|look closely. this is a little body of nasty.|
First of all, let's make it clear that I know I have an almost two year old who is practicing to be a full blown two year old: attitudes, meltdowns, and standoffs abound in my household regularly. This is why I dread going to the food store. It's like opening a box of Berttie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. You think you're safe with a nice toffee flavored one, but halfway through, "alas, earwax". Sometimes I think my son is toffee flavored, but I'm wroooooonnnnngggg.
It is because of this unpredictable approach to mood swings my beautiful baby boy has taken that I generally do my best to get my shopping done as early as possible. I've taken to throwing up my hair and brushing my teeth, finding an outfit and dragging Baby Wonder out the door almost as soon as he's eaten something, so we can be home by the time other people with unpredictably bratty kids make an appearance.
Yesterday was not that day.
A down side to being a stay at home mom is that days of the week, and hours of the day, don't tend to matter. My brain and body don't care if it's Tuesday of Saturday, so therefore, I don't often have the date in the forefront of my mind when I make decisions. So when I finally got Baby Wonder ready to go, right after his second nap, I had no idea that it was 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. I realized this as I pulled into the parking lot. The parking lot packed to the brim with cars and shopping carts and people, all unaware of what I was about to unleash on them.
what. have. I. done.
Just so you know, apparently Giant Eagle takes away the racecar shopping carts when it's not 7AM. Since I usually do my best to get my shopping done as early as possible, as previously stated, I didn't know this. The missing racecar cart revelation was met by initial shock, both on my part and Baby Wonder's. To me, this is both a relief and a nightmare. To Baby Wonder, an inconceivable nightmare that could clearly be rectified by whining.
Relief to me because now I don't have to try and maneuver that ridiculous shopping cart around narrow aisles, center-parked jelly flavor browsers, and teetering displays of Gatorade. I don't know if you've ever tried to operate one of those, but someone needs to redesign them. A shopping cart of Noah's Arc proportions is not practical. I am, however, developing the forearms of a 14 year old boy (too dirty? nahh).
Nightmare because, well, what am I going to do with this child? Baby Wonder is implying the same question, pleading with his eyes for me to produce the shopping cart he knows I must have hidden.We both stare at each other for a moment, but it's too late to turn back now. I have my list, I've parked my car, we're in the building. Press on.
I put him in a regular cart, and buckle him in. Funny how that only took 15 seconds to describe. I assure you, it did not take 15 seconds to accomplish. I did, however manage to secure a cart with functioning buckles. For those of you who only use the baby compartment for your purse, you have no idea how many of those nasty straps have been broken, either by mutant Superman babies or by an act of God Himself, I don't know. All I know is that a normal baby can't melt the buckle without a lighter or laser vision... I guess that's one way to occupy Baby Wonder since the race car is a no-go.
And we're in the store.
"No, you can't have a balloon." wait, that might distract you for a while... how much are they... SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, they want SEVEN DOLLARS for a balloon? "No, you can't have a balloon."
"No, you can't have dirty grapes. Do you want your own snack? Mommy brought snacks for you." At least I hope Mommy brought snacks for you... ok good, that should last you a minute...
"Please stay in the cart, you're going to hurt yourself." please don't make me beat you in public, we're not even out of produce yet. "Stop trying to stand up, I'm not telling you again." who am I kidding, we both already know this isn't going to end well.
Ok, and we're out of Produce. Onto fresh meats. Oh look, buy one, get one free Country Style Ribs. Wouldn't that make my Hubby's day... I'll pick that up... and lunch meat... and some good steaks for his birthday... and...
"STOP RIGHT THERE." fabulous. My already gross child has somehow reached behind him to DIG A HOLE in the plastic wrap of the raw ribs and is poking around in the bloody meat. Because my pregnant self isn't queasy enough. Why do I feel unprepared for this? Um, baby wipes. Yes, baby wipes clean everything. And hand sanitizer. Anyone have turpentine? Is that.. what is that under your fingernail? Back to the face, you know, the one that will stick forever.
Ok, we've survived two departments, though not without incident. Let's see if I can make it past the string cheese without a total meltdown. Not likely, look at that, he's read my mind again.
There are some things that are a challenge to try and put in the cart while I have Baby Wonder with me. String cheese is one of those. Those Gerber Graduate squeeze fruit things are another.
"No, you may not have more cheese. It would be nice to bring some home, and you can't poop as it is." Ok lady, you can stop looking at me like I'm crazy. He's the only person I talk to on a regular basis. You should see me talk to my dog.
"Seriously, I don't pity you, and I can tolerate your attitude longer than you can dish it. Now stop." Hey, he stopped. Anyone want to take bets on how long this will last?
"No, I'm not opening the juice for you, you have water. You're welcome for teaching you patience." why must you touch everything?
Ok, do something. We're only half way through this trip. We won't make it at this rate. Make faces. And give kisses. YES, a giggle. Again, why must people look at me like I'm crazy?Yes, it is harder to direct a cart like this, but you'd be glaring at me if my kid was screaming and not giggling. Don't make me make faces at YOU.
And the aisles. This should be a sport. Especially since I find myself trotting in an attempt to make this quick. Why are you tugging on me? You're strapped in, you can't go rappelling down my arm. Oh, ok, you can walk.
"Just behave, please. Hold onto the cart.Very good."
"No, don't touch that."
"No, don't touch that, either."
"How did you get that box of macaroni and cheese? And why are you chewing on it?"
"You don't even know what candy tastes like, why do you want it?" why do they even HAVE the candy by the stuff I actually need? I could really go for some gummy bears...
"Where did your shoe go? How long have you not had a shoe?!" Great, now I have to find a shoe. How did he even get it off? He's been walking the whole time... There it is. How is it on a second shelf? Did Baby Wonder put it there? HE'S BEEN WALKING WITH ME, HOW DID THIS EVEN HAPPEN? I still have my shoes, right?
"Let's put this back on. What do you mean, no? You may not walk around with one shoe, you little weirdo. Ok, back in the cart." Time. To. Go. Do I have everything? Close enough, checkout.
As if shopping with a million people around isn't bad enough, we now have to wait in line with them. At least the lady behind us thinks Baby Wonder is cute. Ha.
And the checkout lady. "Excuse me, but did you know your bag of string cheese is opened?" Look, I know my kid has one shoe on and I'm sporting yesterday's make up, but as my child is currently chewing on cheese, you can safely assume that I dunnit.
"Oh no, this one is empty," holding up the Gerber packet, "um, did he eat it?" Nope. Again, I know you may not have confidence in me, but I am capable of deciphering the difference between an unopened, and full, package, and an empty one. I also don't make it a habit of paying for other people's trash, so like last time, it was meeeee.
She compliments me on my Disney shopping bags, saying that they're great because they can be rinsed out, not laundered. At the time I did not realize that this was bagger lady code for "I'm going to put the opened, baby-finger-molested package of pork ribs in your grocery bag without wrapping it in a plastic bag first."
Get. Me. Out. Of. Here.
And we leave, and hour later. I imagine the building bursting into flames as we make our quick exit, like in some action movie staring Bruce Willis. But no, Giant Eagle is still standing. Until next time.