A List of Errands I Will Invent as Necessary in a Desperate Bid to Get Us Out of the House: A Toddler Mom Memoir

Target: This is the obvious one, the low-hanging fruit on the consumerism-as-desperate-bid-for-focused-house-escape list. Pro: They will definitely have cute cardigans to browse while I look for the things I came in for (ostensibly not cardigans, but who’s really keeping track here). Con: Cashiers are going to think, “That lady really should keep a list or something, why is she here every damn day?”

Nordstrom: Pro: really great nursing mother rooms, from what I hear. Con: Cannot afford to buy anything. Solution: Sneak in wearing fake pearls, use nursing room. If suspected of sneakitude, start talking about 401(k)s.

Indie bookstore: This is great for when you want to browse for things you may or may not ever read, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on (see the “may not ever” in the previous sentence for clarity). Pro: Used kids books are a hell of a lot cheaper than new ones and likely won’t have those annoyed dust jackets that I’d be tossing in the garbagio anyway. Con: Store cat (Won Ton in my case, your store cat mileage may vary) likely not as amused by my toddler as my toddler is amused by him.

Post office: The post office is an errand TRAP. You think it will be fun with a kid (Official Post Office Business to oogle) but actually no, this is terrible, stay inside, it’s cons all the way down. The lines will be terrible and my child (yours too probably) will try to swiffer the floor with their body out of boredom. Buy stamps online or something. Or never mail anything ever again.

Bank: Pro: lollipops! Drive-thru window!  Cons: zero

Pet Supply Store: Look at chinchillas AND get the dog food, pro CITY at PetSmart. More pros: Fish to look at, hamsters to look at, birds to look at. Con: dead Nemo on the ground maybe that you will have to discreetly nudge with a foot to hide from toddler.

Donut shop: Don’t judge me.

Children’s Clothing Consignment Store: This is one of those things that’s great if you have a specific goal in mind, such as “FIND RAINCOAT” and less great if you want to browse before a toddler’s attention span begins to unravel.  Pro: Someone else’s kid is probably more poorly behaved than yours! Con: They will inevitably be pumping super inappropriate-and-weird-for-a-children’s-store hot jams through the speakers. Trying to find cheapo Hanna Andersson while hearing OH BABY YOU’RE ON FLEEK YOUR BODY IS SO SLEEK* lyrics is…weird?  *This is probably a song lyric, I don’t know, I’m an Old now. My point here is the youths behind the counter will be choosing the shopping soundtrack for your visit. It’ll be jamming but weird. If it’s rull bad, you can probably find some used earmuffs in that bin over there though…so, more pro than con?

Target: Oh shoot, did I forget, um, back to school…uh…nail clippers? BACK TO TARGET WE GO.

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