I can’t remember a time when I ever liked grocery shopping. I only do it because it’s easier than hunting or gathering. If you looked into my fridge right now, all you would find is a half gallon of milk, four eggs, and a few leftovers that aren’t ripe enough to throw out. I think what originally spoiled it for me, was shopping with four children under the age of five. Even now, the moment I step on that ribbed, rubber mat and the automatic door flings open, I twitch like a burglar zapped by a stun gun. I tell myself, it’s okay. It’s only the memory from long, long ago that is still as fresh as the pyramid of cantaloupes to my right, now on sale, two for five dollars—
This is where the text gets all wavy and then clears again…
The twins are sitting in the cart—one in the seat, one in the basket. The three- and five-year-olds are holding onto either side, but that is only under threat of “No Happy Meal!” if either one of them wanders off. Their pudgy little white-knuckled hands hold steadfast, but only for as long as I am able to avoid the cookie aisle where those sneaky little elves gleefully taunt all young’uns in some psychic language only a child is able to hear. “Betchacan’tfindme!”
Faster than a mouse zeros in on a crumb of Gouda, they shoot off the cart like miniature torpedoes–
“Mom, Mom!” One veers left.
“Mom, Mom!” One swings right.
Nothing wrong with their sonar–
“OREO, OREO!” A direct hit.
“CHIPS AHOY!” And another.
“Out! Out!” The twin up front squirms. One foot makes it onto the seat. The other is jammed, because her loaded diaper throws her off balance.
The twin in the basket swings around. Distracted from poking holes in the ground meat package, he’s on a new mission. “Cookie! Cookie!” He stretches his porky little Popeye-arms up into the air. With a grunt, he makes a grab for the fine vertical spindles of his silver cage. His 90% lean-beef slicked hands slip. He teeters. Like a gentle sasquatch treading on a bed of moss, one foot sinks into a loaf of sliced whole wheat. He totters. “Uff!” and thumps onto his padded butt. Those eggs never had a chance anyway.
How I made it to the checkout is still a blur. How I made it through that narrow chasm of Tic-tacs, Snickers, gum, miniature flashlights, and into the parking lot unscathed, but for a case of raw nerves, is an even blurrier blur.
The one clear memory I do have though, is swearing very loudly—no, not curses, there were children present, remember?
No—I swore an oath—something every adventurer is bound to do when she has had a harrowing experience and lived to tell the tale. I vowed to never grocery shop with more than one child under the age of twenty-one in tow ever again. If I couldn’t drive thru a Dairy Barn or have it delivered to the house—we would simply have to starve.
Grocery shopping makes climbing Mount Kilimanjaro look easy, but that’s an adventure for another day—
Do you have any wacky adventures to the grocery store you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it. After all, the fun is in the sharing. See you next week…