today. This was a bad idea. Not the Costco part. That was a great idea. It'll pay for itself in a week in fruit alone.
No, the bad idea was Friday morning at 11:00. I don't know why, but everyone in Utah over 60 was there. In my daze and wonderment, it's a miracle I didn't plow any senior citizens over with my gigantic cart full of gigantic children. I've been to stores like this before, but it's a long time since I actually shopped in one for myself. You should see the grapes I got. They're as big as my head and taste like candy. And the tomatoes... I can now support my and 2.0's habit guilt-free.
I wrote down prices as I went through--stuff we buy regularly but don't need now--, and now that I look at it, I do think this thing will pay for itself in just a couple of trips. We used to have a Sam's membership when we first got married. I think we bought toilet paper once in our first three years together. The produce was cruddy, the quantities were enormous for just the two of us, and it was clear across town. Not worth it.
I don't know what Sam's is like now, but I really like Costco's produce, meat and deli. And with two kids I can even use up a refrigerator-size package of turkey slices before it expires.
The kids were angelic in the store today. It's always a gamble with them. They're never particularly bad; they seem to be wired not to throw tantrums in stores (something I know can happen even with good parents and well-disciplined children), but they get whiny and annoying, and I'm incapable of shopping while trying to tune out whining. It's like playing the piano while a friend jams a knife in your ear.
(They did have one moment in the cheese aisle (and I don't blame them--all that cheese makes me hangry, too), in which 2.0 got a flick on the cheek and The Child got a stern lecture--so effective with a three-year-old--, and when I was done, she looked at me and said, "Snuggle?" and we hugged a bit. And while that was happening, 2.0 leaned in too, and said something that sounded like "Straaangle?")
But back to Costco. It's an airplane hangar full of economy-sized crap you think you need, and half the time it took to get through was talking myself out of buying jars of pickles the size of my torso. And not running over sweet old people. I did get suckered into buying a fancy package of dried figs, but I justify that because: 1) they're good for you 2) I hate them 3) the kids love them. It's the perfect kid snack food. They eat something healthy, and I don't devour it while they're napping.
After 45 minutes of slogging through the AARP and my own greedy brain, we finally arrived at checkout. Where we waited. And waited. And waited. See, I have a superpower. It is the ability to find the one lane with the brand new trainee. If you ever see me in the store, do not get in line behind me. Especially if you have a similar ability. Our powers will combine, and we will be stuck in that checkout until our teeth fall out.
So we waited there. And then we waited at the membership counter behind a couple who must have been buying a car or ordering a custom-made glacier. Half an hour. I wish I were kidding. My poor starving children held it together very well, but I almost went back and bought myself an economy-size missile launcher. The thing I hate about waiting in line is that I know it's no one's fault. And having no one to direct my anger and impatience at makes me even angrier and more impatient.
I'm a wonderful person. Brimming with goodness and benevolence.
The people in front of us did finish up (I'm actually not writing this while I wait in line), I got my photo taken (my worst photo EVER, by the way, but it's okay because it's so awful it's comical instead of just embarrassing), and we cleared out of there. Then poor Emmy erupted into screams--but only until we got to the car. Good baby.
Poor sad, sick Grace. Yesterday morning we spent at least half an hour dancing vigorously in the living room throughout the morning. Yesterday afternoon, her eye turned red, and her nose started running. Today it's a fever, nasty cough, and pinkeye.
I ran out of Ambien. I called my prescription in as soon as I could yesterday, but they still didn't get it in time to fill it yesterday. I spent almost all of last night (between Sick Child's screams) twitching in bed, praying for at least three hours of sleep. I think I got exactly that, which is nice. It's that zone right between the angry exhaustion and complete mental failure where I get hit with a weird euphoria every couple of hours. It's that or dozing on the floor next to The Child while 2.0 whacks me in the head with various paper-containing objects, shouting, "Bead! Book! Bead me... book!"
So I finally break down and make a doctor's appointment, and Grace perks up and starts bounding around the living room like a slimy gazelle ten minutes before naptime.
I can't tell if she was playing it up for all the TV and loving attention she got, or if she really did start feeling awesome right at that moment. I don't really care. Something about sick babies makes me weirdly happy and nostalgic for my own childhood, when my dad would give me all the Sprite and V8 and soup and Disney movies my little heart could desire. I memorized most of The Lion King on a sick day.
So, anyway. It's been kind of a cruddy day, but not without its good times. Emmy has been a darling for a change. She keeps running up to Grace with Kleenex and the Vaseline yelling, "Bless you!" (Emmyland word for Vaseline) There is nothing more comforting than an a little sister aggressively waving Kleenex in your face and loudly grunting while attempting to open the Vaseline container to sooth your poor raw nose. I know that I would want her for a nurse someday. Can you imagine how generous she'd be with the painkillers?
I should nap, but of course I'm wide awake now. They need to invent daytime Ambien. That would be the best day of my life.
Also, my children at Halloween. Emmy is a bat. This is fitting. She had that exact expression on her face pretty much the entire night. Grace is... I don't know. We think a cat or lion, maybe. It was the costume in my sister's costume box that fit her. Whatever it is, she was adorable, even if you can't tell in this picture.
1 gigantic dog
1 average-sized house
Things I have learned:
1. Dog hair is well worth it if you have smallish children who suck at feeding themselves. Or if you fling gobs of food on the floor every time you make a meal.
2. TV is magical.
3. I wish we lived in Denver. Jeremy went to the Philippines for almost two weeks, and my sister called up and asked if I wanted to come stay instead of sitting at home. Yes. Oh, yes please.
The drive out was almost perfect. I don't know if it was the DVD player a friend lent us, if it was better carseats, older children, having a van with tinted windows, or that they could entertain each other, but it was amazingly scream-free. Their little brains imploded about 45 minutes from my sister's, but it was a short-lived crisis.
I handled it maturely and gracefully by yelling a lot of dire threats. Outstanding parenting. Give me a medal. And then... insanity. There's no way to have that many people under one roof and not have insanity. It was hard, but I kind of liked it. Working hard most of the day is a near-cure for stupid anxieties and pointless navel-gazing. I'm sure I can't sustain that level of activity without someone forcing me, but it did bring me a boatload of perspective. The more selfish I am with myself and my time, the more unhappy I am. And two kids is nothing. Well, okay, not nothing. But it'll be a while before I really start whining again.
Today is my first day home, back in the old routine, and I'm climbing the walls. I really need to get over my aversion to the cold, or it's going to be a long winter.
Or have twins. Either of those would work. The drive back was less pleasant. I got to drive into the sun for six hours after a good snow. The kids loved that. Nothing like getting strapped down for eight hours and being forced to stare into the sun for six of it. There was significantly more screaming on the way back.
But! I did not threaten or yell. I gripped the steering wheel and dreamed of booze. So, I'm back. It was a good visit. We are all safe and alive, etc.