The TJMaxx Trip From Hell

Oh my GOD yesterday.

So Francesca’s visiting me for a few days, and yesterday we both worked from home in the morning, and then in the afternoon we thought we’d take Indy and Goldie to lunch and to the candy store and then swing by TJMaxx on the way back to my place. We were a little “eehhhhh” about the idea of shopping with two kids, but figured, hey, they have a toy section; we can stop there first and get something for each of my children to play with while we browse sweaters for half an hour or so.


Not even close to happening.

Hints of the horror show to come first popped up three minutes after we walked through the door, when Indy started panicking about having selected the wrong Transformer and Goldie decided that it was way funner to launch the stuffed animals out of the cart rather than to actually play with them. By the time we made our way to the dressing room, both of my children had transformed into Stage Five Clingers with operatic vocal cords. The whole thing reached a climax as I stood half-naked in a fluorescent-lit room with a screaming child strapped to each leg while Francesca struggled to zip up the back of the two-sizes-too-small wrap-skort-dress thing that I’d decided I needed to try on because all the noise had apparently interfered with my understanding of what a person should and should not wear (wrap-skort-dresses fall under the latter category).

So that was bad.

It was also – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – kind of a blast, just because it was LUDICROUS. By the time we walked out the doors, my children had dissolved to such a degree that Francesca and I were practically falling over from laughing so hard.

Years ago, when Francesca and I lived together, I remember we were driving to Whole Foods on a beautiful, sunny blue-sky day with the top down on my convertible, and we stopped in the turning lane and all of a sudden a tsunami came arcing into my car. Because apparently we had stopped next to a puddle that was inexplicably sitting in the middle of the street, and a truck had gone by and sent an entire wave cascading onto the front seat. We sat there open-mouthed, both of us completely coated with muddy, disgusting, Los Angeles gutter water…and then KT Tunstall came on the radio, all perky and upbeat and isn’t-life-grand, and we just started dying laughing, so hard that I could barely pilot the car into the parking lot.

And yesterday reminded me of that day. Like a disaster on such a ridiculous level that the only thing to do was laugh about it, so that’s what we did.

Here is a crucial difference between life before children and life after: when you, say, go to Bed Bath and Beyond without a child, you pretty much know what you can expect – you get the thing you need, pay for it, and leave. But when you have a kid with you, that trip may include floor licking.

Floors may always get licked.

That’s just the way life is now. And I really do think that the best thing you can do about it is laugh.

P.S. The photos you see here were obviously not taken during the TJMaxx Trip From Hell; they were taken many hours later on, after everyone was abed for the evening and we had headed out to eat frites and buy these at Free People. It was all very lovely and peaceful (albeit slightly less exciting).

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  • tabithablue

    HILARIOUS!!! I have had too many trips like that… and for some odd reason, at random times and unknown reasons, I’ll think, hey this is a good day to try shopping with kids. And then… oh the and then. I just can’t. But laughing is the best!!

  • I laughed so hard at this post! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that this shit happens too 🙂

  • Katelyn Landis

    Jordan, I like your open writing style and read your blog often. I am a parent as well and definitely get it. It’s a blessing to have friends to laugh with. Kids be cray, but gosh do I love them.