Apparently Shopping Makes Me Cry

I’m not usually driven to tears when I hit the shops. I must be getting old/sentimental/foolish.

It started out as a normal Saturday morning – there were things to buy, chores to split up, sticky handprints to erase. Except this morning, I had the pleasure of running a few errands ALL BY MYSELF. For a mom, running errands by yourself is akin to finding a $20 bill in an old pocket. Oh yeah, the good life.

My excellent adventure had only a few stops; the gas station, the bank, and Toys R Us. In that order. Since you don’t read my blog to hear about me pumping gas or handling my finances, I’ll skip forward to Toys R Us.

Although this (obviously) needs no disclaimer, shopping at TRU without your whiny, obnoxious kids totally freakin’ rocks. It’s actually a well known fact that even if you’ve raised the most well behaved children on the planet, they will turn into whiny, obnoxious, toy-grabbing-face-smacking mutants the second you cross the store’s threshold. Trust me, it’s science. And it is a truly euphoric feeling to acknowledge the background screams and caterwauling belongs to someone else’s offspring. Ha ha!

And just what was I doing at Toys R Us on a Saturday morning? I’d rather not say. (Okay, twist my arm.) Sigh… I was picking up two plush, talking Iggle Piggles. Yes, THE Iggle Piggle from the seizure-inducing, suicide-pondering, freakishly cultish “In the Night Garden”. My boys LOVE the show. Conveniently on at 8:00pm (just before the boy’s bedtime), we’ve been allowing them to cuddle up on our bed to watch the nightly episodes. Often, by the time the credits roll, they’re both sweetly sound asleep. So for Christmas, I reckoned I’d surprise them both with a soft sleeping buddy.

I should have grabbed the damn dolls and left.

Instead, I decided to plod around, enjoying my child-free excursion (frankly, reveling in it). And as I passed the opening to TRU’s sister store, Babies R Us, I paused for a moment before wandering in. After all, I didn’t actually need anything – with Reid being over 18 months old, my BRU days are likely behind me – but I decided to pop in for old time’s sake. And then it happened.

The SMELL of the store. The familiar COLOURS. The wall of BOTTLES and PACIFIERS. The exquisitely beautiful PREGNANT customers, joy and bewilderment etched plainly on their faces.

It was like a punch to the gut – or perhaps, a punch to the ovaries. It was a trip down memory lane that I was not prepared to take. It was a funeral – saying goodbye to the thrill of expecting, anticipating, organizing, expanding. It was the stark realization that my baby is actually a toddler, and my toddler is now a little boy… and I had no damn business loitering in Babies R Us.

So, I cried.

There was no rationale or reason for it; I know that my family is complete and we have no plans to have more children. I know that I have two beautiful boys whom I adore wholly and unconditionally. I know that I can finally, finally enjoy moments of freedom – the very reason I laugh off suggestions to expand our brood. And yet, there I stood, cowering behind the high chairs, wiping my tear-stained face with the back of my hand.

(On a related note, high chairs today are so ridiculously stylish. Like black leather and contemporary patterns. Seriously? The kid is going to dump pureed crap all over the thing. Just stick to animals and neon bubbles and get over yourselves.)

Hours later, I still can’t pinpoint exactly what drove me over the edge. Perhaps I’ll never know; perhaps every time I venture into Babies R Us I’ll turn into a nostalgic, blubbering fool.

Note to self: apparently shopping makes me cry. bring tissues.

54 Responses to “Apparently Shopping Makes Me Cry”

  1. Ella Pretty Blog
    December 4, 2011 at 12:34 am #

    I *so* understand where you’re coming from (but I tend to only cry when I’m angry LOL!) The pregnancy/new baby stage goes by so quickly – and is so much fun – the anticipation of your child, the arrival and all the learning about each other.
    I remember many zombie-like (from sleep deprivation!) trips to Babies R Us to stock up on swaddling blankets and baby towels (they use their swaddling blankets on their dolls now – and the blankets are SO tiny – how did they ever fit in them?)

