Sunday, December 27, 2015

Surviving about 4 hours of Walmart with 4 feral children

This morning started off like any normal Sunday morning. We were just kind of stirring around the house, eating breakfast, and getting ready to go to church, when Stevie walked up to me and said “Dad, we have a flat tire.” Little did I know at the time how much that statement would radically alter my day. So here’s a little recap on my van and how it ties into today.

My van is probably on its last leg. The past 6 months my little Megow transporter has been a trooper and gotten some much needed TLC (new battery, new radiator, new water pump, two new rear tires, and a few other small repairs), but it’s really a balancing act of deciding how much to put into it before I just light it on fire, make some smores, and look online for a new car.

Crap guys. I forgot to drive to the store to buy marshmallows before I blew up the van.

Seriously, my car has been through the ringer as of late. I spend a lot of time with Steve (Crissy’s dad and his crew) to stop it from overheating and pouring water out of the bottom. Well, we finally got that those problems mostly fixed. We were out there last night for the kids to see their grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was fun and Steve helped me fix one more thing on the van, so I was feeling really good about the current state of my automotive vehicle. Well, this morning I found I had that super flat tire. My plan was to put enough air in it to drive and get a new tire. (The hole was too big to patch, but small enough I thought I could make it a few miles to the store. I looked everywhere for my little portable air pump, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I texted a few people and the first one to respond and that was available was my buddy Nicole. (She’s so clutch and actually I mentioned her in a post recently). Funny story, I gave her this little portable tire air pump for Christmas like 6 years ago and I honestly think the only times she has ever used it was to drive over and pump up my tires for me. Hahahaha. We stood around for a little while waiting for it to fill up, but it never would fill up. After about 10 minutes, I felt around and felt this giant gaping hole in the backside of the tire. So I would need to change it out of for the spare.

So Nicole hung out with the kids for a minute and left, while I tackled the spare. Is it just me or does everyone else have the hardest time using those little crap car jacks to lift a car. It took me forever to get that thing lifted off the ground, but I finally got it and put the spare on. I felt so accomplished. When I was putting up the other tire in the trunk, I noticed the other front tire has a gash in the side wall and would need to be replaced as well. “Well that’s just great.” I thought. (The 85 degree weather didn’t help cheer me up.)

What you ladies think about that rugged man right there?

So I loaded the kids in the hot car and then this happened…

Yep, it wouldn’t start. It was getting power and it was a new battery, so I figured it had to be something with the starter. So Steve being awesome came over and helped me get it started. He explained the mechanic problem. Pretty much it’s just a starter issue and I don’t really feel the car is worth the investment of a new one. He showed me some redneck tricks to get it running if that ever happens again. I’m always down for some redneck innovation.

Megow Words of Wisdom- 
If man in overalls offers you advice, it’s probably best to take it.

Anyways, for sure we missed church. So we ate a quick lunch and loaded up to get the front tires changed. This is where the story takes on a whole new level of _______ (I honestly can’t think of a word to describe what happened after this).  It was around 2:15 when we left the house to go to get them changed. Well, my normal tire places weren’t open, so I figured we would just to go Walmart because I know they would be open and plus they have a good tread warranty. Plus there's a Walmart everywhere, so even if you go out of town, you can still use your warranty if you get a nail in your tire.  Here’s the timeline of our Walmart visit and the most trying few hours of my 31 years on this earth.

2:45 Arrive at the Walmart Tire Center. There are only two cars in the bay and it looked like no other cars waiting. I thought this would probably take about an hour or hour & a half tops. Well, I kept waiting for an attendant to come and talk to me, but they just stared at me. After about 15 minutes, the guy behind me walked up and seeing that I had four kids in tow agreed to walk around and find someone to help. Well after about 5-10 minutes he comes back with someone to get us in the system and our cars started soon. They lady was really nice and said it might take up to 2 hours. I could deal with that. It would be tough but it was possible.

3:15 We just sort of browsed around, and I let the kids look at the toys. I thought for sure this would be a somewhat manageable ordeal.

3:30 Neela decides she is about to pee her pants, so we run to the bathrooms at the back of the store. While waiting for Neela to get done, I take Olive out of the cart to get her some water out of the water foundation. I turn around to see Stevie and Titus playing “dogs” on the floor and about 3 workers trying to shew them out of the way so they can bring their pallets full of merchandise out to the store. I swipe up my “dogs” and Olive slips in a puddle of water from the water foundation. Finally, Neela comes out of the bathroom soaking wet. I asked her what happened. She has a blank expression and replied “It was the sink.” I just left it at that.

Me - After about one hour

3:45 We go to the little deli and I get the kids some popcorn chicken. They rip through this food with the intensity of a starving lion eating a young plump wildebeest.

“Dad, lions eat messy, so I need do too.
 Don’t worry lions aren’t worried about germs from food off of the floor.”

I’m starting to lose a little bit of my cool, so I sit down to text someone and they think up and record a video scavenger hunt for me to do with my kids. I’m not kidding, there aren’t many people in this world that can whip up something like that with such short notice. Props off to Elizabeth for being my rescuer today.

