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.