We had two people left to buy gifts for--you probably know who you are since there are no gifts under the tree for you yet. Andrew came home shortly before two o'clock and we figured we had time to do some Christmas shopping.
Of course we did. It was only two o'clock. But we have a baby. So by the time we fed her and got everything all ready to go it was nearly three o'clock. Perhaps even later.
It was so nice and sunny out when we left that we dressed minimally. Rachel was in a jacket and had two blankets. I wore a coat and shoes and put a diaper in my pocket. Andrew wore a light jacket and flip flops, of course. (He wears those whenever he doesn't have to work and would have worn them to take his last final of the year but it was gently snowing when he left so he wore shoes).
We went to Target first, where we were planning to pick up both of our gifts. Unfortunately we couldn't find one of our gifts there. Nor could we find cloth diapers. I've been wanting to try those out because, with our potty, I usually catch her just as she first starts going so there's only a little squirt in her diaper. I feel bad putting a soiled diaper back on her but I also feel bad tossing a diaper that hasn't gotten it's "full use," if you know what I mean.
We left Target and headed to the dread superstore Wal-mart. That was a maze. We're never going shopping this close to Christmas ever again. Of course, that's what we said last year, but you always forget something, right?
First we got a warm-mist humidifier, then we found some cloth diapers. But there were no diaper pins to be found. I talked to one sales associate and he asked us if we couldn't find them in the baby section. I said I couldn't so he directed us to "HB8." I stared at him. He stared at me. I put on my "come again" face. He looked at me like I was stupid and repeated himself,
"Huh?" I responded.
He sighed at me.
"Health and Beauty, aisle 8." he said curtly.
Apparently I don't know the lingo.
We headed over to HB but the aisles weren't numbered so we had to walk up and down every one trying to guess whether it was eight or not. No pins.
I found another sales associate and told him our story.
"I just suppose we're just out of stock," he said and went back to socking shelves. Maybe he was just seasonal help.
I found yet another sales associate and told her our story again with a pleading tone in my voice that somehow caught her interest. After she ludicrously suggested that perhaps they don't sell them anymore since they are a hazard to babies, I asked her why they would sell cloth diapers and not pins when the package says that you need pins to use the diapers. She couldn't think of a good answer and agreed to help us. I'm glad she deemed our cause a worthy one, although it did take a bit of convincing on my part.
She led us back to the baby aisle where we combed each rack looking for the pins. They were no where to be found, but I did help some lady who was looking for sheet covers. Apparently they don't have those at Wal-mart. They have them at Target though. I sent her there.
While I was busy helping the sheet cover lady (who was very nice and just moved here from out of state and can't find her sheet covers anywhere) and the sales associate was trying to find the pins over by the sippy cups, Andrew appeared out of no where with Rachel happily sucking on a package of pins--now we were committed to buying them. At least we found them. They were apparently the last package in the whole store. He found them wedged between the shelf and the wall underneath the piles of cloth diapers.
With that, we found our last gift and then headed to checkout, which was a nightmare.
When we finally got through the line the sales clerk said, "Good luck out there, drive safe and stay warm."
We smiled at her and chuckled to ourselves. After all, it was bright and sunshiny--due to snow, sure--but it was sunny just an hour ago. We walked toward the exit and there was a long line of people with all their purchased items just standing there.
"What, is there a line to get out now?" asked Andrew.
Nope. People were just trying to figure out the best way to face the blizzard outside.
I unzipped my coat and held Rachel close to me, wrapping her tightly in her fleece and burp cloth. We blindly struck out to find our car. The snow was blinding--obviously so, since we had just struck out blindly. We could have perished. But we did find our way to our car. I walked backwards most of the way to shield Rachel. Andrew plowed on ahead with his flip-flops (yes, Andrew...this is why we wear closed-toe shoes in the winter).
Driving home was a joke. We had to go up that big hill behind UVSC...what's it called? University Parkway (Andrew says 1300 South). We started out inching our way up behind hundreds of cards. More and more cars started spinning out and would pull off to the side of the road to wait out the storm. By the time we got up to the top of the hill there were only about 5 of us left.
Even buses were spinning out and giving up. We passed muscle cars, jeeps, suburbans, minivans, trucks, and, yes, a bus--all that in our little '93 Ford Taurus.
We were all starving so it's a good thing we didn't have to sit and wait out the storm, although we did buy some French bread and two different pestos for dinner. We could have had those if we were desperate. I prayed the whole way up the hill, inch by inch, that we would make it home without spinning out or sliding back down the hill or rolling into a ditch. And then I sat they lying to Rachel, "We're almost home, baby girl." and sang her a bunch of ridiculous made-up songs about the letter Q because that's the only letter we had with us.
I'm not sure that praying works when you sit there and lie to your baby for a half hour, but apparently this time it did because we out drove SUVs and other "tough" cars and made it home safe and warm. Andrew even scraped the passenger window behind him while we were at a standstill--from inside the car. That amused plenty of drivers who were otherwise upset with the traffic and weather. Andrew handled the drive remarkably well.
As for me, well, you'd be surprised how much you can sing about Q when you really have to.
"My name is Q and I have polka dots.
I like to be in your mouth where it's wet and soft!"