Hello, friends! My, my… it has been quite some time since I wrote one of these, hasn’t it? Well, the main reason for this is simply because I despite the summer, and haven’t been walking as much as I’d like to. The sun, the heat, the mugginess, the bugs… it just isn’t for me. With autumn just around the corner, we have been seeing a few cooler days here in Illinois, and today was one of them, so we decided to go for a long walk! Unfortunately, my phone kicked the bucket two days ago, meaning I had no music, no Pokemon GO… and no camera. No pictures, sorry!
Our walk was relatively uneventful at the start. We left around 10:15, and I packed snacks and lunches for us, just in case we were gone for several hours. It was beautiful outside when we left the apartment, 75 degrees and super breezy, with some scattered, fluffy clouds. The At the end of our street, there was a couple walking their beautiful, golden retriever. As we approached them on the sidewalk, the woman complimented Liam on his sunglasses, and Liam excitedly pointed to the dog. The woman asked if he wanted to pet the dog, since he was very friendly, and I said sure. Liam was all smiles as he stroked the dogs ear and head. He absolutely loves dogs! After a few minutes of chatting, we said our goodbyes, and continued on our walk.
Several yards later, I realized that they were walking behind us, and when they passed us (I walk a bit slow with the stroller), Liam waved excitedly at the dog once more, making us all smile. We trailed behind them, all the way to the park. I watched as they walked right past the large “NO DOGS ALLOWED IN PARK” signs, and entered the park. To be fair… most people to. The road in the park is short enough that most people can just go straight through, and their dogs won’t do their business in the park… well, not only did their dog poop in the park, but he did it twice… and they did not clean it up. This irked me a bit, but it’s not my place to police them, so we just went to the other end of the park.
25 total minutes on the swing, several trips down the BIGGEST slide on the playground (after we wiped off the egg that some asshole broke on the side), and lots of running through the grass. It was lovely. There was so much shaded area, thanks to the beautiful trees in the park, and Liam even got to chase a fat, red squirrel. He saw his first Monarch butterfly as well. We see butterflies all the time, but he always seems to miss them, or isn’t paying attention. He was pretty excited about that.
We ate a yummy snack of graham crackers and raisins, and left the park after nearly an hour. Instead of going home, I decided to walk to Dollar General, just go get another mile or so under my belt. It wasn’t too hot yet, and the breeze was still strong, so off we went! We passed by a man walking a yappy little Pomeranian, and Liam waved to the small dog, but the man was not to keen on letting his dog near us, which was fine with me, since it didn’t seem particularly friendly.
We got to Dollar General, which was absolutely packed with people, and I became increasingly frustrated with being unable to go down most of the aisles, due to crap being all over the floor. This store is notorious for being a disaster. They get their trucks three days a week, but no matter what day you go there, there are between 6 and 10 rolltainers cluttering the floor, and boxes on the floor in every aisle. It is impossible to get around the store if you have a stroller, or a car. There was even one employee, sitting on the floor, “stocking” an endcap with shampoo. Oh, why did I put quotes around “stocking“? Because he wasn’t actually stocking the shelf. He was sitting there, in the middle of the main aisle, texting on his phone. In plain site.
As someone who worked at, and became a manager of, a Dollar General, I can tell you with 100% certainty that NONE of that crap would fly at my store. And it is always like this. Has been for years. I can understand having an off week, or dealing with call-offs… but I am not exaggerating when I say that it has been this way during every trip we have EVER made to this store. Sad.
We were going to leave empty-handed, but I saw that there was one bottle of Crystal Pepsi left in the cooler by the front. I don’t drink Pepsi, or any soda for that matter, but I knew that it was a limited time thing, and honestly, it is pretty cool. A clear soda, that is normally dark. Neat. I grabbed the bottle, and jumped in line. It was at this point that I also realized that I may have forgotten to put deodorant under one of my arms… oops.
The woman at the front of the line had a return, and was being incredibly difficult. The item the was returning, she had purchased months ago, and was now on clearance. The manager tried to tell her that they could only give her the current, maximum price for the item, which was on clearance now, and was much less than what she paid when she bought it months ago. The woman started having a fit, making a scene, and arguing with the girl. I was impressed with how the manager handled the situation, because some of the things the woman was saying were completely out of line.
While this was all happening, the elderly woman in front of me was waving and making faces at Liam. The following conversation ensued:
Woman: *to Liam* Where are your shoes? Did mommy forget your shoes?
Me: Oh, we have them in our bag, we didn’t forget them!
Woman: In your bag? Why aren’t they on his feet?
Me: He takes them off and tosses them. We’re walking around today, and I don’t want to lose them.
Woman: Takes them off? What do you mean? Why does he do that?
Me: Oh,… I don’t know, he just does. He’s just funny like that.
Woman: *sternly* Strange. My children never did that. Are you sure they aren’t too tight? Are they hurting his feet? That seems strange.
Me: No… they’re fine. He just likes to take them off.
Woman: Interesting… I wonder why… my kids never did that.
Me: Ah… well, toddlers are funny like that I suppose!
Woman: Hm. I suppose.
Then she turned around and paid for her things without another word. There was something about her tone that I just didn’t care for. It seemed very accusatory. Is it really that strange that my 19 month old likes to take his shoes off? Here, let me answer that for you: NO! Not to mention, it was over 80 degrees outside my this point, his feet were probably warm. I can think of a million reasons why he wouldn’t want to keep his shoes on, but they definitely are not too small.
We paid for our Crystal Pepsi, and a I took a sip… yup, tasted just like Pepsi. Weird! It had gotten quite warm by this point, and was getting close to nap time, so I gave Liam his lunch in his stroller, and we hurried home. Somewhere along the way, he tossed his sunglasses into the grass, and I did not notice… we went back a black, but could not find them anywhere. Bummer. We’ve had those sunglasses since he was just a few months old, and he loves wearing them around the house, and when we go outside. I’ll have to find a replacement for them before all the summer stuff leaves the stores.
We got home, and Liam fell asleep the second I put him in his crib, completely tuckered from our adventure. My arms and face are a bit warm, and a bit pink, but I feel good. I can not wait for the weather to cool down, so we can get back to walking daily. I’ve dropped a few pounds in the last week or so, and I really need to get back on track so I can start hitting my goals on time. I need to buy a new dress for something we’re going to in October, so I am hoping to drop a size or two by then.
Anyways, thanks for reading, friends! I need a shower.