My Chronicle of Grocery Shopping with Kids…
It never fails. I go cruising in the grocery store, wearing the baby in the carrier, one child in the seat, one child walking. My hair is neat. I’ve shed my lounge clothes for an actual outfit. I might even be wearing make-up. My grocery list is at the ready, organized by where items are located in the store. I’m rockin’ this thing.
I emerge from the store 2 hours later. I can’t see my hair, but I am certain it stands on end. My eyes are bugging out of my head, and a twitch is starting under my left eye. I have a cart loaded with a motley collection of ingredients that probably won’t make any of the meals I so carefully planned for the week. Drive-thru anyone?
However, I do feel a sense of accomplishment. I made it out of the store with the same three kids I went in with. Sure, I felt like I was pushing around a nest of hungry baby birds, but nobody had a major meltdown. Of course we had stop and take a bathroom break for all three kids two aisles from the finish line. Yes, people stared and told me I had my hands full. Yes, on the last aisle an old man chased my five-year-old, who I had so carefully corralled for two hours, with a motorized shopping cart (really). But I survived!
Last week I discovered something that changed my shopping game. Online grocery shopping has reached my local area. Hallelujah. I put on some cartoons for the kids, and sat down at my computer. I clicked away, making sure to get everything on my list, selected a pick-up time, and prepaid. I even clicked on some coupons and saved a few bucks.
The store was out of stock on one of the items I had selected. My personal shopper sent me a text and asked about suitable substitutions. Twenty minutes before my scheduled pick-up time the same personal shopper sent me a text asking me to let her know when I was ten minutes away.
I loaded the kids in the car. My hair was neat. My make-up fresh. I sent my text, and then pulled out of the driveway. I pulled up to the designated curb. There stood my glorious personal shopper with my loaded cart. No check out lines with my children touching every candy bar. No “Mom can I?” x 1000. She helped me load my goods into the back of the van, and handed me a receipt. I said thank you, but what I wanted to do was hug her. I am not a hugger.
I arrived home. My hair was neat, make-up fresh. One child snored softly in the back seat. For a five dollar fee, I added a little magic to my day. I’ll miss out on things by not grocery shopping with my kids, like a strangers informing me that I should be done having children, or telling me that I am too young to have three kids. It will be a rough sacrifice, but I think I’ll overcome.
Now that I have gained back two hours a week, maybe I will start standing outside shopping centers to hand out marathon medals to parents who survive grocery shopping with small children. To all my ‘shopping with kids’ warriors, I salute you!
Btw: Isn’t this shopping cart amazing?