Thursday, April 18

When you have kids... Episode 1: the store

When you have young kids, you have to think about life from a different perspective. 

Gone are the days of running into the grocery store without breaking a sweat, getting a mocha to keep you company, and snagging the items on your grocery list without visiting the free cookie lady at the bakery.  Nowadays it looks more like this: 

You pull your mom-friendly rig into a parking space after doing some laps around the parked cars so the baby can sleep just a few more minutes. The people sitting in their cars wonder what kind of looney tune does that.  After parking, you sit there a little while longer, because you can't bear to have everybody unbuckled just yet. Your kids ask why we're still sitting in the car, and you reply, "Because Mom just needs some time." As if you were getting ready to be wheeled back for major surgery.  Then you get up the courage to move, after considering calling your husband to pick up the items on your list instead of hauling everybody in. 

But you decide you need to be brave.  This is life, and you're very capable of taking children into the grocery store.  The kids get unbuckled, and like a commander of a large army, you direct who holds whose hand and that all are to walk behind Mom - without running. 

You make it into the store without anyone jumping on the coin-op ice cream truck that sits invitingly by the automatic sliding doors.  You grab yourself a cart or two, placing the baby's carseat in the large basket of the cart, where the food is supposed to go.  But it's okay, because you've gotten two carts and one of the older kids is pushing it.  The toddler sits in the front spot with the buckle (so the little cutie doesn't escape) or in the back basket (vowing not to stand up), if you don't have a carseat taking up residence.  But if you have two toddlers, you have to take more time thinking about the situation. 

And you decide that one toddler can go in the front spot with the buckle in one cart, and one can go in the front spot in the other.  You finally get moving, looking like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade - except you're not throwing candy and waving at onlookers.  But people are looking.  They try to figure out if you're a daycare or a field trip with a strange assortment of preschoolers (since your kids "should" be in school if you homeschool.)  You either receive knowing smiles or sideways glances.  You smile at the smilers, and pray that the sideways glancers know just how important children are.

Someone inevitably asks if we can go get a free cookie.  You agree, because cookies make children hyper yes, but often not until one has left the grocery store.  You sheepishly ask for just six cookies because the baby isn't old enough yet, and watch the cookie lady's eyes count the kids wondering if they all have the same father. 

You purposefully kept your list to the essentials only, but your list still takes you to the outer reaches of the store.  You move swiftly, not pausing long enough near the toys, chips, cookies, soda, or candy aisles for the kids to notice as your parade passes through.  But one of your two year olds notices.  He points emphatically toward the Oreos.


You quietly whisper in his ear, so no one else will hear, "No cookies today, buddy.  You already had one." 

He wails, "COOKIE!!"  He kicks his feet and screams out of his free cookie crumb spattered face.  Doesn't he realize he just had one?  Nope.  You can't rationalize with a toddler near the cookie aisle. 

They've all heard now.  And then the asking begins.  As you try to calm down irrational cookie boy,  you maneuver the carts off to the side in a boring aisle like the one that displays the canned vegetables.  And you have a little chat. 

You firmly express, "We are not getting anything that is not on our list.  Cookies are not on our list, plus we make our own at home.  And no, we are not making any when we get home.  Do you guys understand?  No toy aisle, no cookies." 

As you are wrapping up the shopping trip, you walk past the health food section, and spy the organic chocolate bars with the yummy toffee in them.  You get one down from the shelf while the kids are distracted looking at the organic soda.  You carefully slide the guilty goodness in the cart.  It's not on the list, but Moms can decide to deviate.  And sometimes deviating is a good thing. 

You make it to the checkout lanes without another one of your dissatisfied customers having an outburst.  You take a deep breath and realize you did it.  The sense of accomplishment washes over you, causing you to beam with thankfulness and love for your kids. 

You make it out to the parking lot, two carts and all. 

Then a small voice peeps, "I have to go to the bathroom."

Then another.  "Me too."

9 comments on "When you have kids... Episode 1: the store"
  1. That is just lovely. I can only imagine a trip into the grocery store with you and all your little ones. What an adventure. I love you dearly and adore you for all that you put into your family.

    1. Is this my Michelle? If so, you need to accompany us to the store when you get home! It'll be an adventure, I promise!

  2. Oh my goodness!!! This account is spot on :-) Thanks for sharing Amanda!!! Makes me feel somewhat normal reading this!!!

    1. Ah, you understand the two toddlers!!! :)

  3. Ha ha. Awesome. Loved this!

    1. It was fun to write.. made me giggle as I wrote it. :) And I know you too understand being the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade when you go places.

  4. Girllllllllllll!!! That had me cracking UP!! Man o man! That's exactly how it goes for us too. Then when someone tells me they have to potty after I have everyone strapped in? That has happened to me more than I can count. :-D

  5. Did you follow me to the grocery store? Because the only part I would add to this is that my kids like to harass the check-out person for stickers. Other than that, it's spot on. :-) Very funny!

  6. AnonymousJuly 31, 2013

    I would have loved to see Levi's face all covered in cookie crumbs as he asks for another cookie. Toddlers seem to have very short memories. Of course, he doesn't realize he JUST had a cookie. Maybe he was hoping you'd forget he just had one, and that you'd give him another cookie:-D If I were with you, I might have had to go around the corner so I could snicker privately to myself. Thanks for sharing.
    In Christ,


Thank you for commenting, I love hearing from you!