4:00pm We start the scavenger hunt. We are taking pictures and sending them back to verify we found everything that was required.

A big shout out to our scavenger hunt planners :)

7 types of Oil

Motorcycle Oil
Mystery Oil
Car Engine Oil
Olive Oil
Coconut Oil
Butter Flavored Spray Oil
Canola Oil

5 Types of Flour/Flower
Cake Flour
Spray Flour
White Flour
Fake Flower
Printed Flower

A kid in a large man’s shirt

3 types of corn

A kid in a large pair of women’s undergarments

A kid in a pair of men’s boots

Sing a song for a stranger
 (The theme song to the movie Titantic was requested, 
but we made the decision to change it to Let it Go)
This video won't upload. It was funny and people looked at us like we were super weird. 
Mission accomplished.

I added some scavenger hunt items as well…
See how much Star Wars stuff we could find.

Pretty much the entire Wal Mart was Star Wars, so this got old pretty fast.

Find a new non-human best friend.
Neela quickly bonded with Cherry Pie the Cherry Tomato. 
She’s actually watched a movie with him when we got home.

Act like animals to strangers. They loved doing this, so I made a little compilation video.

After this they got kind of tired of the hunt and we getting ansty to leave.

4:45 We go back to the bathroom and Olive has a meltdown because they have automatic toilets. I find Titus cooling off his head by sticking it under the water stream of the drinking water fountain. Side note: I’m raising feral children. I dried his hair off and then Stevie told us a little story about the poop she just took. It was very entertaining. 

5:00 I figured they are making some progress on the car, so we do a little grocery shopping before we go to pay for the van’s tires. The kids were super well behaved for our time at WalMart so I let them get two treats. Chips and some honey buns. We grab some milk, yogurt, and a few other things and check out.

5:15 We are arrive at the automotive section to find that our car has not even been pulled into the service bay. But about 5 other cars had been bumped ahead of us. If there was ever a moment my heart truly felt betrayed this was it. I felt like my heart was frozen in carbonite and the Walmart associate was Lando who sold me out.

You're as cold as ice...

Get ‘em Chewy (Neela “The Aminal”) hahaha

5:20 I walk up to ask about the van and they assure me its next in line. (I think they forgot. However, I wasn’t upset. They were short staffed and super friendly)

5:30 We walk over to Gander Mountain and have a picnic of honey buns in the parking lot. The kids were not impressed. We saw a deer decoy with a few arrows in it and my kids freaked out and we had to leave. (I guess taking them hunting is off the table for now)

It’s always a good time for a honey bun

5:45 We walk back to walmart and find our car being brought into the service bay! Praise God! We go check out the fish and do some weird stuff. By this part of the day, I’m sort of starting to become delirious.

 The kids are just kind of doing weird things like crawling around the floor like snakes and hissing at each other or just laying around in random bean bags or toy sofas and pretending to nap.

They also found a back massager in the automotive waiting room. I was too tired to explain how unsanitary that was. However, it was brand new and still had the tag on it, so I let them play with it and the only rule was don't stick it in your mouth or touch any open wounds. hahahaha

6:15 The Megows head over to the automotive area to find our car is just now being lifted. The carboniate in my heart freezes over just a little bit more. Just when I’m about to crack, someone I have never met before walks up to us and asks “So which one of you put the iPad in the Dishwasher?” We start talking and she introduces herself as Kristi Hammack. Her and her husband are music ministers at a local church and she was so kind. It was really a God thing, but I was about to crack right before she walked up. She gave each of my kids a quarter to buy a little toy or gum out of the vending machines. Mostly, I got to have some grown up conversation which was fantastic. She even offered to buy my kids some dinner, but I declined because I was confident we would be leaving any minute.

6:40 Hahahahahaha!!! Should have taken that dinner offer. Our car was still lifted up and didn’t have any front tires. By now, my kids are completely covered in dirt from the Walmart floor and their hair is sticky from honey buns. I had nothing left to offer the world. I kind of just melt into the pleather futon in the automotive waiting area while my kids are about to lose their minds from boredom and frustration.

Titus is a trooper.

6:50 Stevie is sitting on top of the couch with her face pressed again the glass like a pirate seated in the crow’s nest. Finally, she screams “The van is down and they are driving it!!!!” Titus yells “Praise Jesus!” We check out, load up, and drive home. The kids all fall asleep on the ride home, which I think counts as a nap for each of them.

Now, it’s currently 9:45pm and all 4 of my kids are wide awake and acting like crows J

Be Blessed


  1. Yes, you should have taken me up on dinner. Glad I could be conversation. While feral children, it started with a sweet hug from Olive!

  2. That's crazy! Next time message me and if I can, I will come grab the kids. But the scavenger hunt was a great idea! Titus saying, "I once poo'd out corn for real" cracked me up!

  3. Omg. This is awful and amazing at the same time! My favorite is neela crawling around the guys legs while he's on the phone and I love how u act like u weren't the one telling them all to do it haha! I wish they sold new vans at Walmart haha