“Are we done yet?” four-year-old Andy whined, his little feet shuffling on the floor. “We just need a few more things,” I replied, pushing my shopping cart down the aisle. My son walked with his head down and limbs dangling, like a condemned prisoner off to the gallows. He’d made it through the recycling depot and the car wash, but the grocery store was gonna finish him off. His energetic mind couldn’t handle the tedium of running errands; either that, or my company was boring him to death. Considering how subtle kids are, I’m sure he would’ve told me that already.
Look, running errands isn’t my favorite thing to do, either. I’d much rather be at home, eating ice cream with my bare hands and watching TV. But NOT running errands has consequences. That chicken I didn’t buy at the grocery store means we don’t have dinner tonight. That glue stick I didn’t grab from the craft store means my daughter can’t finish her science project. And that dry-cleaning I didn’t pick up means I’m wearing pajamas to the next wedding – all of which are unmitigated disasters! (Unless the bride and groom are also pajama lovers, then I’d fit right in).
I’d like to think I’m more exciting than my mother, who would drag me to her favorite store on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, said shop was the YARN STORE – a place so fantastically boring the cashier was usually asleep when we walked in. Shelf after shelf of dull, earth-colored wool swam in front of my eyes as my mom cooed over the latest skeins. Even the air was boring; stale and musty, with a hint of mothballs. One day, after what felt like hours, I started whining. My exasperated mother finally hissed: “do you want to stay in the car?” and was surprised when I retorted “YES! I’d rather wait in the FREEZING COLD CAR than stay in the *^&!@#$) YARN STORE!” I was grounded for a week, but I think I made my point.
So, until someone invents self-driving robot butlers, I have to keep running errands. And, until my son’s old enough to stay home alone and not burn the house down, he’ll have to come with me. Maybe, one day, he’ll look back on our mundane chores and smile, thankful that he spent with his crotchety old mom. He’ll remember when we stopped and had ice cream, or when we played at his favorite playground. There’s one memory he’ll never have, though; I will never, EVER, drag him to the yarn store!