The Bike Quest

Bike Riding

Let’s get something straight right from the beginning.  I’m a Target girl, plain and simple.  When Shannon and Boomama start raving about WalMart, I admit, I start to itch.  After all, why would anyone with a Trget within 20 miles bother with a skeevy WalMart?  But, you know, to each his own.

Well, lately I’ve been trying to find bikes at reasonable prices, seeing that I need to purchase two. And a friend informed me that the best place to go for affordable cheap bikes is WalMart.

Now, I might be a Target snob, but I’m not about to cut off my nose to spite my face.  I have already looked at Target as well as KMart, C0stc0, and ToysRUs, and I couldn’t find anything I wanted in my price range.

So yesterday I loaded all three kids in the car and drove 25 minutes out to the not-so-skeevy WalMart.  (This is is the nicest WalMart I’ve ever seen, but it’s a trek.  There is a closer one, but it’s about as skeevy as it gets, and I just can’t stomach it, no matter how many pennies it might save me).

Upon arrival, we were welcomed, of course, by the infamous greeter in the blue coat, and I sensibly explained to the kids that we would gather our smaller items first and then go pick out bikes.  But as we entered the store, what to our wondering eyes should appear but the biggest selection of bicycles I’ve ever seen outside of a Bikeline.

Well, you try telling two excited children that they must bypass the bikes for diapers, and see what happens.  I didn’t have the heart to insist, so the next thing I knew, we were trying out bikes.  C was easy.  I knew from going online exactly which bike she was going to get, so she spent the next ten minutes riding through the isles on her new bike while I helped D decide which one he wanted.  I’m not sure the nearby patrons appreciated this, but it kept her from asking for everything in sight, so I didn’t sweat it.

Except for one unfortunate incident where D fell over on a bike he was test driving, we weren’t making too much of a spectacle of ourselves.  That is, not until we had made our decisions and I had to figure out how to get 3 kids, 1 shopping cart, and 2 bikes to the diaper section and then to the checkout register.

Of course, conveniently placed next to the bikes was a display of beach toys.  And given our beach trip scheduled for next week, it didn’t take much convincing for me to let the kids pick out an assortment of cheap plastic buckets and shovels.

And then they spotted the foam noodles in a big box nearby, and they have always! wanted! some of those!!  So I took a look at the price, and for $1.50 each, I figured, what the heck, so we added three noodles to the cart.

Of course, R was enamored with such an interesting new object, and she insisted upon holding one and waving it around as we proceeded down the isle.  Now, in the hands of a 20-month old, a 4-foot-long foam noodle can be quite a dangerous weapon, especially when wielded among the crowded isles of WalMart.  Let’s just say we didn’t exactly leave the store the way we found it.

I finally figured out that C could ride her new bike, and D could push the shopping cart with R and her deadly weapon, and I could push D’s bike.  We were quite an entourage, I can tell you that.

We must have made quite a sight, because everyone who passed us chuckled and/or cast sympathetic glances in my direction.  Except for one disgruntled older gentleman who, when trying to get around us, shook his head in disgust and muttered, “I can’t believe this.”

And I think I said something like, “Well, guess what, Dude?  Neither can I.  And this is MY life.”  Or maybe I just thought it and smiled apologetically.

Anyway, I decided that it might be wise to stop and get my bearings, as I had no idea where to find the diapers.  Naturally, the helpful salesperson in blue pointed to the far corner of the store.

What IS it with bathrooms and diapers?  I swear, whoever (or is it whomever?) designs these stores must take sadistic pleasure in forcing us moms to navigate our way through the entire store to get to the necessities.  This never ceases to amaze and infuriate me.  But what can you do?  I needed diapers.

So I left the two bikes and the shopping cart in a fairly deserted isle and carried R on my hip, with the two big kids trailing behind me, to the back corner of the store to grab a box of diapers.  Then we reclaimed our merchandise and began our grand procession to the checkout registers.

