especially when you have your two young kids with you, playing musical chairs with the cart and your arms and greg’s shoulders. a quick trip, we thought. it’ll be a quick trip. sure, we can bring the kids along. it’ll be fun. educational, even. famous last words.
we quickly discovered that building a rain barrel is not as easy as the five minute home and gardening video we watched before we left the house on youtube would have us believe. we got lost on our way to find the first item on our list and ended up wandering, through the store, from one end to the other, for a solid two hours, kids hanging off of us like monkey bars, everyone’s coat piled in the cart, confused and agitated looks on our faces. it wasn’t long before whatever interest ruth had had in our rain barrel project turned into utter agitated boredom, the kind where you know that they’re going to give you hell until you stop whatever you’re doing and do what they want to do instead. aka, leave the store and go home and play. but greg and i can both be as stubborn as mules in turn, and there was no way we made it all the way there to just give up the ghost and leave.
you can discover a lot about your spouse at home depot. such as how frustratingly backwards they think about everything. our biggest chunk of time was spent camped out in the gutter aisle, arguing over who wasn’t understanding how the other was visualizing how the freakin’ gutter was going to go on the garage. “this is south,” i was saying, pointing emphatically to the left, “the gutter will hang like this,” i was basically hissing at greg as ruth stood nearby playing with some roofing shovels and joel was crawling around on the floor with a huge screw in his hand (dunno where in the hell he got it). just as i was getting all revved up and telling greg how bad his spatial intelligence was, ruth came up to me and said, “i have to poop.”
rain barrels should be an easy thing to install, you’d think. water, plentiful water falls from the sky as rain. just funnel the water into a huge tank. what could be more simple? dump it on the veggies. go home happy.
over a hundred dollars of who in the hell knows what all in our cart, we stood in line ready to check out. joel was in desperate need of breast milk, but there was no way i was whipping out the boob at home dept. pretty sure there’s no nursing room, either. greg turned to me, all a-fume (he can get as testy as a teenaged girl when the mood strikes him), “i still say we got the wrong parts.” my arms arched in three places from supporting joel’s weight as we had wandered the store and, wouldn’t you know, he only wanted mom to hold him right then, big surprise, my back was aching, i was sweating because someone forgot to turn the heat off from the winter, i was thirsty, i had been to the bathroom twice with ruth, no easy feat seeing as how she wears footie pajamas everywhere we go so when she has to pee, you have to peel off everything she’s wearing and then put it all back on again, and i said to greg, “well, then, just keep the receipt and we can just return anything that doesn’t work and exchange it for the parts we need.” at this, he scoffed, “you are so inefficient. you never take the time to do anything right.” well, he was right. i don’t. part of my charm, i think.
regardless, we never made it to the park like we told ruth we would after we were done shopping in order to get her to go with us in the first place. the house was just as messy (maybe more?) as when we left it. everyone was tired and cranky and hungry and just plain fed up with each other.
but then we burst through the door and the chaos somehow, like it always manages, followed us in there and life just kept on going. this is a family.