We spend most Saturdays within the lovely walls of Walmart doing our grocery shopping as a family.
However, this past Saturday we had two dentist appointments: Braeden’s first cleaning and a cleaning for Donovan. By the time those were done and we had finished up one other stop, nobody felt like going to Walmart. Not that we actually ever do. Feel like it, I mean.
Walmart is like a four-letter words in this house. Mainly because it’s a two-cart adventure with all of the kids and they almost never practice any sort of self-control when it comes to yelling, running, climbing, etc. It’s a damn shame their prices are so low that we spend as much time there as we do each week.
Anyways, we decided to postpone it until Sunday.
After dodging the hordes of people in every aisle, and managing to actually remember everything that was on our list, we headed toward the front of the store to check out in one of the three available open lanes.
Preston was asleep in his car seat and Donovan and Braeden had been relatively good throughout the store, so they each picked out a sucker and waited on the other side of the checkout lane with Jeff and Preston until the groceries were paid for and reloaded into the second cart.
As I swiped the debit card I heard the unmistakable sound of a lot of rain on the Walmart roof.
Of course, the car windows were down. Had we known what was awaiting us, the windows would have been the last thing to worry about.
When we got to the doors, it didn’t look nearly as bad as it had sounded on the roof. At first. Sure, it was raining pretty hard, but a little summer downpour never hurt anyone, right? Once we stepped out, it was a completely different story.
It was pouring. Big raindrops. And they fucking hurt. There were times when I had to double-check to make sure it wasn’t actually hail.
Jeff, the no-longer-sleeping-and-extremely-pissed baby and Donovan bolted ahead to get to the car. I had a shopping cart filled with bulk items like diapers and wipes, plus a few bags, that I was trying to push with one hand while shielding my eyes (and contact lenses) from the onslaught of rain-bullets with the other.
I was also still trying to keep track of Braeden, who, upon turning my head to look at him, was already drenched and completely disoriented (don’t worry… he held onto that sucker with everything he was worth).
At that point, I started laughing. His clothes looked like he had just climbed out of the bathtub, his hair was matted and dripping in his face and he looked absolutely lost. I probably shouldn’t have found this nearly as funny as I did, but I couldn’t help it. He was weaving between parked cars, unsure of which direction to turn after each one and the confusion on his face was just priceless.
So there I am, soaking wet, one eye closed because I had taken a moisture bomb dead center and I didn’t want to lose my contact lens in the middle of the parking lot, half-assed pushing my cart with one hand and alternating between making sure Braeden kept walking with me and shielding my face with the other, laughing like a madwoman at my drowned rat of a toddler staggering next to the cart.
Jeff… was not so amused. By the time we made it to the car, Donovan and Preston were inside and Jeff was frantically throwing grocery bags full of soggy groceries into the trunk. I threw my purse in the front seat while Jeff helped Braeden into the car and then went back to help cram in the remaining bags and boxes. This was done in the midst of random swearing, but I was still quite a bit more amused by it than Jeff.
Climbing into the car when we were finished, with our clothes clinging to us like we had just gone for a long swim in them, I glanced back at the kids. Donovan was grinning, sucker hanging out of his mouth. Braeden looked a little less lost and a lot more homeless with his sucker gripped tightly in one hand and his head pressed against the back of his booster seat. Preston was no longer outwardly pissed, but just sitting there silently in his seat, probably completely baffled at being rained out of a deep and much-needed sleep. I giggled again.
The rain, as luck would have it, let up as we got about a block away from home. However, the red light we got stopped at let us know in no uncertain terms that the rain was moving in the same direction we were driving and, by the time we hit our street, it was pouring. Again.
Kids were hustled into the garage and stripped to their underwear before heading into the house where they wrapped up in blankets in the living room while we got the groceries put away.
I think I could have done without the part that consisted of unloading soggy groceries from plastic bags filled with puddles of rain water.
However, getting caught in the rain with the kids?
I think it’s something everyone needs to do now and then.