Yesterday Tom didn’t have to go into work until one since he had to pick a co-worker up from the airport and didn’t get in until midnight the night before.
I was going to use this to my advantage. I planned on leaving Natalie with him and shopping at Target in peace.
But no. Natalie saw me grabbing my purse and she was immediately on high alert.
“Shopping Mommy? We go shopping?” She rushed and started trying to put her shoes on. This was not going well. She’d attempt to shove her foot in and nothing would happen. The shoe would just dangle on her toes.
“Actually,” I said kindly. “Mommy was planning on going alone.”
Tom looked startled from the couch. “What?” He appeared to have forgotten our conversation that we had a few minutes prior where I had said I’d be going to the store. By myself. Sometimes I wonder if he hears me at all. If I’m not talking about sex, boobs, or food, my comments tend to go right over his head.
“I’m going to Target and you’re staying with Natalie,” I reminded him.
Tom blinked. This does not compute. The words might have well been scrolling over his forehead.
“I go shopping, Mommy?” Natalie asked sweetly. “And Daddy come too?” She fluttered her eyelashes towards a still baffled Tom. He clearly had no idea what was going on. One minute he was lounging on the couch picking his toe cheese (ew!) and the next he’s being coerced into going shopping.
“I’ll come,” Tom grumbled because it’s hard for him to say no to Natalie. I mean, he can do it, don’t get me wrong, but then five minutes later he’s apologizing and saying, “Daddy doesn’t mean to get upset. But you need to listen.”
So I didn’t get to shop alone. But that’s okay. Sort of. The thing is, Tom doesn’t understand how to shop Target. He doesn’t get that I look in every section because you never know when you’ll stumble on those beautiful 75% off signs. So when we first walked in the store, Tom started heading down towards the electronics section.
“Woah there,” I said lightly, pulling on the cart. “Where are you going?” Doesn’t he know that I always start off in the clothes section and work my way around?
“I’m going to the only section I like in the store,” Tom replied.
“Okay. Well. I’ll meet you there,” I said and started to walk off.
“Mommy!” Natalie called out, arms outstretched.
I turned. “I’ll meet up with you later,” I promised.
“Mommy! I come!” Natalie begged. She puffed her lip out.
Oh for—so much for shopping in peace. I took the cart and started doing my rounds. Tom found me standing in front of a Tide display with a wide grin on my face a few minutes later.
“What are you doing? I was waiting forever and I decided to see what happened to you,” Tom said.
Waiting forever? It was more like five minutes! Tops. But then again, five minutes in a store to Tom probably feels like five hours.
“The Tide is on sale for $10.99 and I have a dollar coupon off!” I said in a giddy tone as I dug through my purse for the coupon.
“And…this excites you?” Tom’s brows were furrowed as though he were in deep thought.
“It does! This means I get Tide for $9.99! That’s a good price,” I felt the need to add because Tom seriously looked confused. He doesn’t comprehend how to use coupons. When he does go out, I always try to get him to use the coupons and he’s all, “I don’t know how.” What does that even MEAN? What does he mean he “doesn’t know how?” You just hand the coupons over to the cashier. It’s as simple as that.
I managed to find the dollar off coupon and held it over my head like a trophy.
“Found it!” I said and this old lady who walked past us winked and said, “Good for you, dear.”
“See? Someone else who knows the beauty of coupons. Now. Let’s do a little test, Tom. There are various amounts of Tide on sale for $10.99. Which one should I get?” I said.
Tom appeared to be a little frightened. He stared at the display of Tides for a few seconds and went, “Well. This one smells like lavender. You like things that smell, right?” He went to reach for it.
“WRONG!” I said cheerfully. “If you notice that the lavender one is only good for 40 loads. But this Clean Breeze scented one is good for 64 loads.” I tapped the bottle to show him.
Tom was agog. “Does it really matter?”
Thank goodness he isn’t in charge of the shopping. We’d be totally broke. He’d just throw the first thing he saw into the cart.
“Can we go now?” Tom asked with a sigh. Obviously my Tide lesson wasn’t enlightening in the least.
“Go? No. I still have the other half of the store to go through,” I said and started walking off.
Tom groaned as he caught up to me. “Why? Why are you going down the bathroom aisle? We don’t need anything—wait. Oh my Gosh, look! We can decorate our bathroom in penguins!” Sadly, he wasn’t even joking. Tom pulled a penguin shaped trash can from the shelf and hugged it to his chest. The penguin even had a pair of sunglasses on.
“Um. No Tom,” I said gently and tried to take it from his hands.
“No?” He looked genuinely shocked and shifted away so I couldn’t take his treasure.
“We’re not children anymore. I don’t want to decorate our bathroom in penguins. I like the way it looks now,” I explained as though I were speaking to my son when he’s begging for a toy.
“Our bathroom is boring,” Tom fumed.
It’s decorated in blue and white by the way. And okay, that probably sounds a little boring but up until the penguin, Tom wasn’t complaining.
“Tom. That penguin will creep me out when I go to the bathroom at night. I’ll feel like something is staring at me,” I attempted to try another tactic. And I wasn’t lying. I startle easily and I probably WOULD jump when I shuffled into the bathroom at night. My bladder isn’t what it used to be thanks to my two kids who used it as a punching bag so I’m usually up at least once per night to use the bathroom.
“I’ll turn the penguin around before I go to bed,” Tom said graciously.
I rubbed my temples. He was starting to give me a headache. “Tom. Please. We’re adults. I’d like my bathroom to convey this. If we decorated in penguins, I’d feel like I was walking into Toys R Us.”
“But look at this awesome penguin soap dispenser!” Tom said, pointing it out.
“It’s nice. Really. But no,” I said and pried the penguin trash from Tom’s hands.
“The kids get a duck bathroom,” Tom muttered.
“Yes. Because they’re CHILDREN,” I answered.
Honestly. Sometimes I feel like I have three kids, not two.