Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: Every errand should be on this list, and you’re probably right, but I’ve narrowed it down to the worst offenders.
15. Clothes shopping. As if dressing your post-child body wasn’t hard enough. Trying on shirts, swimsuits, undergarments with kids in tow, even if they’re both confined to the stroller, can be an incredibly torturous experience. Even if you race through Old Navy, grabbing any shirt that looks remotely workable, then wait for the handicapped dressing room and get the kids inside, you have exactly 4 minutes before a fight breaks out, someone’s hungry, needs a change or you realize the baby lost his favorite paci at some point in the last 35 minutes.
14. Oil change. Because what toddler doesn’t enjoy the latest issue of Tire Tracks Magazine and a water dispenser conveniently placed right at his level? Don’t forget the stale hard candies in those little dispensers, and the 30 minutes of Nascar on the prison TV in the corner.
13. The gift store. Expensive toys, tiny trinkets and glass collectibles. Really, what could go wrong? Nothing, until the baby waddles over to the Precious Moments display and breaks an angel figurine on his foot, while the toddler simultaneously decides he can’t leave the store without the kitty calendar.
12. The pharmacy. Because your prescription is never ready when it’s supposed to be. So now, you have 2 kids who are 15 minutes past lunchtime, and what you thought would be a 5-minute errand is now a 35-minute torturous stroll through Target with 2 whiny, overly-tired, hangry kids. You sneak off to the grocery section to quietly bust open a box of graham crackers and walk slowly down the gardening aisle, avoiding the toys section at all costs.
11. Drycleaners. Because you grab your husband’s perfectly-pressed clothes, the toddler bolts out the door. You smush the perfect clothes between you and the baby to sprint out to the parking lot and grab the toddler with your free hand before he hits the asphalt. As you scold him while putting both kids in their carseats and hanging the now-kind-of-wrinkled clothes in the back of your car, you’re just glad this errand is over. You realize when you get home that you forgot your bank card.
10. Their doctor’s appointments. After 20 minutes in the waiting room, where you’ve read the same Winnie the Pooh book 4 times, you think you’re home free when you’re moved to an exam room. Where. You. Spend. An. Eternity. It’s like a prison cell, but instead of being trapped alone (which would be awesome), you’re trapped with 2 little people under 3 who simultaneously scale and jump off the exam table, rip up magazines and open every drawer of doctors’ tools.
9. The vet. As if juggling 2 human animals all day weren’t enough, it’s always humorous to add the family dog or cat to the mix, and try to go out in public. NOT. I mean, do I even need to paint the picture for you? Carrying the baby, holding the toddler’s hand and now also holding a dog leash with your way-too-excited-because-she-never-gets-walked-anymore dog on the end of it? Yeah, that’s my idea of fun.
8. The home improvement store. Sure, it’s nice that the aisles are wide, and the kids can be as loud as they want. Until you have to wait in line for a paint match, and the toddler sprays fluorescent orange paint on his brand-new Converse. And then, 3 minutes later, drops a bolt on the baby’s toe.
7. The DMV. Okay, seriously. This one doesn’t even need any explanation. Because it’s awful without kids. And with them, cruel and unusual.
6. The toy store. Once you have kids, you learn the Target dollar spot and even Walmart’s toy section are mine fields that are just as dangerous as the more-obvious Toys R’ Us. Just as you’re able to distract the toddler from the fact that he’s not getting the huge bag of Doritos he spotted on an endcap as soon as you entered the store, BOOOOMMM. The toy section is in plain view. This shopping trip is over before it begins.
5. Your doctor’s appointments. You were on time, but of course, the doctor was late, so your supply of Goldfish, breakfast bars and applesauce pouches quickly evaporated as you tried to get the kids excited about watching CNN Morning Express for 40 minutes in the waiting room. The receptionist glares at you on the way out, and you don’t even care. Hopefully you won’t be in for another year. Unless… no, never mind. That is unthinkable on days like these.
4. Lunch meetings. You don’t want to waste valuable sitter time on this quick appointment, so you feed the kids Goldfish out of the bottom of your purse while you wait for the food. When the chicken fingers arrive, you start your adult conversation and think you’re in the clear. But 3 minutes in, the kids are done eating and begin dunking their paper napkins into their water, raking their leftover food onto the floor and kicking their shoes off. I guess we’ll have to finish up over Skype.
3. The grocery store. They’re always out of 2-kid carts, so the baby goes in the front of the cart (where I pray that he doesn’t realize that the belt is torn, and thus there is nothing stopping him from standing straight up and catapulting onto the floor), and the toddler is in the main part of the shopping cart, where he protests for “Spiderman snacks” or “rainbox cookies” as I chuck in the generic saltines and no-name Cheerios. I cave and toss in the Spiderman snacks to keep them busy while I throw the last 9 items on my list into the cart. (And forgot what I came in for: milk.)
2. The bank. Even when you cover all your bases, and bring in the double stroller just to keep the kids at bay, a riot erupts in the front of your MacClaren as soon as one of the kids sees the hard candies on the teller’s desk. Of course, those candies are a total choking hazard so neither kid can have them, which triggers a 20-minute epic meltdown that lasts the entire time.
1. The post office. Ugggg, you have to send your cousin’s birthday gift (which will already be late because you’ve been putting this off for over a week now), so you’re hoping you can just “run in” to the post office with the 2 kids. As soon as you get inside, you instantly regret your snap decision not to bring the stroller. The baby is grabbing your keys, wallet and cell phone, and the toddler is dismantling the cardboard box display and pestering the old woman in front of you. Oh, and you realize when you get to the counter that you didn’t bring your cousin’s address, so the whole trip was a waste anyway.