Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Going Crazy In Gymboree

“Now, you have to promise me that you’ll sit okay?” I instructed Natalie as I helped her out of the car.

“Okay,” Natalie agreed.

Do you think she was telling the truth?


I brought her in Gymboree and the little minx went crazy. She didn’t want to sit in front of the TV. Yes, Gymboree has a TV. But Natalie didn’t care, she just wanted to race around the store. Look, I find the store exciting—I mean, it’s filled with all sorts of adorable duds—but I don’t race around like a wild animal.

“Hi Amber,” my favorite worker said as I struggled to get Natalie to sit.

“Hello,” I answered as Natalie thrashed in my arms while screeching, “I don’t YIKE to sit right now, Mommy. I DON’T YIKE TO SIT RIGHT NOW!”

“I take it you know we’re having a sale,” the worker continued.

“Yes,” I said as Natalie tiny fist collided with my ear. Ouch. She twisted her body around to the point where I was holding her by her ankles. She laughed so I continued to shop while grasping her ankles with one hand and using the other to go through the racks.

“Hello,” I said to a woman who sidled up beside me. She did a double take when she saw my daughter hanging upside down.

The sale, by the way, was Gymboree’s Red Balloon Sale—or RBS—where they mark their older lines that didn’t sell $7.99 or less. And okay, I know I had just said a few entries back that I wasn’t going to buy anymore clothes—but this doesn’t count, these clothes are for next season, not now. So it’s okay.

“I want down,” Natalie said as I found this ultra adorable green sweater jacket. And ohhhh....another sweater jacket…

“I want down,” Natalie repeated and since I was distracted she slithered from my arms and sat right underneath the middle of the rounder.

“Heavens!” an old lady yelped as she pushed some clothes aside and came face to face with my daughter.

“Hi,” Natalie said sweetly.

“Natalie, get out of there,” I said, bending down with my goodies in my arms. “Now.”

“No.” Natalie shook her head.

I could feel my anger start to boil over. I’m working really hard on not yelling. I really don’t want my kids to have memories of me stomping around the house screaming at them TO JUST LISTEN TO ME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

“Natalie,” I said through gritted teeth. “I’m asking you to get out.”


Deep breaths....deep breaths....

What I wanted to shout was, “I’m the motherfu*king adult and when I say GET OUT I mean GET OUT!”

But how inappropriate would that be?


So after I had calmed myself I said, “Would you like to be my helper and hold your sweater jackets?”

I thought Natalie would be thrilled by the prospect of being my helper.


“No thanks.”


So I did the next best thing: I grabbed her and MADE her come out. Of course this made her thrash all over again and the clothes I found fell to the floor. I swear I saw another lady eye them with interest as though she were tempted to grab them…I shot her a Look like, “I may have a crazed child but they belong to me and I have a purse filled to the brim with crap that I can use as a weapon so back off.” Thankfully she did. Back off, I mean.

I brought my items to the counter, slung Natalie over my shoulder so that her head was hanging near my butt and paid as though nothing were amiss. No, favorite store worker, I don’t have an insane three-year-old on me.

“I’ll probably be bringing more stuff out if you want to come tomorrow,” the store worker said kindly. She’s never made me feel like a bad mom.

“I’ll do that—only I’ll be leaving her with her Daddy next time,” I said.

“Mommy, I want DOWN! I don’t YIKE DIS!”

When we left the store Natalie was calm again. I’m not sure why Gymboree causes her to act like that.

This is what I found. Everything was $5 since I had a 20% off coupon. Well except for the top, which was only $3.

Natalie approves!

Of course when I showed Tommy the sweater I got for him he went, “Nice but I’m not wearing it.”

Excuse me?

“There’s nothing offending or embarrassing about this sweater,” I argued.

“I don’t like it,” Tommy said stubbornly.

“Young man, I only paid $5 for this sweater and I was proud to find it and dangit, you’ll wear it.”

