You know how especially this time of year everybody has to have something weird and specific for school or sports or work or a hobby or whatever and they need it right now? Just within the past week or two I have had to provide six individual flowers, a funny hat, Swedish fish, a baby picture, a bag of pretzels, a foam roller, a metal dog bowl, a plain white t-shirt, a South African recipe, a bag of Pepperidge Farm Milano Double Fudge cookies, a food that starts with the letter “U,” an unopened sleeve of plastic cups, 2 inflatable pool swim rings, seven metal stakes, and a cut-up lemon. And there’s never much notice because everybody is trying to cram everything into the last few weeks before school lets out and summer begins.
Plus, we are still attending all of the regular season practices and classes and now their accompanying End of the Year/ Season parties and celebrations as well. So our family calendar and all of the driving and carpooling and shuttling has been kicked up a notch. And not even my regular stockpile of supplies can be counted upon for all of these strange and urgent requests. (My father-in-law thinks that between my garage, basement and pantry I have my own Kroger going on and he’s not too far off the mark). Still, I find myself running to the store almost every afternoon lately to fill the demands that I do not have already on hand, and that means “running in” with some, if not all, of my kids. Ugh, the herding turtles suckfest. My patience is at an all-time low.
I have tried bargaining with what I have available, but my kids never agree to bring in freezer-burned edamame when they are supposed to be showing up with Sour Patch Kids. Picky, picky, picky.
Since I am rarely up for carting these kids around with me to the stores last minute, I like to ask Sheepdog to stop instead. I can justify this pass off of parental responsibility because (a) he is either alone or only has the older kids with him and they can get in and out of the car by themselves and they can usually be trusted in a parking lot, (b) it is way past dinnertime and when he goes out and the odds are reduced that he’ll get caught in the middle of a bitch-slap fight for the last rotisserie chicken from the heated display, and (c) he will use any excuse to go out and pick up a few extra Hershey bars or sleeves of Smarties for his late night snack… “they just fell into the cart!”
Sheepdog is a great team player and he always goes without complaint. But even patient Sheepdog gets frustrated with the traffic and the scavenger hunt and by the time he has gone to a second or even third store to get some rare item, he has little or no patience left with the people at the register. This is how it went when he was once checking out with a disposable camera, a very specific (and not easy to locate) type of long-hair conditioner, and some candy. He was already tired and overworked and ready to be home eating his treats. Calgon, take me away.
“Will that be all, sir?” asked the clerk.
“Yes. Oh, and I have a CVS card,” replied Sheepdog.
“I have a CVS card,” he said again with his irritation showing itself in tone and volume.
“I… Have… A… CVS… Card.” I believe his patience evaporated completely with the last syllable.
“Sir, this… is… Walgreens.”
Wish Sheepdog some more patience for tomorrow…