1. Decide that getting tires at Costco for your own thread-bare set is a great idea.
2. Decide to go to Costco with half of Oakland, San Leandro and Hayward in attendance, on a Friday morning.
3. Decide that it’s a Super Great Idea, exclamation point, to take your two and a half year old and your seven month old with you.
4. See the queue in the tire shop five people deep, and think to yourself, Well, this is really no big deal. I’ve got this.
5. Realize, ten minutes into waiting, that you will be attempting to entertain your children without any food, any coloring books and crayons, any balls, any toys, any anything.
6. Do nothing about #5.
7. Begin to play hide-n-go seek in the tires. It’s secure! It’s safe! Your toddler cannot escape!
8. Begin to play “Race” in the tires. Try and wear out said toddler in hopes of an afternoon nap.
9. Make your toddler sit on the floor. Ahem. Try and make your toddler sit on the floor.
10. Fail miserably.
11. Pull out your journal, and the one pen in the bottom of your purse and instruct him to draw. Anything.
12. Chase after your toddler as he attempts to escape.
13. Catch toddler by shirt.
14. Comfort wailing escapee.
15. Calm now-crying baby at chest, whom you’ve nearly forgotten about.
16. Apologize to said baby, for Mama really does love you.
17. Chase after escapee again.
18. Consider why you haven’t purchased a leash for the prisoner.
19. Hem and haw along with the other patrons in line.
20. Secretly hope someone will let you cut in line. [See #s 1-19]
21. Put jaw back in place after old man standing behind you calls you ma’am and asks if he can cut in front of you. “Because I only need to return and exchange and get one new tire, ma’am!”
22. Muse over his question. Wonder if you’re a bad person for saying No.
23. Say No, as you point to Exhibit A (Toddler) and Exhibit B (Baby).
24. Avoid eye contact with the old man for the next 25 minutes while you continue to wait in line.
25. Hope that he doesn’t hate you.
26. Shush yourself as you chase after Exhibit A, again, and vow to stop being a people-pleaser.
27. Run to tackle Exhibit A off the ladder he’s climbing.
28. Run to tackel Exhibit A off the cart he’s pretending to be a cowboy on.
29. Breathe a Thank you, Jesus sigh of relief that you’re finally at the front of the cash register.
30. Let Exhibit A color with the tire department’s assortment of highlighters, Sharpies and Magic Markers.
31. Wonder why you didn’t visit the cash register earlier.
32. Be told by Very Nice Tire Man that it’s going to be a three-hour wait.
33. Realize that staying another three hours is nothing shy of Stupid.
34. Leave the tire center without ever having purchased a set of new tires.
35. Wonder if you’re having an out-of-body experience as you find yourself dragging two humans over to Big Costco.
36. Watch numbly as your toddler starts shouting “GAPES! GAPES! GAPES!” at the top of his lungs after you deny him access to four pounds of grapes.
37. Decide to pick and choose your battles: toddler can hold said grapes.
38. Detour to the alcohol aisle.
39. Consider the phrase, “It’s five o’clock somewhere.”
40. Treat yourself a nice bottle of Chardonnay and promise to keep to Pacific Standard Time’s five o’clock.
41. Eat sample #1: raviolis!
42. Avoid purchasing any discount books and give yourself a pat on the back. You WILL support the independent bookstores. You WILL read the 89 unread books waiting patiently on your shelves.
43. Listen as toddler proceeds to scream “PYJAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAS” when you won’t let him put on his new pajamas in the middle of Costco.
44. Eat sample #2: salad!
45. Become Those People as you race through the Costco maze, toddler wailing for pajamas, tears streaming down his face.
46. Let strangers give you the stink eye as they wonder what bad thing you, Ms. Denier-of-All-Things-Happy-to-Precious-Little-Children, must have done.
47. Thank the Good Lord for sample #3: coffee!
48. Make your way to the check out line, hoping your calculations for the shortest wait time pan out.
49. Feel eyes widen as Toddler yells “POTTY!!!!”
50. Leave your perfectly-picked line, racing in the direction you hope the restrooms reside in.
51. Realize your hunch is nearly accurate, but for the chain link fence blocking your path.
52. Remember how you once attempted to hop a chain link fence in the 9th grade and got your stretch pants and long sweater and penny loafers caught at the top. Remember how your Esprit bag flapped violently, mockingly in the wind. Recall how you were late to Grease practice and arrived with bloody hands. Vow to stick to the promise you made as a 15-year-old to never try and climb a fence again.
53. Scurry with Baby in Ergo and Toddler in arms around the chain link fence.
54. Neglect to realize that your older son is actually in the process of peeing on you while you waddle.
55. Get to the stall, and plop Exhibit A on the toilet, facing you.
56. Touch the side of your hip and wonder why your shirt is wet. Unlock the answer to #54.
57. Scream in horror as Exhibit A, who’s used to facing backwards on the toilet, lets a stream shoot straight onto your leg.
58. Wonder if the other restroom patrons are enjoying the ruckus coming out of your stall.
59. Give your son Grace-Grace-Grace because accidents happen.
60. Wonder if other people are going to give you Grace-Grace-Grace for your urine-soaked smelly self.
61. Make his day by allowing him to put on the previously-denied new pajama bottoms.
62. Do a little dance and fist pump the air because this Costco Nightmare is almost over.
63. Imagine Cuteness Overland when you picture your two sons, bonding in the front seat of a Costco shopping cart.
64. Imagine the Instagram possibilities.
65. Strap your baby into the cart, and miss grabbing your toddler who is now running full-speed in the opposite direction.
66. Stand there in horror as he ignores your plea to STOP!
67. Start going through your options – cart or no cart – as he ignores your shouts to WAIT!
68. Watch as he keeps running.
69. Leave your baby, your food, your purse, your everything in the cart to chase after the miniature human.
70. Think you are faster than him.
71. Realize that you aren’t, and vow to go to the gym.
72. Watch in disbelief as he rounds the corner.
73. Mutter, “I really don’t get paid enough to do this,” as you pick up your pajama-clad toddler.
74. Arrive back at your cart and notice a little old lady starting to push your cart forward.
75. Hope little old lady isn’t trying to steal your baby.
76. Say, “Um, thank you?” and steal back your baby. And your cart.
77. Strap a wailing and screaming toddler into the cart next to Baby Brother.
78. Remind Big Brother that “We’re gentle,” as he attempts to claim the entire seat area for himself.
79. Be reminded that your “we’re” is not always a part of his vocabulary.
80. Secure a place in line, again.
81. Neglect to take the Instagram picture.
82. Lament over your bill, for everything you never knew you needed…
When all you came here for was a new set of tires.
So, how was your day? Tell me a story. Make me laugh. In this with you. Xoxo, c.