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 9:17 am #

      I think that’s what I was missing most – the zombie-like runs for extra wash cloths or a new pacifier :) It was just the feeling of belonging to the new mom’s club, I suppose. Miss it so much.

  2. Jen M
    December 4, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    Yes my name is Iggle Piggle…
    OMG lol my kid is obsessed with this show.
    I was also considering getting him one of these, but wasn’t sure if they existed.
    Makka Pakka he will get (thanks to you), hah…
    I honestly hate this show so much. But whatever makes them happy :)))))

    Just had to comment on the Iggle Piggle as I haven’t seen another blogger mentioning this weird show yet :)

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 9:23 am #

      Oh YES, they do exist! In fact, you an grab the talking plush Iggle Piggle or Upsy Daisy – I bought two Iggles so the boys don’t fight over him. Sigh, I’ve been singing that silly song all morning.

      Yes – my name is Iggle Piggle;
      Iggle Piggle, niggle, wiggle, diggle!
      Yes – my name is Iggle Piggle;
      Iggle Piggle, wiggle, niggle, woo!

  3. Josie.K.
    December 4, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    You’re not crazy, Lena…I SO know what you’re talking about! My ‘baby’ is no longer a baby – he’s now two and a half years old…and though my journey into motherhood ended for different reasons, it ended, none the less…BRU, for me, is a brutal reminder that I have no need for the supplies in that store anymore…that I will never again hold a newborn baby that is mine – and although it breaks my heart, it is my reality.
    It sucks, but I’m so blessed when I look at the two little munchkins that are my everything! :-D

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      You said it, Josie – being thankful for the children that are our reality, and not letting nostalgia and “what if’s” consume us :)

  4. Kathryn
    December 4, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Oh Lena, how I adore thee!! (love the point about the highchairs)

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      And how I adore thee too! xoxo

  5. Erlinda
    December 4, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    My little girl is about 14 1/2 months…sometimes I cry when she says or does something new. The thought of her no longer needing me one day freaks me out. Thankfully we’re planning a second child…But as I write this at 8:05 am PST on a Sunday, my husband gone to work 2 hours ago, I have to think: Am I really going to miss waking up to tiny little feet rubbing against my face everyday? She has her father’s sweaty feet…

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      Ha ha ha, somehow, I think you *may* miss it, sweaty feet and all!

  6. Jennifer
    December 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    ha we have that doll! and I totally get the unexpected tears. we’ve all been there I think.

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

      Happy that I can commiserate with you. And holy bejesus I think I may have to leave the batteries out of both dolls :)

  7. Hanna
    December 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Your post pulled at my heart because I’ve been there too, but my near-breakdown was at a baby shower for a close friend. I like your choice of wording because it is definitely like a funeral, saying goodbye to the reproductive years.

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

      I think it has a lot to do with me “not fitting in” anymore; I like to fit in and it’s quite apparent I don’t belong in BRU. One part nostalgia, one part wishing I was part of the baby-making club again :)

  8. AlexandraSD
    December 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Love, love, love this post!

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

      Thank you!

  9. dannyscotland
    December 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Aw, I can relate. This is my second and last pregnancy. I’ll be 36 a month after she’s born, and I have no plans for any more children. For me, two is plenty. But I understand. It’s bittersweet, being pregnant, and knowing it’s the last time. Last time feeling a baby squirm in my belly, last time buying little bitty baby clothes and toys. My daughter is 3, and growing up much faster than I’d like. I realized one day, in the shower (the only place I am ever alone to think) that having children is a lifelong lesson in letting go. From the moment of conception, we encounter these moments of letting go. From actually giving birth, to each milestone as they grow to be adults and then move on with their own lives. It was so sad to realize that. I wonder if Babies R Us was making you feel that way, too. I guess now we just have to wait for grandbabies, huh?

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

      Your response brought tears to my eyes. (Ok, I am officially a sentimental wreck this weekend.) But yes, I agree, I think the idea of them growing up so fast – and no longer being able to experience the bliss of those pregnancy moments – had me yearning for another. Albeit temporarily. Congratulations on your pregnancy and much love to you for a healthy and safe delivery.

