Compared to Mom

The kids scurried to locate their shoes. Chances are slim six shoes will be found before Costco closes so I did what any helpful father who promised his kids they could tag along would do:

“Put on the first shoes you find even if they don’t belong to you”

Every time I pull into the Costco parking lot on a Saturday, I tell myself to NEVER visit Costco on a Saturday. And yet I don’t know if I’ve ever stepped foot inside a Costco on a day other than Saturday.

But today I was missing my co-pilot unless you count three kids who view Costco as one big play ground. I haven’t found a parking spot before the comments start pouring in from the backseat.

“Mom never parks this far away”

“I can’t even see the entrance from here”

When I finally locate a spot, I decide to lay down a few ground rules before we leave the car.

“Only one sample per product”

“No sneaking anything into the cart”

“No comparing me to mom”

That last one is a biggie. I don’t know the store layout as well as Kim does. And no, I’m not the most efficient shopper on the planet. I like to take my time in the DVD and book section. I’ll hang out in the vegetable and fruit cooler room on a warm day. Sometimes I’ll go by the TV section and catch a game in progress. Today I chatted up the lady answering questions for ECOS unscented laundry detergent.

Plus, it’s hard to move a giant cart full of groceries with three kids in tow down small aisles on sample Saturday. What’s the rush?

Kim jotted down a small list of items for me to buy. She crossed out a few before I walked out the door. She told me they weren’t essential, but I’ll bet she knew I wouldn’t be able to find them. Probably a good move on her part or I’d still be wandering the aisles searching for Children’s Benadryl.

Here’s my list. Notice how I keep track of what I have in the cart by making a small tear next to the item. How’s that for ingenuity?


I added the four barely legible items in the right corner and then gave up on two of them while in the store. Sorry, Quicken.

I’d call the trip a success based on my past Costco excursions. I couldn’t find the “dark hot chocolate”, but came up with an acceptable excuse on the fly: it’s a season item. Kim fell for it.

The kid’s dinosaur vitamins gave me trouble. I located the bears, Flintstone and princess variety before Luca found the bottle with two smiling dinosaurs on the front. I guess even the most fearsome velociraptor needs his daily dose of Riboflavin and Beta Carotene in order to stay active and healthy.

They look so much like candy that I might try a couple tonight.

Once we’d checked every item off the list, we stood in line behind buying a cartful of hotdogs and buns. The kids thought that was funny. This is when they get antsy. But today they were kept busy by trying to guess how much the groceries would cost.

“I’m trying to keep the total around $200 today”, I told them.

Luca grabbed the case of black beans and put it on the conveyor belt. Anna grabbed the Pirates Booty while Lincoln tried to lift the can of applesauce onto the belt.

We’re not a well-oiled machine of productivity, but I don’t care. The kids want to help, and the only item that ended up on the floor was the bag of bagels. No harm, no foul.

As we walked to the car Luca asked how much I spent. I handed her the receipt which she held out in front of her with two hands. She scanned the list from top to bottom. Finally she yelled:

“One hundred and ninety four dollars! That’s pretty good, dad! You guessed $200!”

I’ll bet mom would have guessed $198.

5 thoughts on “Compared to Mom

  1. First, I haven't had a chance to wish you a happy new year, so wishing you and the gang of my heart a very happy and healthy one. I have been reading your posts and enjoying them – but had computer issues so was unable to post comments until now!As for today's post, as always, Brett, you take a seemingly routine or mundane family experience and turn it into a magical adventure.Now, as for going to Costco on a Saturday with three kids in tow, that gotta earn you a Purple Heart or a one-way ticket to the looney bin or both. However, what you garnered from the experience and how you share your heart is also magical. Again, redundancy aside, you are a wonderful writer and I hope you can turn this into a book someday, between work, snuggle time, Costco runs and dates with the Mrs.Best – as always – M.


  2. 1-What is pirate's booty? 1a-If pirate's booty has nothing to do with Johnny Depp's butt I really don't care what pirate's booty is.2-What is kid bread? 2a-I am hoping that it is bread made from baby goats, not actual human children.3-If you say nice things about funny comments on Twitter I am more likely to comment. 3a-Then you get this stupid comment in place of one that may have actually been funny but I don't work well under pressure so I just say things. Like goat bread… we all know that they wouldn't make bread out of baby goats.


  3. Thank you for the nice words, Marla. Happy New Year to you too. I hope you got your computer issues fixed. I've been helping a friend get his computer running and it's been a challenge. Thanks again for the very kind comment. I'm going to try Costco on a Wednesday one of these days. 🙂


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