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I got home from Nashville on Wednesday night. On Thursday, Sarah tells me that she thinks Tyler is getting sick.
On Tuesday, Sarah and Tyler went to spend the afternoon with Sarah’s sister (Jiillian), Jilian’s daughter (Lexi), and some friends of Jillian. A girls’ night thing, apparently. Well, I guess Lexi, who’s around 18 months old, was congested and moody. For whatever reason, they assumed she was teething, and not a carrier of the black plague, as I would have immediately deduced, had I been present at the time.
With a heavy tone of sarcasm, I can tell you that Friday was a LOT of fun. Tyler cried and cried and cried. And when he was done crying, he cried some more. We foolishly tried giving him a bottle. Tyler has been breastfed exclusively, save one night. Trying to give him a bottle while he is sick is a mistake that ONLY new parents can make. Well, we made that mistake. I had already, in previous days, had a couple issues where Tyler didn’t want to be held or comforted by me. He wanted his mommy, and that was it. Although I know this isn’t the case, I felt overcome with a sense of rejection. It had a profound affect on me. The sum of those instances along with Friday’s drama left me very discouraged. It saddened me to the point that I had to give Tyler to Sarah and head upstairs to be alone for a few minutes. I fully understand that he’s with Sarah everyday, and I shouldn’t take it personally… but it’s hard.
Tyler also decided that he had no desire to be in his bed that night. We didn’t want to lie him flat anyway. We wanted to prop him up somehow so that he could breathe a little easier. I didn’t see an easy way to do that at the time, so Sarah decided to just let him sleep in our bed. I wasn’t planning on going to bed for another hour or so, so I opted to just sleep on the couch, because I didn’t want to possibly wake Tyler when I came up.
I spent the next half an hour searching around on Google for sick babies. At 11:40p, I made a run up to Walmart to pick up some Vicks BabyRub. As I’m trying to navigate the many shelves and racks of medication, an announcement comes over the speaker system.
“The registers will shut down in 5 minutes. Please complete your purchases by then. The store will re-open at 12:05 am.”
Excuse me? The sign on the front of the building CLEARLY states that they are open 24 hours a day. I’ve worked in retail before. It was a horrible experience, but it has afforded me the knowledge of how retail operations work. I assume that Walmart needs to poll their registers every night, and need to balance their tills. Luckily for me, an employee – that looked like she had absolutely no desire to be there – happened by. I asked for help, and she took me to the baby medicine section. I grabbed the Vicks BabyRub, and hightailed it to the registers.
I’m sure that our particular Walmart is just like most of the others out there, but let me set this up anyway. There are around 35 registers. Eight of them are the cursed “self checkout” registers that rarely work. My two major gripes with the self checkout registers at Walmart are as follows:
1) There is no limit on how many items you can bring through. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen people with carts that are absolutely overflowing with food and clothes trying to check themselves out.
2) It’s always the people that DON’T know how to use the self checkout that end up using the self checkout. The one employee overlooking all of the self checkout registers seems to loathe their job more than the zombie-lady that helped me find the Vicks BabyRub, and has no intention of helping the person until they’ve been standing there, swiping the wrong barcode for at least 5 minutes.
3) I know I said I’ve got 2 gripes, but I’ve got to get this one in there too… I HATE the software that runs those systems. If you so much as breathe on the bagging area it starts barking commands at you to remove the last bagged item. You do so, and it just freezes and the stupid red light starts flashing – notifying the sole employee to actually take 3 or 4 steps over to you to help you. You know, effectively ruining their entire day.
But guess what??? Out of the 35 registers at Walmart, only 1 is open at 11:45pm. I am THE LAST PERSON in line, and I’ve only got one freaking item. When it’s my turn to check out, the guy at the register tells me that he needs to shut down and that I’ll need to wait 15 minutes before I can ring out.
I gave him the I-know-you’re-joking-but-am-really-not-in-the-mood-for-it look, and quickly realized that he wasn’t joking. I was in no mood whatsoever to get into a discussion with him about it so – as politely as I could – I said, “I’ve got a sick baby at home. Either you’re going to sell this to me right now, or I’m walking out with it.”
He looks over his shoulder to a lady that I never even saw. I assume she must have been his manager. She had a tone that made me think that she believed this cashier to be the dumbest man on the planet. She said, “Yes, ring him out.” I can’t do it justice in type, but she was less than pleased that he said I’d have to wait. Either that, or she played it off really well.
The Vicks BabyRub seemed to have made a world of difference. Unfortunately, I seem to have caught whatever it is that Tyler caught. My throat is all scratchy and sore right now. Chloraseptic spray isn’t doing much good, but it never really does anyway. That crap only works for about 5 seconds, yet it’s one of the first things I reach for when I get a sore throat.
And I feel so bad for Sarah, because I’m the biggest baby in the WORLD when I’m sick.