If you've ever been to Motherhood Maternity clothing store in the mall, you know it's a small, narrow shop, the kind that's clearly not built for strollers or kids of any kind. The kind of store where the design reflects that they probably figure pregnant women will come in alone because it's not in the least bit interesting for kids or husbands.
It was a Friday after school, I had just taken my 4 kids to Build-A-Bear workshop to fulfill a back to school tradition started years ago when my oldest started school, as a fun kick off to the new school year. Fast forward a bunch of years and stuffed animals later, it is now a money drain, but the kids look forward to it so much that the tradition is worth the cost. But I digress.
I walk into Motherhood Maternity, with 4 kids stomping beside me, hugging their new adorable decked out Build-A-Bears, pushing a double stroller overflowing with 4 of those ginormous cardboard boxes that are the "homes" of the Build-A-Bear animals, leaving no room for actual people to sit in the stroller.
As soon as we enter the narrow clothing store, trouble begins. The kids are wound up and hungry, the snacks I brought don't cut it. They start chasing each other through the clothes racks, which are so close together I can barely walk between them myself. Clothes gets knocked down while they run around, and my 2 year old thinks its pretty funny to throw piles of matching shirts off the shelving displays onto the floor.
I collect an armload of clothes to try on and go into the dressing room, which is nothing but a small curtained off fitting area located directly across from the cash register, don't know who designed that. And the curtain does nothing for me, as my 4 kids keep swishing it aside and running in and out of my stall. Sorry people in the store who have to see that. I tell them to stop and sit outside the stall on the floor and be quiet. Famous last words.
My 7 yr old son starts sobbing that this is the worst place I've ever taken him to, he's so bored and my daughter keeps pushing him. My 5 yr old daughter is screaming that she's getting picked on by the older two, and can we go now. My 2 year old keeps throwing his new stuffed puppy around and losing it, then crying. My 9 yr old daughter, who gets ornery when she's hungry, is being mean and cranky, until she finds the stuffed belly pillow in the fitting room, the kind that pregnant ladies strap onto their bellies to see how clothes will fit when they're nine months pregnant. I don't need to try on this belly bump because I know what size I will be at nine months pregnant... HUGE. My daughter thinks its hilarious to put it on under her shirt and prance around. It just scares the heck out of me, to see my 9 yr old girl playing pregnant!
Finally the kids are causing such noise and turmoil, I say the worst thing I can think of...
"You are making all the pregnant ladies in this store not want to have a baby anymore!"
Ok maybe I over-reacted, I admit. I hastily exit the fitting room, still wearing the comfy maternity pants I just tried on, and apologize profusely to the gals at the register as I ring up and buy my stuff, including of course the pants on my legs.
I realize then and there, "Who on earth brings their FOUR little kids, all under the age of ten, into a maternity store!" Four kids AND four build a bears AND four of those jumbo build a bear boxes...
I swear people are looking at me saying in their minds,
"...and she's pregnant AGAIN?!"
Yes, I am.
And I will never again take four kids to Motherhood Maternity, thank you very much!