What the Croc?!

by Abby on September 30, 2011

One of the many, many funny parts of Tina Fey’s Bossypants was when she remarked on how (paraphrasing here) things that normal people consider no big deal are overwhelming to her. I feel like that ALL the time. Specifically, every single day when I pick up my son from kindergarten. This involves waking my toddler up from his nap, loading him into the car, finding a parking spot on a busy city street and making my way through a mob of minivans, parents, kids, and backpacks the size of Smartcars.

Every day, I see people with way more kids than me — maybe even a dog, too — navigating this mayhem without breaking a sweat. Whereas I, on the other hand, arrive at the classroom door bedraggled and out of breath, losing my grip on my 2yo, who has somehow lost a shoe and is poking me in the eye with an umbrella he insisted on carrying.

I’ll give you another example. The boys needed new Crocs. Even though I originally thought these hideous excuses for shoes were nothing more than overpriced gardening clogs, I have since realized they’re the perfect footwear for messy little kids. They slip on and you can hose them off – everybody wins.

Anyway, there’s a Crocs outlet about 45 min. away from us. Too far to go during my tiny window of preschool time; too crowded on weekends. So I only go when I happen to be in the area, as I was that day. I parked as close to the store as possible, put Riley in the stroller, grabbed Miles’ hand, and off we went. Get in, get out, get home by naptime.

Crocs with JibbitzsI wasn’t interested in browsing. I knew the style and sizes I wanted. Well, we weren’t in the store 30 seconds before Riley spied the giant wall of Jibbitz. If you’re not familiar with Jibbitz, these are tiny plastic decorations to adorn kids’ Crocs at $3-$5 a pop. I hear a mom invented them and is now a millionaire. Well played, sister. Well played.

So there’s this huge wall of tiny, multicolored plastic thingies displayed precariously in clear plastic containers. I could just see Riley pulling down the whole wall and showering the store with little Spongebobs and light-up Batmans. I tried to keep him in his stroller, but he began bucking and twisting like David Blaine escaping a straightjacket underwater.

A friendly employee came over to help me and said he had a toddler, too. He offered to watch the boys while I looked for the right size Crocs. Bless you, sir. I briefly considered ducking out for a latte but decided I shouldn’t push my luck.

Even with his help, though, Riley kept grabbing stuff off the racks, like enormous orange Crocs that he tripped around the store in like clown shoes. Miles kept rushing over with handfuls of Jibbitz yelling, “Mom! Can I get this one? And this one? And how about this one, too?” Meanwhile I was trying to find the darn sizes I needed while the stroller kept tipping over from the weight of the diaper bag.

Then Riley spotted one of those ride-on trains out in the mall and began to scream for a ride. I grabbed 2 pairs of Crocs and got the hell out of there. To get Riley back in the stroller I was forced to buy him a handful of candy from one of those coin-operated machines. I’m sure the candy had been in there for eons and was laden with toxic red dye. I didn’t care.

After a tantrum-filled ride home, I discovered I’d grabbed the wrong size shoes for Miles. Somewhere, I know Tina Fey was sighing in solidarity.

READ O’ THE DAY: Here’s how one blogger responded when her husband said he didn’t think having a baby could hurt that bad. I think my favorite analogy is it’s like “swallowing a bag of glass.” Ha!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou Mello September 30, 2011 at 6:59 am

Soooo funny, kids and Crocs and fancy thingies. I really need to start stopping at malls and just watch the Moms with young kids go by and see how they really do what they do. I would love to have had a video of your Croc trip with the boys, I can see a Three Stooges short in your future for sure.


Abby October 1, 2011 at 10:08 am

Three Stooges is exactly right, Lou!


Lou Mello October 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Nyuck nyuck


Kris-Ann September 30, 2011 at 8:20 am

I have to add that book to my growing list of books I want to read but am to tired to do so! I had a similar experience at the library that I wrote about here.http://blogs.brighthorizons.com/momtomom/2011/09/potty-training-stinks/


Abby October 1, 2011 at 10:08 am

It’s worth it, Kris-Ann. And you can read it in chapters instead of all at once. I sooo feel your pain on the potty-training issue…


Sarah September 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

Yes! That was one of my favorite parts of Bossypants as well! Similarly, when I began working three mornings a week this fall, I realized I would have to get my two girls up, fed, dressed, and out of the house by 8:30 a.m. I would also have to remember backpacks (my older daughter goes to preschool during this time), lunches, sippy cups, diapers, etc. I arrive at our church (where I work and my girls are both cared for, a huge blessings) completely stressed and out of breath every morning. By the time I sit down at my desk, I feel like I’ve already done a day’s worth of work. And that’s at 9:00 a.m. So, I feel your pain. I often feel like I get stressed by the things everyone else doesn’t bat an eyelash over.


Abby October 1, 2011 at 10:07 am

A friend of mine likes to say we moms share a motto with the Marines: “We do more before 9am than most people do all day.” (Or something like that. 😉


Angie September 30, 2011 at 10:22 am

You’ve done it again. Told a story that’s freakishly similar to my life. Except, you will hate me. I went the shoe store last weekend, and I actually had my husband there to help me. And Dillon and Blake were out of control. And why do they put those stupid rides right outside the kids shoe store? Thank goodness, there were no Jibbitz in Stride Rite, or at least we didn’t see them.


Abby October 1, 2011 at 10:05 am

You were smart to bring back-up, Angie. They put those rides there because they know poor, stressed-out parents are defenseless against them.


Marina September 30, 2011 at 9:49 pm

You are such an amazing writer! Reading your blog is so much fun! Something feels so effortless about it…just a plain old good time, and oh so funny! Thank you!


Abby October 1, 2011 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Marina! 🙂


Loukia September 30, 2011 at 11:51 pm

I too am the same as you, and I too have to deal with my three year old having melt downs in stores, especially in the grocery store. The little things can be such a big deal when you’re doing it with a child with you!! If only I started recording my son when he has freak outs in stores, I’d probably be rich by now…


Abby October 1, 2011 at 10:04 am

I hate to waste kid-free time on errands, but it’s SO much easier to get things done w/out little ones in tow!


Lynn October 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Another successful trip to Arundel Mills? You are braver than I am (although I did take Katie there recently). I’ve pretty much given up bargain shopping for the convenience of Amazon.com. If it cannot be ordered off my phone while I’m rocking the baby to sleep, it does not get purchased!


Abby October 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I don’t know if I’d call it “successful,” but yeah. Next time I’m absolutely buying them online. 😉


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