I realized that blogging about my kids is pretty therapeutic. During the day I can get frustrated, annoyed, or too focused on the task at hand that I don't appreciate them all the time, but when I remember the day and I think about them I laugh and smile and love writing about all the crazy things they do.
Take grocery shopping, for example.
First, I should say that I am a bad grocery shopper. It may be because I never live in one city long enough to memorize the layout of the local grocery store, or I am just slow, I don't know, but I am the kind of person who has to go down every aisle more than once to get everything on my list. I end up buying things that aren't on the list, forgetting things that are, and wandering around trying to find the day's most necessary item without success.
Note to self.....just buy lemon juice when you happen to see it, because when it is actually being searched out it evades you.
So now that I have told you my (formerly) secret shame, you might forgive me when I say that taking my kids with me to the grocery store makes grocery shopping go from annoying necessity to seventh circle of hell. I stopped taking my blood pressure while shopping with my kids, something I am supposed to keep an eye on for multiple reasons, because it was always high when they were with me.
Today. Hm. Well, Avery cries the entire time. Not just today, every time. She is so independent and......trust me on this....claustrophobic......she can't stand being buckled into the shopping cart.
When grayden was little he was so thrilled to be face to face with me just inches away and having my close attention that he loved the shopping cart, but not Avery. Grayden is a different story. He loves the grocery store, mostly because if I don't put him in the cart he runs up and down the aisles, grabs everything interesting off the shelves, and talks to all the strangers. When I try and use discipline to get him to stay by the cart, like helping me push it, putting one hand on the side, or even riding along side it, he cries or forgets or sticks his leg out and somehow knocks things over or kicks people. So, I put him in the cart. Where all the food is. Of course, his toys at home are not nearly as interesting as a shopping cart full of food. Things get thrown. Towers are built. A tube of crescent rolls becomes a drumstick atop a bag of Sun Chips. He tries to teach himself to juggle. All while Avery is crying (still) and I can't find the dang lemon juice.
So here is what happens when I take my kids to the grocery store. After an indeterminate amount of time, I decide that certain things on my list aren't quite so crucial, I grab things that are expensive and unnecessary in the mind set that if I don't get my shopping done then at least I can feed them this stuff (cue unhealthy items) and I run to the checkout stand. The cashier oogles at my baby, who of course doesn't cry for the few minutes the groceries are being checked out.....I haven't figured out why this is. Grayden strikes up any conversation that comes to his head...Avery threw up on daddy, look how many teeth I have, mammals don't lay eggs, and other fascinating subjects.....which makes the oogling and attentive cashier take forever with the groceries. Then, they put my bagged groceries in a new cart, and once I have paid I have to transfer the kids from one cart to another...except today, when they put a few bags of groceries, out of the nine total bags, up in the child's seat. No room for Grayden, either. So, I hold Avery with one hand and tell Grayden to hold on to the side of the cart and we make our way out to the car, I quickly realize that I have one of those carts that pulls very hard to the left, which I didn't have a problem with when I had two hands, but with one hand I am pushing the thing like a drunken sailor, having to stop every two step and straighten the thing out, which requires a beautiful squatting move and elbow thrust that I will demonstrate for you sometime. The exit door is far from our car, so,we have to cross the entire store front. Which would have been easy (except for the cart's alignment problem) if they didn't have the wide sidewalk completely covered with potted plants, leaving two small aisles that are perfect for a single file line of people to walk through but ironically impossible for a shopping cart. So, we have to go down into the parking lot to walk across to the other side. At first Grayden is obediently staying next to the cart, but he interprets close to the cart as three feet away, and when you are in the parking lot, that isn't safe. I grab him and put him on the other side of me, where there isn't much room so he steps up onto the curb. No problem. However, the potted plants only leave a small space, which gets smaller the further we walk until the leaves are hitting his shins. At this point I am a little ahead because the plants are slowing him down, so he starts to run after me and kicks over a lovely dirt filled purple potted flower right into the street and the contents spread out beautifully. Luckily, at that moment I saw a store employee so I went back up to the entrance and said My son just knocked over a plant, do you mind picking it up for me? And then I just kept walking. Ten more yards to the blasted car! As I'm trying to ditch the store worker the cart gets away from me and pulls hard to the left, crashing into the last corner of the building. Avery starts crying again. When I get to my car, there is no ramp off the curb. At this point I vow to be completely self sufficient so I never have to go grocery shopping again. I throw the kids in the car and then ram the cart off the curb so I can get the bags into my car. When I got home, I looked at my shopping list......and made another shopping list of forgotten items that I went and took care of tonight after the kids were safely in their beds and I got to go blissfully alone.
You people who shop with more than two kids, I commend you. And, could you drop some of those groceries off at my house? Because I am never going again.