The Dirty Dollar

Your kid peed in the potty, stopped eating chalk, tried peas, tied their shoes, put on their underwear (backwards), stopped pulling their ding dong through their underwear hole and saying “look mom, look at my finger”. Yay! You’re so proud and it’s been 6 months since the last disaster at the Dollar Tree so the memories have faded just enough for you to go for it.

You tell them they can each pick out one thing, next thing you know you are now looking around at all this garbage and realize that you need an off-brand Sharpie and a snow globe in April along with a balloon and some gift bags that are too narrow to actually fit a gift inside. In the meantime the kids have each found 16 toys, two of which they have already broken and slobbered on. After the threat of leaving with nothing they start putting things back one item at a time. Every time they put one toy back a new shiny glittery piece of plastic catches their eye. Seven minutes later when you are about to gouge your eyeballs out you pull “I’m leaving!”.

You don’t look around to see who’s judging you for the chaos that you have brought to this already dreadful place, just bee-line for the register and pray that they all follow you… then you realize there are 32 freaking people in line because there is always only one god damn register open and three of them are going to write a check while the other half is still paying with cash in 2018. As you say no to the gum-by-the-foot and all of the other forbidden shit they hang where you wait in line the dickhead in front of you wants a balloon filled.

They call Cathy over the microphone but she of course can’t be found so Irene, the only lady checking out the 32 of us, has to stop and fill a balloon for Jim Bob. Now that he has his balloon and fake red rose he pays with his three dirty one dollar bills and winks at Irene on the way out. Ding ding ding, you are up, you did it, you have 4 shiny pieces of garbage for the kids, a bag of balloons, a stock pile of gift bags that you won’t remember were they are when you need them and a marker that dries out before you ever open it but the kids are happy and you all leave smiling. They say thank you 13 times before they even get to the car and each explain why they made such a great choice.

After two minutes of pure joy the slinky is tangled before it even makes it to the stairs and the kid is literally sobbing. As a seasoned parent you were prepared for a toy or two to not make it home so you bust out this centipede that grows when it gets wet and now your kid thinks you are the coolest mom ever and can’t wait to take a bath. The toddler sees the centipede and now is crying that he too wants an extra toy. This is the moment that you are reminded that this was the worst 21 dollars that you have ever spent!! You tell yourself that you will never do that again!! And you mean it!

But 6 months later Carson stops using a pacifier, Hudson quits eating sand and you find yourself back at the god damn dollar tree!

Mom on!! It doesn’t get any better than this. #lifewithlittles


3 Replies to “The Dirty Dollar”

  1. ^. . Background: I’m applying for an MFA in creative writing program, and I’ve never taken a creative writing course. Most of my creative writing knowledge comes from research I did on my own. I’m wondering if during my research I at least learned the basics of creative writing, or if I really do need to take a course before starting the program? What do you think? I know most of the literary elements and how they can be implemented, though I can’t say that I implement them well..


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