  10. Carlee
    December 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    You are pretty amazing Lena! Nothing but watery eyes here.We’re planning on another, but not until DD is at least 4 years old, which is in 2 years. But I do have the same twinges when I stop by Babies r Us.

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      Seems like I’m not alone! Happy to be in the company of great moms like you :)

  11. Joy
    December 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Too cute! As I was starting to read the post I actually thought you might say you WERE expecting again! Poppet just passed the 1 year mark and must admit I was rather choked up myself (after 13 years to have her don’t know if we’ll get anymore!) Future prevention: just take a wander to the natural birth sites, the new mom deprived of sleep blogs, and the recovering from c-section memories from your own posts and enjoy the ability to pass by BRU! :-)

    BTW, congrats on being nominated again for CDNBA 2011!

    Warmest regards,
    Pardon My Poppet ~ Pip Squeaks from the Mummy-verse!

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

      LOL – nope, although maybe I’m mentally fighting against it? But… NOPE! And, I LOVE your preventative measures – soooo funny!

      And, congrats to you too Joy! Just took a peek and saw you there too :)

  12. JenniferGrace
    December 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    I did the exact same thing years ago but I was in zellers I walked by the baby clothes and your right about what you said I had absolutely no business being there but however I was drawn into it and
    I saw a pair of baby socks, picked them and started sobbing. I was a mess I just became all nostalgic and vulnerable. Needless to say i’m over it now I have grandchildren and now I have a reason to go
    and look at all the cute stuff and no longer bawl in the store lol

    • Lena
      December 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

      Ah, the baby socks! That gets me every time too :) And so wonderful that you now have a reason to wander in the aisles again! Unfortunately, I’ll have two wait at least two decades for the same excuse, LOL!

  13. Graziella
    December 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    I think we’ve all had those days. My daughter will be 12 next week and I still think of her as my little baby and wonder if I shouldn’t have given her a younger brother or sister. But I think it would be for all the wrong reasons, and babies do grow up.

    • Lena
      December 5, 2011 at 8:19 am #

      I hear ya; I really have to keep my head straight to know the difference between the right and wrong reasons for having a little one!

  14. SassyModernMom
    December 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Babies R Us is a complete killer! My babes are 10 and 12 and for the last 7 years I’ve been asking myself….am I done? Until my sister had her baby last month I was still unsure! (yes, I’m done now, I can just borrow her baby) lol I think some of us are just born to have babies and it’s hard to move on past it!

    • Lena
      December 5, 2011 at 8:20 am #

      Seven years? Oh wow okay now I don’t feel so bad :) I wish my brother would have a baby so I could borrow it too :)

  15. Shauna MacKenzie
    December 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    I get very weepy when thinking about not having more children. And when I have the chance to hold a newborn, I have a hard time letting go! My co-worker came for a visit with her 1-month old in the summer. I carried this baby for 2.5 hrs without a break and loved every second of it! And for weeks after, I would find myself talking about the baby, as if she was mine! I know…a tad crazy! I think those of us that were hit hard with the baby bug will never fully let go of the want to have another child. Thx for your honest story, you’re not alone :)

    • Lena
      December 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

      I too get all gaga-eyed when I see a newborn – or for that matter, any baby that still isn’t mobile :) But there’s a huge difference between want and realism; I just don’t think another baby would suit our family right now…

  16. TracyD
    December 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    Not a mom but I can still appreciate the emotion here..I think it’s a beautiful, totally understandable, post :)

    • Lena
      December 8, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

      Thank you Tracy :)

  17. ~she~
    December 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Ha ha….you’re probably pregnant…hence the emotion! :)
    I would have 10 babies if I could. Good thing I’m fixed!!

