Before I restart my story…fresh corn from the cob and orange-scented couscous with cranberries & chicken may sound like a lovely healthy meal for the family until you see it all over the floor along with a broken plate. Then it simply becomes a nightmare cleaning experience.
So…yesterday we were at the grocery store and I went on and on about how it’s not easy to find the perfect grocery store with two kids in tow. Really the story was going to be about what happened when we finally did get to the grocery store. Without further adieu…
We arrive nice and early at the Norfolk Commissary. First, there is a case lot sale going on. There is a big tent full of bulk items in the area where we normally get our special car cart. When we get to the car carts, there are no steering wheels on any of them. Jack is not happy with this and lets me know that he disapproves of steering wheel-less carts. I convince him to use a different cart that would actually separate him from Casey and maybe prevent some scuffles. There are none of these carts with working seat belts to prevent Casey from falling out and Jack from jumping out. Back to the wheel-less carts. Jack is still not happy.
Then, I realize that I forgot to grab the reusable bags out of the car. If I hadn’t just bought the insulated freezer bags a couple of weeks ago I might have let that go for the week. So back to the car for bags. The rumbling of the cart over the pavement drowns out any sound of Jack’s protests.
Once we get into the store Jack whines incessantly about the fact that he doesn’t have a wheel. I inform him that I can do nothing about it but that doesn’t seem to matter to him. And yet Casey still manages to start a fight with him because she is playing with the bolt on his side where the steering wheel used to be. We’re not even out of the produce aisle yet.
In the middle of all this whining, Jack is calling us funny names. He is really into Thomas the Train and all of his friends, to the point where he has named us after those characters. I almost burst out laughing when he whines, “Diesel is playing with my side…Bertie the Bus can you tell Diesel to stop playing with my side.” Casey has now become a train named “Diesel” and I am a bus named “Bertie.” It is a riot because he throws these names into the conversation so casually. I hope people don’t think I have a daughter named Diesel.
In the snack aisle “Thomas” jumps out to pick out his snacks like every week. Except he somehow manages to be in the way of 3 other carts at once and starts causing a traffic jam.
Once he gets his snacks he no longer wants to ride in the cart – he wants to push it. Only I’m not allowed to help him push it. I have to move up to the front of the cart and pretend that I’m not touching it while actually steering and moving it along at a faster pace. At one point, he tricks me and he lets go and then watches me move it down the aisle. Then he calls me on it. I renew my covert steering operations and we slowly move through the rest of the grocery store.
Occasionally Jack decides that he’s rather be a garbage man than push the cart and he rides hanging on to the side of the basket. He jumps off every time I stop to put some “garbage” in the “truck”.
Casey continues her love/hate relationship with her shoes and with my grocery list. She pulls her shoe off, throws it in the bottom of the cart and then cries when she can’t reach it. She grabs my list, crumples it up and then throws it out of the cart. When I pick it up, she acts like she really wants to make sure I’m getting everything off it, then throws it out again.
It was a really good feeling when we finally made it to the checkout line…because the shopping experience was almost over and soon I could strap both children into a carseat and give them fruit snacks for being so “good” at the grocery store. But before we left, Casey threw both of her shoes at the man restocking the refrigerators. He kindly gave them back. And I probably should have added another dollar to the tip when the bagger made funny popping noises with his mouth to entertain Jack. But I just wanted to get home.
To be honest, it wasn’t even close to my worst shopping experience. But I only think it was salvaged by the fact that Jack was so funny in the middle of being so frustrating. “Bertie the Bus, do we need milk for Diesel this week?”