“It’s funny looking.”

I’ll convince him somehow.


  1. LOL. Those are some AWESOME long is this fabulous sale???

  2. Good job on both counts. Finding good deals and keeping your cool in the store.

  3. I like that you're on a first name basis with the staff at Gymboree.

    My mom and I have a similar relationship with the wait staff at a local restaurant.

    One server knows my mom as the "BBQ chicken lady."

    Pretty flattering.

  4. oooh way cute! love that cute little green dress up top!

  5. don't know how you do it. I know the clothes are adorable but I HATE shopping with my kids. YUCK!

    amber? the fact that they know your name is pretty funny.

  6. I wish we had Gymboree. Cute stuff!

  7. Oh, I wish I could shop. WHAT DEALS!!!

  8. I have that sweater from my boys. The three of them look SO cute in it.

    And I LOVE that you held her by the ankles, totally awesome.

  9. Tough to yell at a cute face like that :-) At least, that's what I keep telling myself when my stepdaughter stubbornly refuses to listen to me as well...

    Great bargains. Wish my kid was younger!

  10. so you are telling me that when they learn to communicate that it really doesn't get better? damn - that's the only thing holding me together right now.

  11. Hummm....if only we could take that little opinion chip out of their tiny heads.....

  12. My favorite part of this story is that you're known to the staff at Gymboree!

  13. I love the deals and one day your Natalie and my Li'l Bit must meet, I think they would get along famously!!!

  14. I love Tommy's sweater. I'd like one like that. Although maybe with vertical stripes rather than horizontal.

  15. This is why we stay in my house...well that and the fact that I live in nowheresville with no stores for many miles

  16. you crack me up with your shopping expeditions (even the online ones) so funny. Glad she calmed down afterwords. I'd be the person more likely to start swearing in public. I live in france. They'd only understand half of what I'm saying anyway...

  17. Hahaha... I can just see her slung over your shoulder. That's why we have dogs, not kids, for now.

  18. Fabulous Bargains! And I'd give your favorite worker a big hug the next time cause she is so understanding!

  19. She is too darn cute to be acting like that...:)

  20. OMG, BOTH of my freaking monkeys (2 and 3) act like that everywhere we go!! It's exhausting. But I usually don't pretend to have ANY patience whatsoever!!! I grab them by their little ears and THEN they hear me!!! LMAO!
    Thanks for the compliment on my poem!

  21. ah, only moms can fling their screaming toddler to their shoulder and do what they need to do...

    considering what you were wrestling with (natalie), bravo to your choices :)

  22. It's pretty funny that the sales clerk is on a first name basis with you.

    I think Tom likes when you take Natalie with you. She's a safety mechanism so that you don't spend too much money - you can't - you don't have enough time to shop! LOL!

    All great buys and all adorable!

  23. I bet the staff at Gymboree knows Natalie by name too! I hope it's okay that I laughed all the way through this post. I really REALLY needed to laugh today! Thank you!

  24. pretty impressive finds. I think you need a Gymboree bag that is ready to go to the store with you whenever you need to bring that minx, I mean the daughter you adore, with you.... it should be packed with goodies she doesn't usually get to have. And she has to sit in order for you to continually hand them out.
    Me, above bribing, no way!

  25. I so need to hit up the Gymboree outlet to look for some good deals! Darn home renovations are keeping me away from shopping! But alas I will find a way!

  26. Man, I've had those same impulses to yell that to my daughter too! LOL! It's so great when the kids are older and in school more. Shopping is so much easier!

  27. Wow - you got some wonderful bargins!! Glad your daughter enjoys shopping!

  28. I enjoy how you rationalize buying things like these.


  29. Great finds!! Love the green sweater dress!! Buying for next season definitely does not count under the no more shopping rule.

