Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Running Errands with Toddlers, A Savvy Solution


Running errands with a toddler can range from “no big deal” to excruciatingly annoying and painful. Sometimes, you never know what you’re gonna get.

Something as simple as running into a drycleaner to drop off two pairs of pants can become a quite complicated event, as only a mother knows.

You must:

-Get the kid in and out of the car seat.

-Answer questions about what you are doing. Repeatedly.

-Give a pre-lecture in a hiss-yell, “Parker! You STAY WITH MOMMY!”

-Make sure all items are secured in The Toddler’s hands before leaving the car area. (My child is like a Reese monkey and needs to be clutching metal cars in both hands while going ANYWHERE.)

-Go into the drycleaners to conduct what should be a simple one-task affair, but instead you are trying to talk to the salesclerk while keeping one eye glued on The Toddler and anticipate any issue that could occur.

(And believe me, any issue can occur when The Toddler is involved.)

-Then, you must convince this Toddler to leave, help them back into the car seat, make sure all cars and “things” are accounted for, etc. etc. Sounds energizing, right?

So, here is what I did yesterday while on the way home from work. I was dreading dealing with my “simple” errand with The Toddler in tow, and then, wouldn’t you know it? He fell asleep in his car seat and was slumbering peacefully as we got closer to our destination.

I drove up to the store front of the drycleaners and parked the car. I called information and got instantly connected to said drycleaners. I watched as the saleslady inside picked up the phone.

“Hello, this is Maggie,” said Maggie.

“Hi, Maggie! I am parked right out front of your store…” I said as she looked out the window.

I waved a friendly wave. She waved back and smiled. (I was glad to see the smile because I didn’t know yet if she would think I was crazy, rude, or pulling a prank.)

I continued, “I was wondering if you could pull my information up on the computer while we’re on the phone, and then when you are ready for my clothes, I can just pop in real quick and set the pants on the counter and run out. I have a toddler in a car seat with me, and I just figured it would be so much easier this way.” (I braced myself.)

“Oh, of course!” Maggie replied, “You wait right there and I’ll come out.”

Wow! Even better!

Maggie was a wonderful woman. She came out and collected my pants and gave me my drycleaning ticket. I thanked her profusely. She was so nice, and it seemed that she understood. Then, we were off. Driving home. Easy schmeasy!

Thank you, Maggies of the world. Thank you for understanding and helping. You made my long day just a little bit easier. I promise I won’t do this all the time, but for that one time, it sure was nice.

26 comments:

Clipped Wings said...

You always write such a good post no matter what it is about. Enjoy following you.

Aging Mommy said...

Every dry cleaning store needs a Maggie! When my husband hands me his work pants to take to the dry cleaner he always gives me a puzzled look when I sigh - failing to understand the complexity of getting said pants into the dry cleaning store :-)

I did all my grocery shopping today while my daughter spent her two hours at preschool and despite the fact that I got it all done in half the usual time it was nowhere near as much fun and eerily quiet :-)

cristina said...

I HEART Maggie.

Jen said...

I hear ya on running errands with toddlers, I try to avoid it all costs.

And wow, what a great lady.

blueviolet said...

I'd pay a premium price for that service!

Kara Niewohner said...

Yes, and this is exactly how I locked Jack in the car in Wall, SD. Took the key fob into the gas station bathroom with me while he watched Cars in the truck (running with A/C on) and when I returned all was well. I put the car in gear to go and realized the bugs on the windshield were thick. I got out to clean it. Left the key fob in the truck and when I went to get back in-I COULDN'T!! It took 40 minutes for the lock smith guy to come from the badlands. Terrible Terrible. I hate dragging the child into any store so I totally I feel your pain Mama. Just a word of caution for those of you who lock the car when you get out. :)

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

You know, kudos to you for asking! I'd be so nervous about taking someone's time, but then you think about how much business you give them and the state of customer service, and it seems appropriate. So, good for Maggie. I suggest writing a note to her manager or something, good workers don't get enough credit. I hosted a suprise party for the hubs at a bar and they gave us this room and a ton of service and attention and didn't even include the tip in the bill! For like 15 people! I tipped her huge and wrote a letter to her manager and told them how awesome the service was.

abkeuser said...

This is adorable. You and your little boy are so entertaining :D

MultipleMum said...

Well. As if you won't be frequenting that dry cleaner again! What a resourceful woman you are. I will try this for size. Not quite sure if they would come out into the Westfield carpark, but it may be worth a try!!

Glen said...

That is such a result! The most frightening one for me is paying for petrol - such a chore when there is no pay at the pump option!

Elle said...

I love that. I recently encountered a woman that worked at a restaurant that normally doesn't do carry out service. She made an exception because she saw me trying to get three kids out of the car. She came out before I could unbuckle any of them with our food. She wouldn't even except a tip. She said that she hopes someone will be kind enough to do that for her and her kids someday! It's a beautiful thing, kindness.

Florida Girl Meets the Midwest said...

This is why I love drive-throughs. Even the drive through liquor store is appealing to me. Call me crazy.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I'll be honest, I'd have thought you were messing with me! LoL

It's good that she did that though. Very kind. :)

Shell said...

That's awesome!

Our dry cleaners is drive thru- I wish ALL places had a drive thru.

hotpants™ said...

I need a nap just from getting mine in an out of the car twice.

Meghan said...

We all need more Maggies in our life! What a wonderful woman!

Kristy said...

Thank you clipped wings!

And, I am so jealous Shell!

And, Kara, I am so happy for you and your new blog about baby from China! I know it is one of your life's dreams. And, I have always feared accidentally locking myself out of the car. I would have freaked out!

TornadoTwos said...

oh, I wish there were Maggie's in my life, sigh. I HATE running errands with my little guys, there's always lots of running away from me and screaming and throwing oneself to the floor. I'm glad I found your blog today throught the SITS site! I'll be following!

bettyl said...

Wow! That takes me back to when the world was more like Mayberry! Awesome! Next time you see her, tell her that we all said she's wonderful!!

Young Wife said...

How wonderful that she came out to your car! People like that can make your whole week better.

Annette said...

Oh, don't you love it when people understand toddlers. I was so afraid that you were going to say that she wouldn't help you and you had to wake your tot up. Not fun! Yes, I'm going to attempt to do errands with my tot tomorrow. Wish me luck :)

Sherilin Riley said...

do you think i could get them to do this at the grocery store? i could even email them my list in advance!

Kisha said...

Maggie is a saint! So nice to find understanding people!!

Tenille said...

Sometimes when I leave the house with my little girl, I remember the post you did about your trip away, and how having Parker in the stroller was 'a containment issue'. I fully understand what you meant by that. However, I like this new idea better.

Mommyfriend Lori said...

Genius, why have I never thought of this?

McCall said...

I had a similar situation with a very nice gentleman who was willing to bring out my new eyeglasses when I went to pick them up and even adjusted them right there at my car. Perhaps he was as sweet as your dear Maggie or, I suppose, it could have been because our phone 'conversation' went like this: "Hi. This is McCall and I'm parked in your lot. I came to pick up my eyeglasses but my two year old just fell asleep in the car. We've been running errands all day and he's been a horrible. I believe I may be on the verge of a toddler induced breakdown and if I have to wake him up to come inside there is no doubt that my own crying will put his to shame. Please please please come outside and give me my glasses. For the sake of yourself and all your other customers. I promise if you do not this will get ugly..."