Plus, the place is so darned big. If you remember that you forgot a plank of wood when you're in the garden section, you have to walk about a mile to get back to the lumber, and that takes time.
Then there's all the time spent breaking up fights from amongst your offspring, and time looking all over for your hyperactive almost 4 year old who is hiding behind the display tumble driers and then inside the kitchen cabinets then trying to climb up the huge shelves loaded with heavy metal to reach the birds that built there nest there. And then factor in the time spent hiding the expensive basins the aforementioned daughter knocked off their display cases and almost smashed and then trying to get the kids to all walk away with us, looking casual and innocent. And then there's the multiple superhero moments of swooping down just in time to stop your 2 year old from his repeated Houdini escapes from the shopping cart seatbelt and attempts to dive to the ground from his high height. And of course, each child has to visit the bathroom, but none of them at the same time. So you finally get back to the aisle with the hinges just in time for another child's bladder to spontaneously fill to capacity when it was entirely empty 5 minutes ago when their sibling went. All of this adds up to cause the shopping trip to turn into an epic expedition, all for a couple of tools and pieces of wood.
We were all rather grumpy and hungry and fed up of the whole experience, so when Kaya noticed my exasperation with the kids' unruliness she offered me an explanation.
"It's just that, when you take us somewhere fun like the zoo or museum, you always tell us that if we behave really well while we're there, you'll want to take us back again sometime. And that if we fight and whine a lot it makes you not want to take us back again. Well...we really don't want you to take us back here again."
I had a bit of a slapping-myself-on-the-head-Homer-Simpson-style moment.
And the worst part is, we came home and realized there's a bunch of stuff we forgot to get. So guess what we're doing next weekend.....yup, we're shopping again