Grocery shopping 101 - toddler edition / by Shannon Heick

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  We had successfully made it through T-ball, amidst the cute little rain showers and trying to occupy a stubborn 2-year-old and the 4-year-old who taught him. We were well on our to a victory. And by victory, I don't mean T-ball. I mean living through the post-T-ball trip to the grocery store with a 6, 4 and 2-year-old.  We headed to the grocery store to pick up a few deals to get us through the week. I was prepared with my list of sale items, menu plan and ready to feel like I had just conquered the universe with one quick and painless transaction.

Rotisserie chickens were TOTALLY free when you bought 10 things of rice ahhh..... crappy.

So I did it.  I bout the Rice a crappy in order to get the FREE chicken. I like my chickens and I especially like them FREE.  This is where things start going down hill. And by downhill, maybe I mean, where carts start crashing into aisles and freezers. The idea that I should go to the grocery store with three little boys, 1 car cart, one mini kid cart that is the perfect size for my six-year-old, and 1000s of aisles of food to crash into, makes me wonder if I am on something more than Ambien.

Here we are in the bathroom. Leg one of our trip. Of course, a trip to the store would not be complete without someone needing to use the bathroom. Luckily, everyone can walk  now and I don't need to try to jam huge carts, strollers or baby devises into the disgusting store bathrooms with us. It's just me, my little boys and their wandering hands left to touch every unmentionable surface you can fathom. But, hey, that's why God had someone think up antibacterial gel travel packs right!

At this point, I'm still as calm as a cucumber. Everyone pees, no one has to poop, and we are off like a herd of turtles to grace the aisles and customers of one unnamed grocery store with our undeniable presence. You are welcome, grocery store, you are welcome. I even snap a photo of the massive silliness that goes down when the four of us take to the streets. IMG_9965

We circumnavigate the store not with what I would call ease. More like.........what word could describe this trip????......Ok, I have it! More like "we circumnavigate the store with lots of hurly-burly". You all know about hurly-burly, right? Ok, good, I didn't either, until tonight. Let me go ahead and share the word wealth with you (compliments of Merriam-Webster).

Definintion of hurly-burly: uproar, tumult. Some other synonyms I liked were: hullabaloo, rumpus, squall, willawaw and my favorite synonym of all......kerfuffle. Kerfuffle. I think that word is a perfect description not only for our trip to the grocery store, but for our life right now. Pure and utter kerfuffle. I actually think is sounds just like us. We are in a wee bit of house-hunting tumult right now.  But there is also this cartoonish happiness that goes along with it. Kerfuffle.

Ok, anyway. Like I said. We were having a hurly-burly of a time and making quite a kerfuffle down the aisles. Cookies were flying into the cart, cans were dropping on the floor, naughty words like "poopy butt" and "stinky" were being insulted at friendly, little smiling grannies walking by us,  and I was trying to make up for it all, keep them from knocking an entire aisle over, and appear as though I was completely and utterly composed. And I was. Except I wasn't.

Leighton(6) was pushing the little mini kid cart behind me. Bad idea if you like your heels at all.  Chase (4)was walking beside me. Bad idea if you need to use your eyes for reading names of food items. And Beckett (2)was supposed to be driving in the front of the car cart. Only a good idea if you like watching your kid hang halfway out and halfway in the car part, most of the trip. When the 6-year-old wasn't ramming the little kid cart into my heels, the 4-year-old was sprinting it down 3 aisles ahead of me, nearly knocking the teenage stock boy off of his ladder.  And mostly I was sweating, panting and wishing I was on an episode of Naked and Afraid with Al Gore, suffering from severe dehydration, all while being cornered by a Siberian Tiger.

After a grueling 45 minutes of my attempt at conquering this monumentous task, we had arrived. THE checkout aisles. You know the one I mean right? THE aisles where there aren't very many checkers. And someone brought 8,000 coupons  that need to be scanned, re-scanned, and verified before the transaction can be complete. And you are a mere fourth in line behind the coupon lady. Yes, one of those aisles. You know the one where you are stuck with your 3 kids who are trying to put every type of candy, trinket and just one more bunch of bananas in your cart while the coupon lady gets her fix? You know.

The aisle where the lady who obviously never had kids looks at you as if your kids are the spawn of satan and you are satan's girlfriend. You know that aisle right? The aisle where the impatient guy in the little scooter 3 people behind you becomes very agitated with waiting and is murmuring obscenities under his breath about having to wait.  (You and me both, buddy, you and me both.) All the while, I try to remain composed, keep my kids somewhat compliant , make sure I have everything on my list, make sure I have all the ingredients to make a set of meals and my kids won't eat, and still manage to smile at anyone who catches my eye. Maybe even a wink to boot!

Well, alas, we made it. We checked out, we swiped, we bagged, we lugged, we packed, we buckled, and after a little lecture, we hugged, we kissed  and the engine of the Swagger wagon started with a gentle purr. I shut the driver's side door, drove us back home, unbuckled, unpacked, hauled 14 bags and one sleepy 2-year-old up THREE flights of stairs, put the baby down, dropped the bags, dropped my keys, and passed out on the couch.

I woke up three minutes later and realized that I forgot to get the FREE chicken!