I went to the exchange with the little girls and lasted only five minutes before turning around and leaving. My first mistake was going there at three, but I really wanted to drop off the mountain of drycleaning that's been sitting in the corner of our bedroom; and I just wanted to look around, maybe grab some Yankee candles.
It was CRAZY there, and I could barely drive through the parking lot. Finally I parked the car, put Annalise in her carrier, slung the diaper bag and gigantic bag of clothes over one shoulder; and led Delaney by the hand with the other, across the parking lot.
First we went to the drycleaners, and I coaxed Delaney along the whole time because she did not want to hold my hand. I couldn't find a cart, but I know now that I walked past all of them in my haste to get inside. I dumped out all of Tim's shirts and pants on the counter at the drycleaner. The lady behind the desk totaled them up and told me it would be $36. I said, "Can I pay when I come to pick them up?" She said no, they only do "prepay." I said, "Well, we don't prepay drycleaning, sorry." I was very irritated. Who hasn't picked something up at a drycleaners that wasn't clean, or worse yet, had a new mark on it that wasn't there before? I will look at the finished product before I pay for it, thank you very much. They've got some nerve trying to make me pay $36 for clothes that aren't yet cleaned or pressed.
That meant I had to put all the clothes back in the bag and carry it back out. And the rest of my trip quickly soured because Delaney took off through the store, trying to lose me! I said, "Delaney, you have to listen to me and stay with me, or we'll leave." She wasn't listening or staying. So I had to grab her little hand and hold tightly as she tried to squirm away. Then she started whining, "Help, help, I need help!" I thought, oh you little stinker, you. I said, "Let's go home, Delaney. If you can't listen to me and do as I say, then we have to go home."
I hustled back out there, bags, babies and all, out the door and across the parking lot as fast as I could possibly go without pulling her little arm out of socket. She cried all the way through the store, out the door, all the way to the car, "'Change!" (exhange) "Change!" "No, Delaney, no more Exchange because you're not listening."
Once inside the car, she cried, "Commissary!" "Playground!" Then, to my astonishment, I heard her cry, "Doctor's!" I knew we'd reached a new low when she'd rather be going to the doctor's than home with me. Oh well. And that's the story of how a two-year-old girl was taken away from the Exchange by her mean mother and back home to her horrible house. And the drycleaning is still not done!