Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Apparently the people who work at Wal-Mart are the parenting police. I did not know they were so entitled, considering many of the ones I've had to deal with out here in Podunk-ville couldn't outsmart my preschooler.

On a quick trip to Wally-world today to buy a new weird-sized lightbulb for our dining room and the much needed Valentine's Cards (that's a story unto itself) I reminded my girls that they needed to stay close.

Cue banjo music so I can introduce some of the weirdos I've seen at Wal-Mart in the past thus making this command so important:
  • The "mountain people" who dress in clothing that reminds me of Amish meets Fundamentalist LDS. Their families are a little too close for my comfort. And all they seem to eat is bread, ramen, and peanut butter.
  • The "I'm a college student in Moscow, ID but I think I'm cool" kids. They walk around in their thug-like clothes, drive their "tricked out" Hondas that get stuck in the snow, and converse in text messaging lingo. I.am.not.kidding. A conversation may go something like "TTYL" "OK" "WTFDBN" "RO" I have no idea what that means, but I dive to cover my children's ears when they are in the presence of these people.
  • The "I'm to good for Wal-Mart but I shop here anyway" folks. Because really. You live in Moscow, ID. Goodwill isn't too good for you. Think about it.
  • Last but not least the "I just left my group home to do a little shopping" individuals. I do not have any problems with the mentally challenged, but there are some who need an aide at all times and should not wander around Wal-Mart unattended.

I get that it seems I'm jumping down from a pretty high horse to tell you this story considering I am the person parents shelter their children from. It's the tattoos. But we all know I'm really nice. Right? RIGHT?

Anyway, our Annie has a problem with wandering off. I feel tempted to leash her, but she'd simply enjoy it and pretend to be a puppy or kitty the whole trip. Not kidding. I got a shopping cart and spent 2 minutes to convince Ashley that she really was big enough to walk instead of riding in the cart while her sister walked a few feet away to look at a movie display.

"Head 'em up and move 'em" I cattle-called to my kids (specifically Annie). I followed this with, "Annie, that means you. Let's go!" in case there was any confusion.

No answer. I know she heard me. I could have pulled her stocking cap off her head from where I was standing. I turned the cart in the general direction of the lightbulbs (note: the Wal-Mart here is so small that any direction is in the general direction of lightbulbs).

"Come on Annie," I called again.

Cue the tweet, tweet noises that imply no response.

"Annie," I called in my slightly sterner voice as I was now some 20 feet from her (which practically means the other side of the store here). "If you don't come now you'll get left behind."

Okay. Now every parent in the world has used the 'I'll leave you at the store' or 'I'll leave you home' or 'I'll leave you in the car' threat at least once. We don't actually mean it because the law would be after us. Oh, and because it would be horrible to our children. But, we've all done it in hopes that it will finally get the lead out of our child(ren)'s butts so they can come with us.

A cashier standing around waiting for a customer to finally come down her lane glared at me! She full-out glared at me with this evil scowl that said, "You tattooed abusive jerk of a father. You better not, or I'll call the cops." Because really, I must be an awful parent.

Annie ran after me while I gave the woman a "Bring it on" kind of look back.

"I was juuust looking at the movie. Why'd you have to start walking," Annie whined.

Because if I didn't, the evil (insert foul name for a woman here) cashier wouldn't have anything to tell her husband or goldfish or mountain kin-folk about when she got home.

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