A Zoo, a Lighthouse, and a Major Meltdown

Have you ever tried grocery shopping in soaked & sandy water shoes? Because I did that last week. Not only is it uncomfortable, but you squeak. Loudly. And you leave a slight trail of sand as you walk. Then mix in an argument between you and your child that left you both in tears in the middle of the pet aisle. Hot. Freaking. Mess. I have never before been on the receiving end of so many dirty looks from Meijer employees.

Backing up to the beginning of our tale…

The day started off pretty well. K1 is away at summer camp and Hubs was at work. So it was just me and K2. It was a (sort of) nice day, I wanted to hunt Pokemon and he wanted to play Jurassic World Alive. We decided on a trip to the Racine Zoo.

If you’ve never been to the Racine Zoo you should really stop by if you’re in the area. It’s not a big zoo, which makes it perfect for trips that don’t take up the entire day. The grounds are well tended, there’s a fabulous view of Lake Michigan, a great assortment of animals. We get a membership every year and both kids have attended day camp there. We’re big fans of the Racine Zoo.

We visited our current favorites: I love the cockatoo and K2 loves the bearded dragon. We went through our normal path and said hello to the orangutan, the meerkats, and the zebras. We were a little bummed that the giraffes weren’t out, but it was rainy so we weren’t surprised. We talked, played our games, and had a lot of fun.

When we were done we weren’t quite ready to head home so we decided on a trip to the Wind Point Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is on the register of historical places as it was first used in 1880. There’s a lovely little beach, a small garden, and the lighthouse is beyond picturesque. You can take tours inside the lighthouse, but we haven’t done one of those yet.

I took pictures of the lighthouse to share, but upon reviewing their photography rules I decided not to risk it. But you can visit the site here.

And this brings us to the water shoes. I hate shoes with lots of support. My favorite shoes are Tieks (I’m not affiliated with them, I’m just a big fan and recently bought myself a pair by saving $10 a paycheck for months and months. But if they would have me as an affiliate I sooooo wouldn’t say no!). But I’ve found myself more and more on beaches this summer and Tieks + playing on the beach don’t always mix. So I purchased a couple pairs of cheap water shoes. I find them comfortable and very versatile, especially since I almost always end up in the water. I was happy that I wore my water shoes that particular day.

Unfortunately I neglected to keep an extra pair of shoes in the car.

Yeaaahhhhhhh after hanging out on the beach with K2 (who was wearing very comfy sandals that do not readily absorb water) my feet were sopping and full of sand. And I remembered that we absolutely had to go to the store before schlepping home. I did the best I could to clean them off but it wasn’t enough. My walk sounded like this: squeek splosh, squeek splosh, squeek splosh…

By this point K2 and I were starting to get hangry. We agreed to grabbing snacks at the store instead of eating a meal first, which was a mistake. Our amiable moods deteriorated and before I knew it we were arguing because I wouldn’t buy K2 toys. Now we’re in Meijer, I’m squeek sploshing in my uncomfortable shoes, and K2 says very loudly “Everyone just treats me like a b!tch!!!”

OMG.

We’ve been doing our best with K2 on not swearing. But it’s like he’s fixated on swearing and says these things at the worst possible moments. Case in point, he called me a B in front of 2 of my professional colleagues the day before. It’s embarrassing, I’m tired of it, and I’m at my wits end. Once again I’m unkempt, looking like a hot mess crazy lady, and my kid is swearing loudly in public.

So I scolded him loudly. I think this was in the pharmacy aisle.

Squeek splosh, squeek splosh, squeek splosh…

As we’re walking K2 gets all embarrassed. I’m embarrassed for causing a scene.

Squeek splosh, squeek splosh, squeek splosh…

Argue, argue, argue…

Now we’re in the pet aisle. The pet aisle is a sensitive subject because both of our pets are hard to fix/not fixable sick. Our 15 year old cat has a respiratory condition and kidney problems. Our dog has colon cancer. Our other 15 year old cat just died. Yes, our living pets are receiving regular veterinary care but we’re reaching the point of not being much more we can do. It’s likely that neither of our pets will be with us by the end of the year.

Squeek splosh, squeek splosh, squeek splosh…. Pause…

The arguing stops. K2 and I just look at each other and start crying. Right there in the pet aisle. Fortunately Meijer has benches to sit on. The Meijer employees are giving us a wide berth.

We just sat there hugging with tears running down our cheeks. It was just one of those unexpected moments where everything got to be TOO MUCH and the damn dam overflowed.

And it wasn’t just about our pets, although that is a huge part of it. It’s financial stresses, extended family drama, ADHD & ASD issues, work stresses, other personal stressors, the stupid yuppie couple who cut me off in the parking lot and flipped me off, too many other things on our plate, etc, etc, etc. Although I could have wished our mutual meltdowns could have happened somewhere else at least we got this stuff out and the bad feelings didn’t fester. We actually left the store feeling better than when we came in and treated ourselves to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I think the Meijer employees were low grade traumatized by us though.

And I totally got my revenge on the yuppie couple when they got in line behind us. They were frustrated with me because we were in the “any amount” self scan lane. They had two things in their hands, but instead of choosing the express lanes or the “limit of 12” lanes they unaccountably chose our lane. I took my sweet ass time scanning and bagging my groceries despite their eye rolls and muttered comments. It’s the small victories…

LT

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