Me: Ok. Try it on.


Too small.


Let’s go.

Because my boys want to wear suits to church. Because they want to wear suits to formal events. Because my boys like suits.

So Friday, two days before Easter, I took Tornado S shopping for a new suit. He was thrilled. I was less so.

I’m not a big fan of shopping. I’m not really good at it. And if you ask any one with boys or have boys yourself, you know that buying clothes other than playwear is a bit difficult. Most stores have a handful of nice button-up shirts and maybe a couple of tie and shirt combinations. Or maybe just 4 dress shirts. Four. Which means, many, many stores if your boys either don’t look good in those or you or they don’t like them. I personally despise sweater and shirt combinations.

Luckily I have a store. Tornado S and I left right after breakfast, which isn’t really impressive because I made breakfast cookies. Like 5 dozen of them.

We walked into the store and walk straight to the back to the boys’ clothes area. Tornado S nearly skipping at the enjoyment of having a Mama Day.

Me: We’re looking for size 12.

Tornado S: Ok!

He made a bee line to the clearance rack and started sifting through them. Huh. Expensive as it was, I knew what I was getting in to. So I started going through the regular price size 12 suits.

After a few moments, I had found a navy, a pin-striped, and a grey. I knew Tornado E would throw a fit if someone else got a pin-striped suit.

Tornado S: Mama. I found a suit. (I looked over.) But it’s blue.

He held it up. It was blue. Not crayon blue but like a bright navy blue.

Me: Ok.

Tornado S: I. I don’t really like blue, Mama.

He looked pathetic. And adorable. I nearly laughed.

Me: Thank you for looking in clearance, but I’m not going to buy you a suit you don’t like. What do you think of this grey one?

He beamed and ran over.

Tornado S: I like it, Mama!

Me: Let’s try on the jacket. Oh good. Perfect. Let’s go buy it.


At Easter Mass, I stood between Tornado S in his grey suit and Tornado E in his pin-striped suit. I looked down at Tornado E’s arm. Ah. Damn.

Me: (Whispering) You’re going to need a new suit.

My Dad: (Whispering) I noticed that last week.

Really? You didn’t think to mention that when I said I had to take Tornado S to get a suit.

So guess what we’re doing next weekend.



Has any one noticed that people seem nicer?  Instead of giving me dirty looks because of my boys’ playful screaming at each other in a crowded Wal-Mart, people laugh and pat them on their heads.   Which is nice.  Until it happens in February.  Then I think the dirty looks will be back.

My First Black Friday

The day after my first Thanksgiving, my dad had off, which was truly amazing for a cop.  My mom had to work, which was much of the case for my first year.  They were able to fix their schedules so that someone would be home with me, and I didn’t need a sitter until after my first birthday.

Like any good husband, my dad decided to take advantage of the sales and start the Christmas shopping for my mom.  Besides this got him and his baby daughter out of the house.  Plus, plus, right?

Except Black Friday was always a mad house, always is a mad house, and always will be a mad house, for ever and ever.  Amen.

As my dad tried to push his way through the crowds at the mall with a baby stroller, my nearly-five-month-old self waved my fist in front of me trying to clear a path.  Because even then I didn’t like crowds.

Tonight at dinner, my dad will retell the story for everyone, imitating a baby waving her fist in front of her as everyone laughs at the antics.  Which is fine.  Because my dad, mom, grandma did not even think to invite me to their crazy, chaotic shopping trip at 4. In the morning.  And I thank them.  Because if there is one thing I hate more than crowds, it’s mornings.

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The Perfect Present: Or how important is this stupid toy?

Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.


A week ago we received my husband’s Christmas bonus, and I was dying to spend it.  For a month I had been checking on various Lego products searching for the perfect gift Sean.  Sean enjoys playing with our one Duplo boy, putting and taking him in and out of Evan’s police vehicles.  He’ll sit playing with the little boy for a half an hour which is like two hours in toddler time.  He needs more of these characters.


For weeks I debated which ones to buy him.  There was the awesome zoo vehicle set with two cars, two people and several animals, but it turns out that hadn’t been made for a while because people were charging twice the amount.  There was the police station with a car, a policeman, and a bad guy, but something about giving an 18 month a bad guy just didn’t sit well with me.  I finally decided to buy the police boat kit with two boats and four policemen.  Perfect.


