I don't have the receipt, but the timing is perfect for this oversight: 1. Maybe I got it as a Christmas gift; 2. Maybe Target's not in a position to get all hardball and rules-y with customers. I'm already loitering near a sweater, 40 percent off, when Chuck walks through the automatic doors.
I make the universal sign for "grab-a-cart," (I've got the stroller), and he does a spin move. We cruise as a single file unit to baby supplies, Chuck nicks a support beam with a wheel, I cackle, and he explains the difficulty of maneuvering between on-coming traffic and the pole.
I grab a 90 pack of Size 2 Pampers; Chuck motions to the 132 pack: I return the 90 pack and grab the 132 pack. We browse the highchairs and decide to double back to this purchase at the end of our shopping trip. We zip down a couple aisles and I grab a jumbo box of pump bags, which will hold the milk I coax from my breasts using a futuristic sucking machine every day around 2 p.m.
Bam-bam. Two items off the list.
We're a bit like Ponch and John, the two of us, cruising the aisles of Target. I've got the stroller and the baby, Chuck's got the cart. I call over my shoulder "We can trade if you want!" and he says "No," and adds something about how pushing the cart is relaxing.
Toilet paper. A fist shake to the heavens. Toilet paper companies seem to think that success is a thick and soft product akin to rubbing one's butthole against quilted rabbit fur. Toilet paper companies have never seen the sledge that refluxes into our laundry room because everyone needs to crap like a Rockefeller.
We've been experimenting with single ply and frankly it's cruel. We study the packages and Chuck makes a sweeping gesture with his arm:
"All of this is off limits" he says, eliminating half the stock.
We settle on a lesser grade of Cottonelle, but only commit to a small package.
We take on the role of toilet paper testers, in search of the perfect and responsible ply.
While deliberating, I've pitched a load of paper towels into the cart and as we circle out of this corner of the store I toss a couple Glad containers over my shoulder, too.
Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam-Bam. Five items knocked off the list.
The aisles are crowded near the humidifiers, so we have to circle the block, but we find the one we want on an endcap so BOOM. It's over to kitchenware for a new frying pan and we puzzle through nonstick claims and quickly pick a winner. Chuck suggests getting another, something smaller, and I just say nah.
The vacuum cleaners catch Chuck's eye, so we jerk right and follow with another quick turn but there are people and carts and it looks like a hassle, so.
Onward, is Chuck's call, he didn't plan to buy one anyway.
Now we double back for the highchair. Here we break off: Chuck heads to that aisle, I detour into baby clothes to see if a favorite piece of winterware, in the next size up, is for sale. Nope. When I turn the corner, Chuck's already got the boxed chair halfway back to his cart.
I sprint to catch up.
We've got a head of steam. His cart is teeming with oversized packaging and he's awkwardly carrying highchair, our baby is beaming at me, her hand in her mouth at least up to her wrist bone. A man sees us coming, he knows the score, and he jumps into the teen clothing department with an audible "uh-oh."
The first register we see is wide open. We settle up with the cashier and I clear a path through the people toward the parking lot. Chuck follows. We get the packages to the car, then into the proper Tetris formation and buckle ourselves into the front seat.
I look at the clock.
"Holy shit. That took less than a half hour," I say.
It feels like we should high-five.
"And the highchair was on sale," I say.
Maybe a fist bump.
"And I never even mentioned how great of a parking spot we got!" I shout.
There will be time to experiment with another solid food before Chuck goes to work.