The other day we went to Peter Harris to look for some clothes, and we forgot the stroller. No biggie. Since it's in a plaza with a grocery store, Greg suggested we just grab a shopping cart. Then we reached the door to Peter Harris and saw a sign that exclaimed, "NO SHOPPING CARTS!"
Oooh, I guess Peter Harris is too fancy for shopping carts. (But not too fancy to have a sign with the list of available store positions on their window, written with a sharpie in child's scroll, the kind that gets smaller down the page because the person ran out of room.)
We just sighed and agreed to tag team Darby patrol, which meant twice as much time because one of us had to watch her while the other shopped, instead of shopping together.
I watched Darby first. In a store of this nature, this means following her random path through the maze of clothing racks, futilely trying to keep her from behind the cashier's counter, and most of all, not losing her.
Everything was fine, and then it was Greg's turn. At first I was all, "Yay, a few minutes to myself to shop!" And then ten seconds later I was all, "What if Darby gets kidnapped and murdered because Greg forgets he's a dad?"
So, I basically spent my half hour looking through racks of clothes, while calling out loudly into the store, "Greg! Greg, do you have her?" every few minutes.
One time he didn't answer quickly enough, and I started walking around calling for him again and again. A concerned saleswoman asked, "Is everything ok? The little one isn't missing is she?"
"Oh. Um, no. She's with her dad."
"Ah, I see," she replied, with a knowing look.
I found some stuff to try on and headed to the fitting room. Once inside, I heard Darby's little voice calling, "Daddy! Daddy!" This is one of the only words she uses, and it's adorable. But I freaked out. 'Oh my word!' I thought, "he's lost her and she's calling for him!'
It's fortunate I was fully dressed at that moment because I probably would have run out into the store regardless. As it was, I ran out fully dressed and started searching for Darby and yelling for Greg in a panicked tone.
Finally, he heard me from the opposite corner of the store.
"She's right here, Allie," he called, slightly annoyed.
I absolutely assumed he had lost her and was lying to me because I was too far away to see, in order to buy time to try and find her.
So I hurried toward him, saying, "Where? Where is she? I don't see her!"
"She's right here," he answered, pointing to the ground beside him.
I was still too far from them, but an older man who I hadn't noticed was standing nearby, and said,
"She actually is! I can see her."
"Oh. Haha. Thanks," I replied, and slinked away toward the fitting room.
A few days later, (he never tells me these things when they happen) we were in the car talking, and Greg said,
"You know that man who assured you that Darby was ok in Peter Harris the other day?"
"Yeah. That was nice of him."
"Well, when you walked away, he busted out into this huge rant about how that's why he's not married, and how awful marriage is, and how bad he feels for married men."
"What? What did you say?"
"Nothing. It was awkward. I just walked away."
"Well - well, if I was there, you know what I would have said?" I demanded. "I would have said, 'Hey mister, how about you try pushing out a human, and keeping her alive from your body, and having her depend on you for everything, and then tell me if you want to make sure she doesn't get kidnapped in a store, huh?' ...That's what I would have said."
"No it's not."
"Yeah, you're right."