    When my 3 year old misbehaves I usually will say "when I say (fill in the blank) I mean (fill in the blank), I am the mommy here not you! you are the kid! you do what I say!" minus the cursing of course. Well, I still curse in my head (a lot) but not out loud.

  30. I'm now far away from a Gymboree. I think the closest one is an hour away. Which is probably good for my wallet....

    You got some great deals!

    Not even commenting on your daughter- don't worry, my boys would make her look like an angel.

  31. funny. my son is rotten in gymboree too...once the stupid people had the door he is running down the mall avenue laughing manically - can I just say "why the fuck would a kid's store leave their door open so that all the extra energetic kids run out????!!!!" and do the workers help me? NO. they just look at me. and EVERY time I am there the one cashier says oh his name is Asher, my grandson is time I'm just going to preempt her...when he starts climbing under racks and pulling down clothes, I try to stop him - some - I figure it gives them something to do since they aren't helping parents corral their kids ;)

  32. LOVE that little green dress. Why don't they make things that cute in my size? Honestly.

  33. Laughed my butt off all the way through this until the end. He's right. I wouldn't wear that sweater either. Don't you think that pink and purple will be embarrassing for him?

  34. Natalie and Wu should get together, they could join forces and probably beat us up.

    And how can a TV not suck her in?! Complete craziness!

  35. Do these employees text you and put things aside? I figure just knowing your name isn't THAT impressive considering the fact that you are the mommy who can hold her daughter up by her ankles while shopping. How many such moms could there be? You cracked me up yet again.

  36. Whatever it takes for the sale I say!

  37. Don't they have the best sales ever! Our problem is either my son wants to "help" pick everything out or he refuses to leave the tv area when it is time to go lol

  38. Oh, a good sale? Too bad my youngest only wears John Deere shirts. I am a TAD tired of J.D. Green here. But? He is JUST like her in the store!

  39. I learnt really quickly never to shop with my kids. Even now they are nearly all adults...

  40. I wonder if we have that massive sale at out Gymboree. I always get sucked into the Gymboree Bucks. You spend more than you intended just so you can come back AGAIN and spend more than you intended just to use the Bucks. Bastards have you coming and going.

  41. LOL, you were PROUD to find that sweater!

  42. If there is one thing I've learned since becoming a parent, it's to NEVER EVER trust your toddler. EVER. Glad you survived the kiddy drama, - and got some away with some super-cute and super-cheap goodies!

  43. It took the restraint of Gods to keep me out of Gymboree last week! I'll live vicariously through your purchases!

  44. I love all of the outfits but absolutely LURVE the green one the best! Sorry you had a hard time during the bargain sale.

  45. The bright side is that when she is a teenager she will be begging you to go shopping with her! Yes, she really will, until she's old enough to drive and asks for the car keys and credit card!

  46. I was hoping for a fashion show, at least I got one pic

  47. I was tossed down memory lane with this (now 27) daughter hid in the center of the round racks, stood just around the corner out of my sight while I searched for her, refused to take off a pair of shoes she was trying on (laid on the floor and held onto the shoes on her feet) and I had to buy them, climbed out of her stroller while I was buying something and I found her at the top of the escalator. I finally only shopped at stores with a front door that closed, arrived as soon as the store opened, and asked the salesclerk to watch my daughter for me....the store would be empty. And I made sure I always bought something......I carried her out of the mall once like a football, her hands and feet waving like mad. I did not do much shopping when she was small, for sure!!!

  48. See..I told couldn't wait Fall before more clothes eye! hee. hee. I can't stand a good bargain either. And Paige has that same sweater...for girls not the one for Tommy :) oh yeah, I stumbled over a gymboree gift certificate in a magazine - I was delirious with glee! How could that be there I thought!!!

  49. I've been 3 times the past two weeks and walked out with a bag full each time. The whole "30% off everything in your bag" gig is a biotch! I cannot imagine what it would be like if A) I had more than one child or B) I had a girl or God forbid: BOTH!!!


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