Sunday, December 19, 2010

Target, Oh My Target


I ended up at Target twice this weekend.  Yes, a week before Christmas.  Now, if that's not enough proof of mental illness, get this: I also went to Best Buy. I'm done with most of my holiday-related tasks.  I just have a few odds and ends left over, each of which requires me to hit a different store in a different part of town.  I suppose I shouldn't say I'm "done" with everything.  There were some tasks that I simply didn't do this year.  I always send holiday greeting cards and this year I did not.  I dug up a box of cards from the bowels of my desk and sent a few to immediate family members, but that's about it (and I really only did that so that I had some way to get A's Santa photos to them).  I felt really guilty about not getting it done (and there are lots of reasons for my failure to send cards to the masses) but then it occurred to me . . . five years from now, is anyone really gonna say, "Hey, remember that year Claudia totally dissed us and did not subject us to a photo card depicting her daughter in holiday finery?"

The kid had two birthday parties to attend this weekend, so that was the reason for the first trip to Target.  I picked up gifts for both kids Friday night.  On Saturday, I hit the gym and P dropped off A at the first party.  The honoree is a boy in A's class.  She says this classmate is "kinda weird" but I suggested she not say that in front of him. While the party was in full swing, I made lunch for the two of us. We sat down and ate a peaceful meal at our dining room table, and hardly knew what to do with ourselves.  "Is this how it used to be?" he asked me.  Family mealtimes with the three of us are fine, but there's a lot of poking at vegetables and "I can't eat this" going on. Many such meals end with the shortest member of our family in time-out and a heap of uneaten vegetables in a dog bowl.

I picked the kid up from the party at the appointed time and it was immediately clear to me that she was completely jacked up on sugar.  Big time. Fearing the worst, I took her to Target to let her pick out a Christmas gift for her dad.  She chose the store, mostly because she wanted to get an ICEE after we were done shopping.  She's a giver, that kid.  The shopping trip was not a fun one.  I found myself gritting my teeth and saying things like "Get out of the Barbie aisle - it should be pretty clear that your dad does not need a copy of 'Barbie in a Mermaid Tale.'"  Also, I should add that every resident of our city was at Target at that precise moment, mostly concentrated in the toys and electronics aisles. The whole scene was making my eye twitch. Finally, A settled on a couple of gifts and I took her home. But not before there was a sizable tantrum over the ICEE.

By the time we got back to our humble abode, I was feeling pretty irritable.  I should have gone back out and finished my errands without Miss Generosity, but I had no gumption at that point.  Instead, I did something fairly uncharacteristic.  You see, I have to be doing something at all times. Although my husband can sit on the couch and play video games until he's got bedsores, I always have this compulsion to do something productive.  Even when I was a small child, I refused to nap.  Anyway, I grabbed my foster pup and shut myself in my bedroom.  I then proceeded to watch a marathon of "Pit Bulls and Parolees."  I watched for several hours.  I'd have kept going except that eventually an episode came on that I'd already seen. When A would come in and ask me for something, I'd pull out the old "Go ask your father" and send her on her way.

This morning, the kid was in a holiday play at church.  She had a very pivotal role as a member of the chorus.  The play was about Good King Wenceslas, and she was instructed to stand up and yell, "Huzzah! Huzzah! God save the king!" periodically. It was a stellar piece of acting, let me tell you. Later in the afternoon, I took her to her second birthday party of the weekend.  More sugar was ingested, but a good time was had by all.

Now, as I type this, she is in the living room, losing her mind.  Last time I checked on her, she had tucked a sword into one side of her skirt and a Hannah Montana microphone into the other. She was wearing plastic princess shoes and balancing herself on a wooden train track while playing a pink princess guitar and watching Spongebob Squarepants. If I wanted this kind of craziness, I'd hang out at Target.

Happy holidays!

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