Naturally the checkout line was full of toys and candy, and D immediately started begging for a bag of M&M’s.  I had to gently but firmly remind him how much loot we were getting already and that he needed to be grateful for what he has.

Then C started naming all the things on her want-list, and finally she just gave up and said, “Mom, I want everything.”

And that, my friends, just about sums up the sinful condition of our hearts, now, doesn’t it?  But that’s a post for another time.

We finished checking out and then made our way out to the parking lot, where I tried every possible configuration before I figured out the one and only way to fit the two bikes into the back of our minivan.  An engineer, I am not.  Now, if my husband had been along, he would have stood back, assessed the situation, and then proceeded to load the bikes correctly the first time.

At least I got a good upper body workout out of the deal.  And some blog fodder.

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16 Responses

  1. LOL – Skeevy – that is the best and ONLY word to describe that place! I have been known to drive 45 miles to get to the ‘less’ skeevy Walmart and even then got in and out like devil himself was on my tail! And in that place, well you never REALLY know do you? Nice job on getting 3 kids, 2 bikes, 3 noodles, 1 cart and 1 tired mama through that infernal place!

  2. You are now my hero–you brave, fearless woman! I was laughing and applauding you at the same time. Not sure I could’ve tackled bikes, noodles, 3 kids and a cart.

    There is just something calm and inviting about Target. My car goes there almost on autopilot. WallyWorld almost takes a court order for me to brave it. I like their prices, but I get twitchy and tense when I see blue and a happy face.

  3. I have to admit that I shop at Walmart about once, sometimes more, a week. However, our new Target opens in July and I’m so excited. I know what you mean about skeevy Walmarts though, luckily ours is new, with hardwoods in some places, and pretty clean.

    Also glad that you found the bikes you wanted. 😀

  4. You. Deserve. A. Nap. Or at least a nice piece of dark chocolate and a Diet Coke.

    I really do like Wal-Mart, it’s just the other shoppers and the parking lot that I don’t like. Plus Target is cleaner and easier to get to. So Target wins out most of the time around here.

  5. You are far too generous. I would never allow the kids to go with me to look at the bikes. I want to be a saint, but not that badly. 😉
    Very impressive survival tale. I am sure it will get funnier as the years go on and you tell the store to your kids whenever they think they have it rough. LOL!

  6. I can just image the sight of the 4 of you walking through Walmart! It makes me chuckle only because I have been there before 😉

  7. Gotta say, I hope you have more days like this, because this post was fabulous.

    My response on the T@rget/Wal#Mart debate – PREACH IT SISTER! I’ll stand with you on this one. When I was newly pregnant, the Big W made me so depressed that I once approached the register weeping, could not make the actual purchase because I was such a wreck, and then puked in the parking lot. I honestly had a pregnancy aversion to Wal#Mart.

    But this? This story is golden.

    Go back to Wal#Mart.

  8. YES! The bathrooms… score another point for Tar-Jay. The department stores are the WORST for placing their restrooms in the most obscure corner of the store, usually in the men’s department, like the last place a mom with a desperate toddler would be. URGH!!

  9. Oh my, I’m all worn out from reading this post and laughing!!! You’ve got more guts then I would ever have, of course only having one child I didn’t get to do the shopping thing with three all wanting something. heehee! I’m with you on Tar*get, I hate Wally World with a passion and only go there about twice a year when in a pinch! Our Tar*get restroom is right inside the front door, very handy!

  10. Oh. My. Word! I can fully imagine the sights and sounds inside W*M that day! So glad you survived the ordeal. 🙂

  11. the location of diapers is one of the reasons i hate wal-mart. why are they not with all the other ‘personal’ items? why are they always at the back of the store in some shady corner? i hate wal-mart.

    you’re a brave woman!

  12. i can’t stand wal mart either. not only is the store always a madhouse, the parking lot is laid out horrendously as well; i’m amazed they don’t have more accidents.

    thank heavens i have 2 Targets closer than the icky wal mart!!!

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