I have a whole folder of these photos on my computer because I thought it was just that important to document 50 times. Or more. Let’s not talk about my weird obsessions.
We all love unsolicited parenting advice, don’t we? I thought so.
So Mondays are shopping day around here. And because I’m kind of a freak show in the food department that means at least two and sometimes three different stores to get everything I need and the best bang for my buck.
Have you ever gone shopping with a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old? In other words, Monday is “hell day” around here.
Ok, not really, but a lot of times it is. I have really tried to schedule shopping so that I could go by myself, but it just never really works out that way. It either requires giving up my very precious and small amount of free time, zooming through the store at lightening speed before they close at 8 or 9pm (I realize a lot of other stores close later, but I don’t shop there, freak show in the food department, remember?), trying to argue with someone about why I need to go shopping by myself which does not go with my non-confrontational introvert personality and also wastes my time, giving up family/free time on Saturday, leaving the house after I am already “done” for the day, etc. Like I said, it just doesn’t work out. So I have to take the whole entourage with me.
Thrown into the mix today was a very, very grumpy, canine teeth on the verge of busting through swollen gums, 1-year-old, a Mama not feeling great at all due to some sort of bug that only I have been so lucky enough to acquire as of yet, and two older kids that caught the hyperactive bug right when we stepped foot over the store’s threshold.
At first it seemed to be going well enough despite the jumping beans. They were happily grabbing things I told them to and actually helping to put them in the cart.
We round a couple aisles and then find ourselves in the aisle that has both individually packaged meal replacement/protein/granola bars and two large poles in the middle. Within a few seconds, one kid starts spinning around the pole while shrieking and the other is gathering up an armful of bars and running down the aisle towards my cart, dropping bars every foot while I am trying to decide between chicken and vegetable broth for the meals I have planned this week. Decision made in a split second and as I am headed to deal with my munchkins, I catch “the LOOK” from two other shoppers that says, “Why are you only dealing with this problem now? Why is your child interrupting my peaceful shopping experience with shrieking? Do something! People should not be allowed to bring children into grocery stores! Gah!” Point taken. I am sorry. Please be understanding. Doing this is very hard work. I am trying to keep them in line and actually get everything on this list of mine.
Second store, I instate a new rule: hand on the cart, no touching anything. No touching anything is generally the rule anyway, but today they need extra reminding. So I find myself constantly repeating in the mean-Mommy voice, “Hand on the cart! Get your hand back on the cart! Don’t let go! Stop touching! No touching anything! Stay with me! Calm down! Stop being crazy! Hand on the cart! Get your hand back on the cart! I will leave my groceries here and go home and come back by myself after Papa gets home if I have to!” (Side note: Why did I say the part about going home 2 or 3 times? Why did I think it would make a difference? Because it really did not and they probably thought that was a swell idea.)
We make it through the store where I’ve collected my 7 or 8 things that I buy only at this store and are at the checkout. “Get your hand on the cart! Stand by me! Hand on the cart! Don’t let go!” The older gentleman in front of me turns around and says, “Mom used to say that to us kids in the 50s, ‘Hand on the cart and don’t budge.’ Don’t you know parenting has evolved since then? Let your kids be kids. They can’t help it.”
Seriously people? I can’t win.