Lights, Carts & Tools | Making Time
Who knew Home Depot could be so fun?

“Daddy, I think Adam wants to go play with the lights and follow the forklifts.”

If you’ve never found yourself following a forklift around a home improvement store on a Saturday morning, then you’re probably not the parent of 2 young kids looking to pass the time.

When my wife went to get her hair cut recently, Adam was restless. It was raining and he didn’t want to be in the house, so we were looking for something to do. While I used to be concerned about how to entertain both boys by myself, we’ve since learned how to turn anything we do into a good laugh and a fun time.

Then Brandon had an idea. “Why don’t we go walk around Home Depot and have some fun?” Never did I think walking around a store just for kicks would be fun. But I also never saw the store through the eyes of a 2- and 5-year-old.

Just walking in through the motion-sensor automatic front doors and getting in the cart got them excited. We went straight to the lighting aisle, because playing with light and dimmer switches is apparently like a ride at an amusement park for my boys. It seemed like everyone around us was having a good laugh too, as these 2 little guys giggled out loud at the simple idea of turning on and off a light, over and over (which I really don’t want them doing at home).

Then Adam pointed to his ear and turned his head. He heard the noise he was waiting for and started saying, “Beep! Beep beep.” We turned the corner and found a forklift backing up after getting boxes off the top shelf. Brandon commanded, “Follow that forklift, Daddy!” And so our slow speed chase began. Fifteen minutes later, we had gone around the whole store, and out into the garden center. All I could think was, “Did I really just follow a forklift?!”

We went back inside and walked past the lawncare section. Adam started pointing at the riding mowers while saying “mow mower.” We made our way over to the paint area where they give out the free monthly kid workshop kits to build at home. Then Brandon decided to have some fun with Daddy, knowing that I am somewhat color blind. He started quizzing me on the color of paint swabs, telling Adam that I might get it wrong, but he would be there to help. Thanks, kid. I scored pretty decently, he reported.

Our building kits required sandpaper, so we headed over to get some and spent the next 10 minutes feeling the different textures, from extra fine to very coarse. Brandon helped me make sure we picked a fine sandpaper, just as the instructions called for, and then we headed over to the next aisle of wonder.

It was on to the fans next. Ceiling fans to be exact. It turns out toddlers of all ages are enthralled by ceiling fans. Especially when you pack an aisle with them and include light bulbs with all sorts of shapes and colors and sizes. I could control Adam – who was looking straight up since I was pushing him in the cart – but I had to make sure Brandon didn’t walk into anything as he marveled upwards.

At checkout, I let the boys scan our items. Then Brandon wanted to put the credit card in the machine to pay but said he would “let Adam put the card back in my wallet.” I asked him if he wanted to pay the bill too, but he said, “No Daddy, you can handle that.”

Thinking back, I always loved going to home improvement stores and thinking about all of the options, even if I’m not the most handy person at home. But going with Brandon and Adam just adds an entirely new dimension. So don’t mind me if you see me clicking the switches over and over or marveling at the ceiling fans on the ceiling. Just warn me before I walk into something.

April 2022
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