Day Three

When I was pregnant with our third child, someone jokingly said, “Ahh, three! Be prepared to be a spectacle everywhere you go.” It was a bold statement for someone that didn’t even know I was having another boy. In the ensuing years, we have realized how true those words were and never do we live up to that prediction more than when we go to Dick’s Sporting Goods.
I mean, what is not to love about Dick’s? It has big things and small things. Shiny things and high-tech things. Team gear, heat gear, cold gear and running gear. But the one thing it ain’t got? Anything cheap.
But, since the nice people at Dick’s sent me coupons encased in a glossy magazine featuring people looking fabulous and fit because they shopped at Dick’s, off we went. First we stop at the house of Reed’s football coach. Since they weren’t home they granted me permission to use the garage code to pilfer yet more coupons. The dog lifts his head wearily with nary a bark as I grab the sheet of discounts and go.
Because even I get spun around in Dick’s, I have the essential list with six items. It will ground and focus me in the frenzy that is bound to ensue.
I barely have the car in park and the boys are gone. We are meeting another family here as Reed has spent the night. They have one boy on Reed’s football team and a brother playing soccer with Mac. I grabbed a sheet of coupons from Reed’s coach for his friend and teammate, but adding more kids to the mix at Dick’s really has no benefits whatsoever.
So, two moms and five kids have the greatest of intentions as they enter the store. It takes approximately 30 seconds for the entire operation to fall apart.
Mac and his friend run off for soccer cleats and because it is on the list, I let them go. Reed is stopped short by all the padded wonder that is the football section. I drag him back to the shoes so I can give Mac some dollar parameters. When I reach Mac he has a pair of $179 purple cleats in his hand. I am not sure what my expression was, but it was enough to make him return them to the rack without a word. I give him a budget (based on the coupon) and head back to football with Reed.
Drew needs nothing so the entire store is a possibility. Each rack a hope. Just dashing his dreams aisle by aisle is taking longer than I expected. I send him off to find a $15 soccer ball for Mac as I dodge the spontaneous game of basketball that has erupted among three boys who are undoubtedly supposed to be shopping instead of playing.
Reed and I find his pants, pads and a groovy skullcap in record time. I have succumbed to the skullcap because 1)it is cheap 2) just the mental advantage of wearing it may make him stop whining about his helmet. I have succumbed to the skullcap despite the fact that 1) it will most likely have no tangible affect on how the helmet feels 2) he will look ridiculous and 3) it will be lost before the first game.
We juggle the various items and head back to Drew. We find that Drew has now entered the game of basketball to make it an even two on two. But to his credit there is a soccer ball on the ground so mission accomplished.
He reluctantly leaves the game and I ask how much the ball is. He announces that it is $14.98– right on budget. I walk back over to the rack where he got it to confirm. As we approach, a kind Dick’s worker tells us that only the black soccer balls are on sale. Staring at the rack with at least four different colored balls mixed in with the black ones leaves me perplexed. “You should change the sign then, or remove the ones that aren’t on sale,” I offer.
He then rambles on for a few minutes about his manager and district manager while not giving me any advice or help at all. I leave him muttering and table the ball and move back towards the cleats to check on Mac. He announces that they only had the white cleats in a size 9. Putting the kabash on white seems obvious to me. Knowing that my fashion conscious son would be demanding new shoes the minute we hit the field after rain, we finally agree on the same exact purple and orange cleats that his teammate picked. Boys will wear the same shoes, as a girl I am mortified.
I consult my list which has kept me neither grounded nor focused but has become one more thing to keep track of. We still have the soccer ball situation to address and shin guards. The Nike guards are given the go-ahead being cool and on sale, so back to the soccer balls.
Since Mac has not been involved in the soccer discussion so far, he heads straight for the more expensive USA and Celtics branded items. Pointing out that they are all over $20, I ask him to please just take the only sale item in the entire aisle. The black soccer ball. I emphasize that it has the same orange as his shoes. Then I pull out the big guns because, this ball issue is starting to get on my nerves. “It is costing me $400 for you to play on this team. Can you please do me the favor of saving me $5 or $10 on a ball?” He picks up the black ball without a word and walks to the register.
The register adds another layer of angst to any Dick’s trip. There is Big League gum, various candy offerings, baseball cards, gatorade gel packs and more. My children proceed to ask for every one of these items separately and in unison as we snake through the line.
I repeat the word “NO” without even looking up to see what they are asking about. I wave the list. I look annoyed. I check my phone. I do everything I can and the requests keep coming. Finally, I dump my loot on the counter and demand silence.
It is time to bring out the coupons. All children in my family are aware of and respect the power of the coupon. No words are spoken as I carefully fold and tear, fold and tear until I have five coupons on the counter before me. The benefit of having loud children trailing you is that employees want you gone. She uses coupons that have little tiny print that would exclude me as a user without hesitation.
The cashier says nothing as she applies the discounts and I watch the minus signs bring my total down, down down. I go from $130+ dollars to $80.74. Not exactly extreme couponing but impressive.
Feeling satisfied and slightly smug that I have survived a trip to Dick’s and stuck to the list and employed coupons, we exit. As Mac holds the door for me he says, “The good news is I already picked out my basketball shoes while we were here.” I silently do the math and breathe easy. That gives me approximately 60 days to recover and gear up for another Dick’s trip before basketball begins.


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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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