Friday, May 15, 2009

Food, glorious food! (Name that musical....)

What to do when usual babysitters are busy, husband will be home in less than two days, and the grocery supply needs to be replenished TODAY?

Why, take the kids with you, of course.


I admit I'm really spoiled by Phill. Our usual setup is that I go grocery shopping while he stays home, or we go together with the kids. Today, I had no such option. So I put some snacks in my purse, made my list as clear and succinct as possible, and called my sister for support. (That's right. I'm spoiled, and I call my sister to motivate and inspire me before I do something that's difficult.) She cheerfully told me I could do it, and that I wouldn't fall over and die when it was over. (I think the last time I've had to do the two-weeks-worth grocery shopping thing with the kids was.....two months ago? I'm rusty.)

First we stopped at Costco, which was relatively easy because I had two of the three strapped into the cart. Let me pause to say:

Dear Wal-mart,

Please make your shopping carts as big as Costco's, and your aisles as wide as Costco's, even if your food and supplies are not near as exciting as Costco's.

Thank you.

Tired Mom


When we got to Wal-mart, I tried to be speedy and efficient, which was not easy at all. Do you know my boys? Let me tell you something: They want to examine everything. Weigh everything. Sometimes taste-test things.....they are tactile explorers, which means that this refrain is heard as we make our way throughout the store:

"Put that down, please. No, we're not buying that. I said no. We have treats at home. You don't need shoes. Please follow me. Please stay close to me. Please stay close to me. PLEASE STAY CLOSE TO ME. No, not next to the cart, next to Me."

It's no wonder they stop listening--I get sick of hearing myself, too! I become this anxious, wild-eyed, frizzy-haired, sweaty version of myself. And I get weird looks from cantankerous old men who can't understand why I would bring my three young children with me to the store. Which makes my mental snarkiness really shine....."What? What's your problem? Stare at me some more!" Obviously, this is not a time when I'm at my best.

But today, I didn't want to feel sorry for myself, and so I said a prayer before I left and decided to note the things that went well. Here's what went well:

-Savvy had just woken up from a nap before we left. Cheery, quiet Savvy. Angel.
-The boys were just rambunctious--not screaming, not crying, and not making things fall off the shelves.
-I found a parking spot close to the front door.
-I found what I needed quickly, both at Wal-mart and Costco. Relatively no puzzled searching.
-I stayed within my food budget!
-The kids were quiet in the car on the way home, and gratefully accepted a McDonald's dinner. (Odd, you might say, that I buy fast food on the way home from just buying tons of-what?-FOOD. But in this case, it's a necessity. By the time I get home and get everything put away, it's 7:30. Hungry kids wailing in the kitchen while I try to simultaneously make dinner and put everything away? I don't think so. Oh--and although I could go earlier, it just didn't happen today. Between a grandma visit and a baby nap, I was impressed we got out the door at 4:30.)
-The confused stares and even annoyed glares were nonexistant today. Two moms were even sweetly sympathetic as our circus walked by.
-The kids are full-bellied and soundly in bed. And I am not dead.

I also have to say that for some reason today, I was overcome as I walked through the store, looking at all the food. Mostly the produce. I think it's an incredible blessing that my fridge has colorful produce and fresh cheese and protein-filled meat in it right now; a blessing to live in a country where food is available in such abundance and for a relatively reasonable price. It just struck me--for no apparent reason--that it is amazing to be able to walk into a store and have so many choices, and walk out with two weeks' worth of food.

Instead of feeling despondent and exhausted, I'm tiredly grateful.

Now if that isn't a miracle.....


midRae said...

I love this. I forgot how crazy going to the store with little ones could be. It's been a long time. Now I just have to contend with my midMan wanting to touch everything, read every label on the packages of food he finds interesting in hope's that I will give in a get it for him (this is his subtle hint), and going to the shoe isle. He really is worse that me when it comes to shoes. Some day you will look back and miss this time with your little ones.

leslie the licorice stick lady said...

Oh Rae....I too was a mom in the store alone today with my three little ones. They were...well...not good little angels, and I was trying my hardest, but also was not a good little angel. I like how you say, no wonder they don't listen to you, and you'd get sick of hearing you too. That is Exactly how I feel! It's like I say something and it doesn't even register for the first 10 times I say it (or yell it). After 3 stores in 3 hours and a huge traffic jam, we made it home and I had the kids help me put the groceries away---at least they liked that part. I'm glad there are people like you who can relate to people like me. :)Thanks!

Sarah said...

Uh, thanks for the call? You can at least dump some here if I am home! I was gone tonight but you can at least try.

I make lists and include some pictures on one list just for the kids so they can do a scavenger hunt. They have to both stay close to me and when I say go (on the same aisle) they get to find THEIR item. They can even work together and help each other out and beat me. They race and get points that help them "earn" a popsicle or something at home. It helps me concentrate and gives them something to do. I only have 2 kids though. Just an idea.

Good job handling it all for this time without Phill. You are an amazing woman (who looks good at the same time!)!

chucknorris said...

rae, i love you. this was great... your blog is always great.

Abby Hanson said...

YAY! You did it!

The Taylors said...

Oh I love you and am always so proud of you! I TOTALLY understand thought!!! Congrats on that!Funny how something like that REALLY IS a task and creates goals and such!

MAG said...

I was was just yesterday wishing all carts were Costco carts!

Kelly said...

Good job!

I think one weeks worth of food is too much for one basket. I don't know HOW you do 2 weeks!!! With 3 kids!#%*&

Only hours to go before Prince Charming comes home! :)

Lara said...

There is nothing worse than having to grocery shop with 3 kids. Except maybe if you have to do it with 4 or more. :)

Good for you! I always try and go when I just have Sophia, but she is often worse than all 3 together. Or I go at 10 at night when Joel is home nad children are sleeping. :)

Qait said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I'm proud of you.
Even with my ONE tiny and amazingly obedient little boy, I get into that nasty repetitive-mom-voice rut. It's disgustipating.
I love you!

Kristy said...

Is it Oliver? Glad you made it home alive!

Anonymous said...

Ice Age... nuff said :)