    • Lena
      December 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

      Nope! Absolutely sure of that, thanks to my little friend called Alesse :)

  18. Janice
    December 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Charlene — I totally get it. Johnny’s 5 months old now and I’m already feeling sad because he’s growing up so quickly. He’s also sooo big for his age, I have him in the 6-9 month clothes already, so I’ve had to put away the teeny tiny clothes. John wants a third baby, and even though I’ve always said I’d be done at two (and besides, I’m getting up there), a small part of me still craves another baby. He’s just such a sweet, cuddly, darling little baby. And I just loooooove them when they’re sweet and helpless and giggly and they give you gooey smiles that light up their whole faces. (Three-year-olds like sister Charlotte can be a heck of a trial, though!)

    • Lena
      December 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

      “A small part of me still craves another baby…” And I think that’s why I found myself breaking down – trying to keep up a willpower of sorts, although instead of swearing off chocolate, I’m swearing off babies! But I’m so glad you can empathize with me. Although, we should both remember that all cooing, cuddly babies turn into three year olds at some point!

  19. jade
    December 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    I have a 20 month old and a 6 month old. And no plans for more. I already feel the loss of not being pregnant. And as I am sure that the 2nd always grows faster than the first, the time really does fly by. And so it seems that I will reach that point even quicker than I did with the first, I do look forward to all the good things in the future, but I most certainly am not looking forward to the toys r us shopping trip WITH the kids. lol.

    • Lena
      January 27, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      LOL – I still don’t love shopping with the kids, but do know what you’re saying!

  20. Trisha Turner
    January 10, 2013 at 7:10 am #

    We’ve all been there. My two kiddos are now 3 & 4 and we’re not sure about more. I also find if I’m shopping for cards I almost always have to choke back tears. Stupid Hallmark :D

    • Lena
      January 27, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      Hahaha yes, Hallmark does it all the time!

  21. Gail Bradford
    January 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    ahhh I can totally relate to this! We are ”done” with our baby making days. I say we’re done…my husband says we’re done. I’ve accepted it yet every time I go by a baby section I can’t help but look and reminince. I love those little baby socks and tiny outfits :)

    • Lena
      January 27, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Uh huh – they just bring back so many delicious memories!

  22. Andrea
    January 14, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    My daughter will be 18 in March, I can so relate! I still feel like I am 18 somewhere inside, so how can SHE be 18??? boooooo

    • Lena
      January 27, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      Ha! I am sure I will there one day, thinking the same thing!

  23. Jenne
    January 19, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    I cry when i hear children singing…its crazy?!!

    • Lena
      January 27, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      That’s not crazy, that’s totally sweet!

  24. Amy Heffernan
    March 31, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    We have all been there and done that girl. :D

  25. Debbie Bashford
    May 21, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    I just remind myself of the sleepless nights and stinky diapers and get that nostalgic crap outta my head!

  26. Chandra Christine O'Connor
    June 21, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I hear you, when I hit 40 I longed for a baby wanted one so much, but then I would hear one cry and it magically went away. lol. I get to spoil my nieces now without changing poopy diapers or staying up late cause of sickness. and I carry the title of favorite auntie. but Toys R Us oh I loved going down the barbie aisle wishing i had all that they have displayed.

  27. Chandra Christine O'Connor
    August 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    there are days I feel like that seeing my girls growing up but then I hear a baby cry, a toddler having a little melt down and a poopy diaper and Im like no thanks.

  28. amy lovell
    October 23, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    LOL not a big deal, Im sure everybody does it at one point or another

  29. Darlene Schuller
    December 20, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    “That” moment hit me too. My youngest was around 2. Those years between “becoming a parent” and becoming a “grandparent” seem to take ages, but, before you know it the boys will be brining you grandbabies to mind <3 .. I know I know… shush Darlene lol <3

  30. Flora M
    December 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    For me it’s the realization that time passes much too quickly – my baby now has “babies” of her own, and the oldest of her “babies” is now nearly 13 years old !! I still find myself saying “awwwww” when I see tiny baby booties. Hopefully I will be around to once again wander through the BRU aisles for my great-grandchild’s arrival :)

  31. angie smith
    February 11, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    i have these moments too when i just can’t believe my boys aren’t babies anymore. or when i see someone announce she’s having a GIRL and i bawl like a crazy fool lol …
    happens to the best of us!

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