It’s a beautiful spring day here today. The predicted rain hasn’t materialized, the sun’s shining and there’s a gentle breeze keeping the temperature from soaring above 15 degrees C. I have three challenges to complete today – a trip to Costco, rearrange the furniture in a couple of rooms, and hold Mackenzie for three minutes while Kirsty eats dinner.
Challenge one – Costco. Those of you who have spent quality time pushing one of those big grey shopping trolleys will know that this place is not for the feint hearted. If you’re lucky enough to snag a spot in the car park, you get to join the throng of bargain hunters pressing through the door, flashing their membership cards like olympic gold medals as they pass. To the uninitiated, the place looks like an oversized shed full of chaos. Once you get your bearings however, you realize that you can head to the back to get a mega-pack of family size meat pies, cross to the other side to grab a few kilos of aspirin, or just dive into the clothing piles in the middle only to find that they never have your size.
The place sells everything from apples to zinnias, and golf shoes to headache tablets, but the real crowd favourite would have to be the food stands. Savvy Costco shoppers don’t eat before they come, but prowl the secret recesses of the back aisles looking for the smiling ladies offering free samples of food. “Try these muffins. I’ve just baked them and they’re soooo good. And the muffin mix is only $3.49 in Aisle 437.” My personal favourite today is the California mix popcorn – caramel popcorn and cheese popcorn together – mmmmm. Finally, with bellies and shopping cart equally full, we decide to brave the checkouts. We suffer the usual surprise that we’ve spent so much on bargains, but hey, it’s Costco.
Challenge two – furniture. One of the reasons for this trip was for me to help Kirsty and David sort out a few things in case they decide to go ahead and changes houses. “So Dad, can you just move the toys from this area into the dining area, move the dining table and chairs into the toy area, and switch the living room around so you can see the TV and the fireplace from the couch.” Hmmm. I’m about to say this is just too much for an old bloke to manage when Kirsty plays her trump card. “I can strap Mackenzie into the baby carrier and help if you want.” OK. My choices are to suck it up and do the job or ask a young mom carrying a baby whilst simultaneously managing a four year old to struggle on the other end of various heavy things. “Nah – I can do it. As long as we stop at least every hour or so and get more coffees.”
Much to our surprise, we achieve all the tasks. We work as a team with Kirsty sorting and culling while I hump bits and pieces back and forth. The new layout works really well and we’re still patting ourselves on the back when dinner time rolls around. Now for challenge number three. There’s a hot Costco chicken pie steaming on the table (we teamed up with nine other random families we met in the store to buy and share the ten pack) and it smells fantastic. Kirsty just wants three baby-free minutes to sit and enjoy her dinner in peace. So – here’s the equation. It’s dinner time. Mackenzie has just turned six months old. Ah well – I reckon two challenges out of three is a pretty good result for today.