Sunday, August 13, 2006

A trip to Sam's...

So, this will be lacking in direction and probably a snoozefest -- there's your chance to avoid a waste of a few minutes.

I took Mitchell to Sam's Club yesterday while Chris stayed home with Georgia. Armed with a juice box, two snacks and a lollipop, I was fearless in my attempt to go to the craziest store with a 3 year old at tantrum o'clock. (This is what I call his old naptime -- he usually doesn't nap anymroe but he can still throw a doozy of a tantrum and this is usually when it happens.) I think I got so excited at the chance to take just one child as opposed to two that I jumped in with both feet and didn't stop to think about how it *could* go. If you've ever attempted Sam's on a Sunday with children of any age -- you know it has the potential to play out like a horror film, a sitcom, or a drama. Very rarely is it a documentary.

I was listening to a cd on the way there and Mitchell had his new plane that Chris bought him at the train show on Saturday (I know -- go for trains, come home with a plane -- it's a guy thing, apparently) and all was well on the drive over. I should have been suspicious when my choice of cd -- not silly time cd-- was not met with complaints, but I just let John Mayer sing to me and didn't think twice about it. That is, until I opened the back door to get Mitchell out and saw that he was ASLEEP!!!

Oh, crap.

This is like the ultimate blow to my Sam's Club shopping hopes. I gently woke him up and told him we were at the store. He perked right up (unheard of!) and got into the cart without a problem -- so far, so good. (Amazingly.) I start to question my parking spot -- next to the cart catcher spot...will a closer spot lead to a ding or dent that I'll have to explain to my husband? "But was like I was SUPPOSED to park there -- right in front and waiting for me!" I can hear him now "Yeah, because everyone else knows better than to park right next to the cart catcher!! Why do you think it was available??" I picture my half-hearted "Oops" as my only reply as Mitchell and I steer ourselves into the store, flash my card, and BAM. Instant panic set in as I looked up.

Oh, crap.

There were more people in that store than I think live in my entire zip code -- and we're getting crowded over here. I've NEVER seen it that busy. Ever. Not good with a tired three year old who's mantra is now "I can walk, Mommy." Yeah, right. You haven't walked since you learned how to run. So, I do the "good mom" thing (ha) and whip out some raisins. "RAISINS!!! Hooray!!" Score. Bought myself a few minutes with those.

*sigh of relief*

It's sample day! Not excited for me -- well, unless there's ice cream or cheesecake today -- but that builds in the element of surprise for Mitchell in ol' snackville. (I'm convinced that's why he likes going there.) We made our way around the store -- avoided carts like a pro, Mitchell scored a few samples (my hopes were dashed -- roast beef was the highlight), and then BAM! The panic came back in a giant wave. We had to wait in line TO WAIT IN LINE.

Oh, crap.

Seriously -- the chutes (I feel like I'm part of a cattle herd, so I refer to them not as lines, but as chutes) were backed up so far that we were like 4 people back just to turn the freakin' corner to get in line. Isn't that crazy??? At this point I start questioning the sanity of my shopping choice for both day and time.

I know I'm not alone in saying that no matter which chute I choose, it will inevitably end up being the slowest. It's like my presence shifts the planets and titlts everything away from me or something. I just picked a line and stood there -- confident, almost arrogant about my chute choice. Inside of two minutes and...

Yeah, baby!! We moved. Forward. Towards the register. Amazing.

Now, I know better than to get more excited than that at this point. The man in front of me only had two items, which is always scary -- those are the ones that usually end up screwing the whole thing up. He was extra scary, he had a computer of some sort. (And a bag of potatoes??)
That has some SERIOUS screw me up potential because of the price, help delivering some sort of desk to accompany his computer, etc. The possibilities are endless. As I'm pondering whether 2 Item Guy will be the downfall of my otherwise enjoyable trip to Sam's with my very well behaved little guy, an angel appears and my hope is renewed!

The lady with the little scan gun came to MY chute and began scanning the items of everyone's carts. I was 4th in line so I thought for sure she'd do 2 Item Guy's potatoes and then go do the first 3 people in the next chute. Nope. She actually came to me -- overflowing cart and all, scanning my items and offering a huge bonus -- entertainment for Mitchell. (By this time, his popcorn was eaten, the juice box was empty, and the novelty of the giant ceiling fans had worn off.) She even had to scoot our cart up twice while scanning us in. Nice! After she finished, another bonus revealed itself to Mitchell -- the little coin roller coaster for charity. You know where you put in a coin and it does the figure skating death spin (without a partner) before dropping into the was RIGHT next to us. As a reward for his wonderful behavior in the store, I did the unthinkable -- an entire dollar worth of quarters went in. (You may be unaware that I hoard quarters in my change purse. I don't know why, but I do. Then, when I feel like it's too bulky, I put them in the kids' piggy banks.)

Oh, crap.

2 Item Guy was at the register, and sure enough -- he and the register lady were having some sort of discussion about his computer. (I'm assuming it wasn't the potatoes.) Could it be??? The manager came over about 30 seconds later, found a button on the register and he immediately zipped his credit card through!!


We got up to the register as the last quarter was falling through the hole, and sure enough, all of the items were already in the computer. I didn't have to unload and reload my cart!! (I had halfway convinced myself that everything would have disappeared or something so I wouldn't be too disappointed when that was the case.) I paid and was out of there in about 2 minutes!


I have to say -- this is honestly my first trip to Sam's Club (not alone or just with Chris) that was truly enjoyable and more along the "documentary" lines. I know it doesn't sound like an exciting event to many of you, but to me - - this was huge.

Now I'm worried about next time.

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