Thursday, December 28, 2006

There are all sorts of stressful jobs in the world. You could be a soldier, a cop, you could be a heart surgeon or even just an orderly. Regardless, there is stress in a great many jobs. Imagine being the guy who has to clean Rosie O'Donnel's bathroom!

But, in my 44+ years on this planet, I have concluded that nothing is more stressful than bringing a 13-year-old boy and two 8-year-old boys to Toys-R-US on the day after Christmas.

For proof, I offer this scenario:

(In the parking lot) Me: Okay guys, I want you to be on your best behavior, No screaming or yelling and especially, no begging. We have a certain amount we can spend and then that's it. (The twins each had a $25 gift card, the older one had $50).

(Inside the store) Mendy (very loudly): Woah, AWESOME!!!

Elisha: Where are the video games?

Me: We'll get there. Let's just start at the beginning.

Elisha: I want a video game!

Mendy (very, very loudly): Daddy, come over here!


Me: In a minute Elisha, we'll get there. I can't leave your brother.

Mendy: DADDY!!!!

Mayer (oldest son): Dad, I'll take Elisha to the video games.

Me: Thank you. I just...


Me (rushing to Mendy): What is it, already?

Mendy: Look, it's the Lego set we have at home!

Me: You called me over for that???

Mendy: Yeah, isn't it cool?

Me: Well, yeah, Honey, but you have that already.

Mendy: I know, I just wanted to show it to you.

Me (turning to Mayer, who doesn't have Elisha): Where's your brother?

Mayer: I dunno.

Me: What do you mean, "you don't know?" I thought you were with him by the video games?

Mayer: Oh, I was. But then I started looking at the DVD's.

Me: And you just left him there???

Mayer: You didn't tell...

Mendy: DADDY!!!!

Mayer: stay with him.

Me: Oh crap. Mayer, stay with Mendy. Find out what he wants and DON'T LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!

Me (At the video game center, where Elisha is nowhere to be found): Excuse me, have you seen a little boy?

Clerk: You're kidding me, right?

Me: Okay, blue shirt, stripes, about 4 feet, 3 inches, wearing a little beanie like mine?

Clerk: Sorry, man, haven't seen him.

Me: Gee, thanks for all your help!

(Cell phone rings)

Me: Hello?

Wife: How's it going?

Me: Oh, great. Just lovely.

Wife: What does that mean?

Me: I am at Toy-R-US with our three sons. What the hell do you think it means?

Wife: Well, I'm guessing that Mendy is out of control and Elisha is lost.

Me: Thank you. Gotta go.

(Mayer and Mendy show up)

Mayer: Who were you talking to, Dads?

Me: Mommy.

Mayer: Yours? Or mine?

Me: Don't be smart. Help me find Elisha.

Mayer: Oh, he's over by the clothes.

Me: The clothes? Why there?

Mendy: I don't get it either, Daddy.

Me: Well (turning to Mayer), why didn't you bring him to me?

Mayer: Um (shrugs).

Me (finally finding Elisha): Sweetie, why are by the clothes?

Elisha: Look Daddy, these shoes have lights!

Mendy: COOL! Daddy, I want shoes with lights!

Me: I thought you wanted a toy?

Mendy: I do! I want light shoes too.

Elisha: I don't want them. I want a video game.

Me: Well, Mendy, do you want a toy or shoes? Mendy? Great, now we lost Mendy!

Mayer: I'll find him!

Here we go again...

We finally left Toy-R-Us about an hour later after somehow spending about twice as much money as I wanted to. But alas, that is the cost of actually getting them to leave the store.

So, what did this relatively intelligent 44-year-old, father of four, do next? I took them to another video game store of course. You didn't think they all got what they wanted at Toys-R-Us, did you?

If you did, you clearly either don't know my kids, or don't have any boys of your own.

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