"Can we please look at toys now, Mama?" Mo pleads.
"Of course," I reply, "after we get the few things we need".
Target, my place of respite.
There is a certain cadence to my walk, as I push the cart. Maeve strapped into the front basket, while Mo walks along side, as we peruse the aisles. Since everything one could need is located under this one roof, I often spend time browsing. I find it difficult to shop with a purpose here. I cannot recall a quick trip. My cart usually contains more then the list I prepare, and my girls enjoy it too.
Around me, I see a young couple, a large blue diaper bag hangs over his shoulder, while she pushes the cart. An infant car seat sits delicately in the interior basket, as they shuffle through the newborn essentials. My mind flashes back to my own trips with a newborn. My own diaper bag overfilled, a newborn Moira soundly sleeping as I ventured to the outside world.
The memory is jolted as Mo points out, "Toys!".
In the fashion we have adopted as our routine, we walk the aisles. Beginning with sporting equipment, Mo pleads for shinguards for soccer. A promise of purchasing them in the fall, keeps her moving. Maeve's head swings back and forth. Occasionally, she gestures to toys or an audible "ooh" falls from her lips.
"Make a left" I say.
She follows as we continue surveying the collection of toys amongst the next eight aisles. We dance with Olivia, press the button on the Handy Manny toolkit, say hello to Jessie and Woody, and debate potential purchases for a number of birthday parties we have later this summer.
A conversation I have had recently with Bry comes to mind as we finish our walk through the toys. Apparently repeated viewings of Toy Story 1,2, & 3 at bedtime, has left Bry wanting to expand our collection of Pixar films. Mo begrudgingly follows Maeve and I to the videos, however her disposition turns as she sees the familiar faces. She points out characters from the Backyardigans, Toy Story, and even the Simpsons. I see the big bulls eye indicating a price drop for The Incredibles, however the stand is empty. As we round the corner, I find a copy! My happiness is short lived as Mo looks to me.
"I gotta go potty, Mama!" she says.
Immediately I recall a recent trip and quickly we race to the bathroom.
I steer the cart into the check out lane.
"Can I get a treat?" Mo pleads, her blue eyes looking up to me.
Unfortunately for her, they don't work, as I respond, "You can get a lollipop in the car".
At the mention of lollipop, Maeve begins clapping her hands in the front of the cart and smiles.
Our items on the belt are ringed up by the cashier. I take my credit card out of my wallet and swipe it through the machine. The girls exchange pleasantries with her the cashier as she hands them stickers.
As I fumble to return my card to the wallet, she comes over to me.
"I just wanted to say you are great with your girls" she begins.
I look up to find a woman, a few years older then me.
She continues, "I saw you earlier and you were so patient with your girls. My kids just graduated. It goes by so fast."
I blink, unsure what to say next.
"I just wanted to tell you to enjoy it" she ends, walking out the door into the summer sun.
I whisper "thank you" as I smile and push the cart, Maeve giggling in the front basket as Mo holds onto the side.