You know. The one you pity if you have small children and swear you'll never be like if you don't yet have children and never remember being if you're children are 25 or older. Yep, that was me. But what did I expect, going into the city (a 2 hr drive) with a 4 and 2 yr old in tow, at 20 weeks pregnant with a still slightly sprained ankle (no crutches, thank goodness), to buy enough craft supplies for a 4 day Art-based day camp with 25 kids already registered? Well let me tell you, this trip exceeded my worst expectations.
First, we had to stop at the only gas station / resteraunt on the way there for lunch, because we did not get out of town until eleven o-clock. Add Friday afternoon vacationers line ups and a two year old who insists on doing everything HIMSELF and can't make up his mind about whether he wants ham or turkey on his sub with a LONG line-up behind him.
Second, we "had" to stop at the quilt shop in town (the only one I've found this side of Edmonton that carries Free Spirit fabrics -- and I'm just assuming someone in Edmonton does because its just a cool city). Since our local quilt shop has a toy table, the boys insisted that they DID NOT need to bring toys into the store, because fabric stores always have toys. This one had a bin of little legos. Which Aaron dumped all over the floor. And then they started fighting over the legos. And then Aaron discovered, as we were trying to pick up said legos (which included 15 or so lego guys that they had completely taken apart -- like, even removed the tiny arms) that there was a twirling display of needles and pins above his head . . . and I got out to the car to discover that he had exploded his diaper . .
Third, was the actual trip to Michaels to buy craft supplies. Which included many, many reminders that we were only buying things for ART CAMP and that no, I would not buy a volcano kit, or a worm-making kit or a crystal growing kit or a Spiderman colouring book and sticker set or . . . you get the idea. Andrew was finally sated when I told him that we would go to Burger King after this to get supper and hopefully transformer toys. After this the boys decided that the best way to amuse themselves while Mom tried to figure out what quantity of foam to buy was to head butt each other. Then the cart got too full of craft supplies to happily hold Aaron as well (and although he thought it was amusing to jump on the four margerine-like containers of clay, I didn't want clay bursting all over the store). This meant releasing Aaron into a store with long, open aisles and lots of interesting, brightly coloured things at perfect grabbing height. After this came the debacle of Aaron getting a hold of a crayola marker I was using to mark things off my list, lying down in the middle of the aisle in front of our cart and drawing all over his legs. Finally, we were done shopping and came to the check out . . . where only one till was open. And they had bins and bins of shiny plastic toy-like candy dispensers. Fortunately, I had a box of raisins in my bag, and managed to coax him into sitting in the top of the cart while we went through the check out line.
Fourth, we arrived at Burger King right at 5 pm and had to wait in a long lineup that was filtered through one of those maze-like contraptions that just happened to have three bars running along it that were perfect for Aaron to climb up and down on. We got to the counter to discover that there were NO toys at all, never mind transformer toys, and Andrew started wailing. To try to distract him and get him away from the poor workers who were just starting their supper rush and really didn't need to hear his howling, I grabbed our cups and we went to get drinks. Aaron grabbed his drink before I could put a lid on it and spilled it all over the floor. So there I am, pregnant, with one child wailing "WHY DON'T THEY HAVE TRANSFORMER TOYS? MY PLAN IS RUINED!", and a second child, covered in blue marker that I still haven't wiped off, now soaked in red Fruitopia, cheerfully wiping the floor with paper napkins. Fortunately this Burger King had a play place with a glassed in room and some seating, so we sat in there, I got Andrew calmed down eventually (after a stern, "I know you are disappointed and you had a cool plan that is ruined. You have had a chance to express that. Now eat your food and enjoy the play station.") and we did manage to eat with minimal hassle (aside from Andrew's inevitable "Why are there seeds on my bun? Who is going to swap their bun bottom with my bun top?" panic), and they did eventually play, and Andrew even made a friend.
When his new friend left, he sat down, discouraged and said, "We can leave now. My friend is gone." I suggested that he could meet some of the kids who had just entered the play area and he said, "No, mom. I can only make one friend in a day. That is enough."
Finally I got them bundled into the car and we could drive home.
On the bright side, I did find a copy of the Spring/Summer edition of Stitch magazine , and I just might have picked up a lovely bundle of bright, hand-dyed felted wool and a few fat quarters . . . but let's just keep that between friends, shall we?