I went to the grocery store the other day, and…made the mistake of taking all three of my kids Stupid move. We went to Trader Joe’s. Three days before Christmas. It was crowded.
I let my three year old, Autumn, push one of the little kiddie carts. Stupider move.
Really, we need to back up to the previous trip to TJ’s, alone with Autumn, when I naively set the precedent for allowing her to push the kiddie cart. Stupidest move. She did a good job with obeying and didn’t run up on anyone’s heels. It went great. It was nothing like the boys, who are no longer allowed to push the kiddie carts. They always chased each other with them, then crashed into people. Then I would get mad because I was embarrassed because it looked like I was raising hellions…which I am.
So, I thought it would be okay.
Before we made our way to the kale section, the boys were already playing freeze tag around our cart (I forgot their straight jackets at home). I hissed at them to stop. I turned to grab a bag of carrots and when I turned back, I found my seven-year-old holding a sack of apples over his head like he was Atlas carrying the celestial sphere. But, unlike Atlas, he dropped them on the floor. Which, of course, meant I had to buy them…because people were looking.
We got to the coffee corner and I couldn’t find any ground coffee, I would have to grind it myself. I didn’t know how to do that. So, I got an employee to help. As we stood in amazement at this magical thing, Autumn grabbed a container of cherry tomatoes to put in her kiddie cart, but missed her cart and dropped the container on the floor. A hundred little red marbles bounced all the way to the granola aisle. The woman who helped me with the coffee rolled her eyes and I gave an apologetic smile.
We moved on.
Autumn, trying to amuse herself, began to scream The Electric Company opening line, “HEY YOU GUUUUUYYYYSSSS!” I swear it was louder than the neighbor’s rooster at dawn. I tried covering her mouth and shaking my head no, but she yelled and laughed through my hand. As I was covering her mouth, I turned to see the boys on the ground wrestling, one on top of the other, kicking at the shelving for leverage. One of them ended up in tears as Autumn continued her PBS screaming. Then I looked up and saw a beacon of light shining like an angel in all it’s splendor at the back of the store.
The Free Sample Counter.
“Who wants a free sample?” The pandemonium turned into shouts of, “Me! Me! Me!”. I gave them each a sample of corn salsa with a tortilla chip, except my eight-year-old who doesn’t like food, unless it comes from the macaroni and cheese portion of the pyramid. Autumn decided she didn’t like the salsa and threw it on the floor.
We moved on.
By the time we got to the dairy section, three feet away, the boys were chasing each other again. One of them grazed a woman with a cane, who gave him the evil eye. I couldn’t blame her. I was just glad to have someone else trying to discipline my kids.
As we moved on to the frozen food aisle, Autumn attempted to turn her cart, but it was so heavy the entire cart tipped over, spilling all the items onto the floor. I righted the cart, and together, we placed the items back in.
They should just assign someone to follow us around with a mop and broom.
There are only five aisles in Trader Joe’s. Couldn’t we get through one freaking aisle without a major catastrophe or melt-down? No. Apparently, we could not.
Because as we moved into frozen foods, Autumn found it fun to ram her brother with her cart. That was enough. Time for her to be strapped down.
I placed her in the cart and she screamed. I wrestled her into the seat belt. And I mean wrestled. I yanked on each side of the belt, pulled them together and pushed her back against the seat. She bucked like a bull wearing a flank strap. I tried holding her arms up in the air while her brother fastened the belt, then I had him hold her arms, while I tried to fasten the belt. She bucked harder. After a few more kicks I somehow got her wrangled and clicked the belt into place.
Once she saw that I had “won”, she screamed louder. What I think she was screaming, if she had known the words, was, “KISS MY A***********!” (those are screaming S’s). But, what came out was a loud, enraged, “NO! NO! NOOOOO!!!” with a look on her face that was reminiscent of my childhood Bible’s depiction of Satan.
I focused on getting the remainder of my groceries, avoiding as much eye contact with other shoppers, as possible. I pretended that no one was looking at us, that we weren’t, at the moment, the biggest attraction in the shopping center. Because I know if somebody would have given me a judgmental glance, I would have lost it on them like I did that woman on the airplane that one time.
We made it to the register. I didn’t care if they found Tiki the Turtle, they were not getting any treats. We made it to the car and I vowed to never take all three of them to the grocery store again.
I think if someone asked me if I would rather have a toenail ripped out of my toe or take all of them to the grocery store again…I would think long and hard about considering the toenail.
This post is part of Finish the Sentence Friday. Next week’s sentence to finish: “One of the most embarrassing things I ever did was…”