I desperately needed to get out of the house. A little peace and quiet was all I really wanted.
I told my husband I was going to Big Lots. He just happened to need something from a nearby store. I hated making another stop, but I figured it was only fair since I was spending his money. And leaving the kids with him. And what he needed was a part from the hardware store to fix a faucet. Even I'm not selfish enough to say no under those circumstances.
When I went to say goodbye (after all, I wasn't sure I was even coming back), the 13-year-old was in his home office badgering him about taking her school shopping. The kids don't even bother asking me anymore. I would rather walk across fire with a knife in my back than take the kids to a store with me, and they know it.
Still feeling a little guilty that I was leaving him alone with the kids and a plumbing problem, I thought maybe I would take her off his hands and possibly even stop at Staples to buy the binder she had to have right now.
I knew before I walked into the first store that I had made a colossal mistake, considering the weak grip I had on the remaining scraps of my sanity. She was bouncing around like a kid in a candy store. It was Tractor Supply, for crying out loud. This was going to be a rough night.
Big Lots wasn't any better. I bought the couple of things I needed and decided there couldn't be anything in the store exciting enough to risk having a breakdown then and there. There are enough stores I'm too ashamed to step foot in again. I really like Big Lots.
Staples was where it all fell apart. While she was trying to choose the binder she wanted (inevitably the most expensive one), I went to find a few things I wanted that were on sale. She kept tracking me down. "Nana, you keep getting away from me!" Yes, dear, I keep trying. As I tried to steer her back to the binders, she kept finding things she wanted. Things we probably already have at home. Things we don't need. But she kept at it. Finally, tired of being the only grandma in the store yelling at her grandchild, I relented and agreed to one of the items she so desperately needed. Rookie mistake. And I'm no rookie. The game was on.
"Nana! Please get me this pack of erasers! The colors are so pretty! I promise I'll share with my sister!" (She won't.)
"Oh, Nana, look! I really need this!" (She didn't.)
"Can I get this, please? It will really come in handy!" (It wouldn't.)
I came home physically and emotionally exhausted... and financially broke. And swearing I'll never take the kids shopping again.