Sunday, November 26, 2006

Shopping Lessons From a Nine Year-Old

The day after Thanksgiving, most folks are sitting around digesting their turkey, afraid to move more than necessary and thus upset the entire process. Not me. I took my kids shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year, with no husband and no stroller.

Before you accuse me of losing my marbles, let me preface this little story with my rationale.

My boys we in desperate need of new shoes, and the outlet mall was having an "you are crazy if you miss out on this" sale on their already low prices. This is no regular outlet mall either, with stores like Cole Haan, Coach, Quicksilver, Ralph Lauren, Eddie Bauer and Restoration Hardware, it is hard to justify shopping anywhere else; especially since it is a mere 10 miles +/- from our house. It is also fairly kid-friendly, with all of the access to stores being outside. They have a courtyard with a large fountain which delights even in cold weather and several ride-on toy areas to bribe the kids with so they can make it through that last shoe store with Mom.

The kids and I had absolutely no time constraints on Friday, no "be here at such and such time" or school the next day to worry about. We were on our own time, we needed shoes (and a coat after witnessing the short sleeves on McRae's winter parka from last year) and we knew that the store where we like to buy a lot of Katie's clothes was 50% off! The entire store. Who could pass that up?

So, I loaded my brood in the car and drove, along with the hoards of other shoppers from far and wide, to the outlet mall. We patiently waited for a great parking space and chuckled as we watched the frustrated drivers circling again and again to snatch another available spot.

Our first stop was the Nike store, where amongst the throes of discarded shoes (likely carnage from the frenzy of shoppers that hit the store when it opened at 12am the night before - yes, they opened up on Thanksgiving Eve, a growing trend to boost black Friday retail sales), we found a cool pair of Nike Shox for $29.99 (a steal!) and a pair of classic black and white tennis sneakers Wyatt couldn't live without. McRae scored a cozy winter coat too and we squealed with glee (okay, only I actually squealed) as we approached a check-out stand with only 1 lady being helped.

The other lines had at least 10 patrons in each of them, so I figured I'd hit the jackpot. Glancing around to make sure I wasn't cutting anyone off, we took our place behind the customer being helped, or so we thought. Leave it to me to pick the only line in the store with drama at the register. Needless to say, just about everyone in the store made it out before we did. But once we were out, the boys sprinted to the nearest bench they could find, tore off their old shoes and replaced them with their new ones (which we all know would assist their walking abilities beyond human normalness). They were ready to shop.

After pretty much inhaling anything size 3T in the Carter's store, including the cutest pairs of clogs and mary janes, it was time to browse. We weaved in and out of the discount shoe stores, kitchen stores and clothing stores, amazed at the lines of people waiting to purchase their "finds". It was in such a store, when McRae spied a rack bursting with pink and purple bib overall snow pants for little girls.

"Mom, we need to buy Katie some snow pants!"

"Oh honey, it isn't going to snow for at least a month, we don't need to buy those today."

"Yes, Mom, she needs some snow pants. What if we go sledding?"

"That won't happen until Christmas vacation, don't worry about it."

Famous last words.

Thank goodness, Grammie didn't mind giving Katie one of her Christmas presents (the bib overall snow pants) a little early this year! The kids played in the snow for 3 hours, sledding down our hill, making snow angels, having snowball fights and, of course, sticking their tongues out to catch as many snowflakes as possible.

They brought their rosy little cheeks in for a cup of hot chocolate before climbing into bed, their heads filled with thoughts of a possible "snow day" tomorrow. The boys found it next to impossible not to peek out the window every 5 minutes to check that yes, it was still snowing.

The lights keep dimming likely due to the weight of the snow on the power lines. The forecast says it will snow all night. And so, I will wander up to climb into my own bed, wait let me check, yes it is still snowing!


Anonymous said...

Carrie: Aunt Joan told me, in an email, about the snow and that you shopped. But, you REALLY shopped, and beat the snow home, to boot (snow boot?). As usual, great story. Problem: A. Joan didn't mention the hugs you were supposed to give her. Maybe you don't see all of the comments??? Anyhow, you remain wonderful in my book. UJ

Mamacita Tina said...

Wow, shopping with 3 kids, wow, I'm stunned. You have great kids to put up with the shopping craziness on that day. Enjoy the snow!

Jenny said...

Oh my gosh, those pictures! Those red apple cheeks!


PS. You are insane for going shopping with 3 kids and no stroller.

mom said...

an update... Katie called us to thank us for the early gift. What a kid. It is 12 hours later... and still snowing. I'm rethinking that decision not to get her some trusty LLBean snowshoes....

Luckily, Nurse Betty got out before the worst of this morning's snow.. and "anonymous" in Africa can, I hope, sigh in relief. For you other bloggers... I hope you don't mind that this one is functioning as a bit of a family bulletin board. Some of us are far away, and best able to communicate thru these cryptic messages.... nuff said!

Kristin said...

You are a looney-toon.

But your kids are damn cute!

mk said...

You sound like you have wondeful kids and you had a wonderful day. Your pictures always have such wonderful colors. I love the pic ofthem in the snow and it would be so much fun if you could incorperate both that pic and the santa one you took onto one card. Love it!

Mrs. Chicky said...

I still think you're looney for going shopping with three kids the day after Thanksgiving. But I love those pictures!

Anonymous said...

Totally impressed with your guts, and I want to live by your outlet mall. Wah.

mk said...

I love that your family all comes over and reads and posts too.

PS... Tag your it! Come on over and see why.

jen said...

you are officially the bravest woman i know. hands down.

LOVE the snow.