But first I wanted to check the stores so that I could get around the shipping and handling fees.  Wal-Mart?  No.  Target?  No.  Toys ‘r’ us?  Nope.  The Lego Store?  Surprisingly no, though they had several police stations.  But the boat was cheaper with more men.


So last week, the morning after my husband placed the money in my hands, I went online to order the police boat.  When I went to click on the “add” button, instead there was a little note asking me to call for availability.




Call who?  What number?  WHAT?


Is worth it?  Is it worth tracking down a toy that I don’t know if he’ll even want it?  As I debated I watched Sean put the little man back into the police car.  Yes.


I scrolled down the page, looking for any sign of a 1-800 number, finding one in tiny print at the bottom of the page.


Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.


Looking at the clock, I wondered how long this would take as I was wasting valuable shower time.  We had to go to Wal-Mart that day, and as you know, every minute is precious to get there before the crowds.  I mean we really needed to go because we needed Kleenex for running noses, art supplies for presents, and toys for Santa.  Damn.  How long will I have to be on hold?


Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.


Hmm, I can’t place that song.


Ring.  Ring. Click.


No!  No!  They didn’t just hang up on me.  You didn’t just hang up on me!  I looked at the phone.  5 minutes and 40 seconds.  No!


Is it worth it?  Is this toy worth it?  I imagine Sean’s face on Christmas morning.


Where’s that number again?


Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.


Look, we need Tootles.  Oh, Tootles!


It’s “The Girl from Ipanema.”  Good song.  I dance around the house.  Thank God this isn’t a health emergency and that I don’t have a baby crying demanding something.  It could be worse. 


Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.


Sean will be so excited about this toy.  He’ll push the boats around the family room as the skid on the carpet.  He’ll play with the police men.  I wonder if I should get him some police cars like Evan’s or if Evan is still content to share.  We could always use more cars in the house.  What else do I need to get at Wal-Mart?  I look over the shopping list as well as the day’s to-do list.


Here, Sean.  Do you want some juice?  No, Evan, that’s Sean’s jui-


Ring.  Ring.


Hello, this is Steve.  Can I assist you in a purchase?


Me: Only if you have it.


Steve: All right.  Do you have the product number?


Me: 12345


Steve: 12345?  The Police Boat?


Me: Yup.


Steve: It says “Call for availability.”  (Duh)  You’ll have to call our customer service department.  (What?)  Would you like that number?


Me: Sure, why not?


Steve: It’s 1-800-*********.  Is there anything else I can do for you?


Me: Nope.


Steve: Thank you for choosing Lego.

My pleasure.  Click.


Is it worth it?  Thirteen minutes, nearly half my “me” time.  I could just go get the police station.  It’s not like Sean knows about the boat or the car.  I scanned the website again, clicking on the customer service button.  But the boat actually has better reviews.  It has more police men.  What’s one more phone call?


Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.


Ring.  Ring.


Lego Customer Service Department.  This is Carol.  How can I help you?


Me: Well, I’m checking on availability of a product.


Carol: I can assist you with that.  May I have the product number?


Me: 12345.


Carol: 12345?  The Police Boat?


Me: Yes.


Carol: It says there are two left.  (Pause for a cheer.)


Me: (Too stunned to cheer) How can I buy it?  Who can I call?


Carol: I can assist you with that. 


Me: Really?  That’s awesome.  Thank you.


Carol: No problem.  Have you shopped with us before?


Me: No.  (a few minutes to take the information)


Carol: Now it is possible that this item may have been sold out in the last hour, and the computer may not have updated the inventory.


Me: (Damn.  I forgot what I learned in my years of retail.  Computers lie.)  When will I find that out?


Carol: Two days.  We won’t charge you unless it’s shipped.


Me: And how long will it take to ship?


Carol: To California?  Five to seven business days.


Me: Well, ok, thank you.


Carol: Thank you.




So for the last four days I have waited for the dreaded email of apology, debating how I can slip away to the Lego Store to buy a police station and a box of Duplos for Evan.  I obsessively checked my email all weekend, knowing that that they didn’t work on weekend.  I debated the whole idea of the police boat kit, checking my bank account to see if I’ve been charged. 


Today this was in the inbox:



Your LEGO Order has Shipped


Let’s just hope we get it before Saturday as I didn’t have the heart to tell Carol that I needed it shipped to my parents’ house where Santa is going.



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