The Struggle is Real
I used to love shopping trips, just my firstborn baby and me. We would stroll through Wegmans, the mecca of grocery stores, the aroma of its French bread wafting throughout the entire store. What's that? Sushi? Sure! Artisan Italian meats? Don't mind if I do!
With skinny jeans, messy bun and iced coffee in hand, I relished the aromas, dreamy lighting and fancy samples. Sweet older ladies would smile and tell me to "enjoy every minute". And I did.
Then my baby became a toddler. And the next baby came.
Now my shopping trips look a little something like this:
10am: It's grocery day. Toddler and I are up and ready to go, but baby is still napping. Today he decides to take a 3-hour nap. Good for him! Bad for us.
11:30am: Baby is up! Time to go! But first baby needs to nurse. And it's toddler's lunch time. Think quick! Ok, nurse baby at home, because where am I going to nurse him at the grocery store anyway? Now what about toddler's lunch. Cheese stick and yogurt would be nice and quick, but they're both dairy. He can have raisins in the car.
12:10pm: We make it to the grocery store without toddler falling asleep in the car. Win!
I strap on baby sling, insert baby. Toddler asks for the grocery cart with the plastic car in the front so he can ride and "steer". After we wander the parking lot for 10 minutes, I find one. It's about 10 feet long, and I proceed to clip about 13 other shoppers' ankles throughout our shopping trip.
12:25pm: Toddler sees escalator in grocery store. I should have come in the other entrance! I unpack toddler from giant grocery cart. His rubber shoes get caught in the cart.
Second attempt is a success. We ride the escalator exactly three times. We've already been here 20 minutes. Time to shop.
12:30pm: I promise toddler that he can have an apple while we shop. I find one and give it to him. (More about said apple shortly.)
12:45pm: Toddler asks to walk instead of ride in the Hummer of shopping carts. The fatigued part of me thinks this is a good idea, to help him get out some energy.
Toddler walks up to a stranger and smacks her on the behind. Toddler goes back in the cart.
12:50pm: I clip the produce boy's heel with my whale-sized cart. My bad.
1:15pm: Baby is now asleep against my chest in his sling. I can tell by the drool soaking my shirt. There goes baby's afternoon nap.
1:30pm: "All done!" Toddler finishes the apple, throws it on the ground. Clean up on aisle 7! I shove the chewed-up apple core in the diaper bag, where I'll find it fuzzy and moldy 5 days from now.
1:50pm: Toddler grabs boxes of macaroni off the shelves, knocking them onto the floor. When did his reach get so long? (Note: If shopping at Target, replace "box of macaroni" with "cardigans on hangers," which I unwittingly run over with my shopping cart).
I bend over to pick up macaroni boxes while trying to keep baby asleep in the sling. I awkwardly hold his head up with my free hand as his chubby little cheeks turn red from the blood rushing to his head. #secondbabyproblems
2:15pm: At last, we cross the final item off our list. Not bad for half-an-hour! Wait, what does the clock say? WE'VE BEEN HERE FOR TWO HOURS??
2:20pm: We get to the checkout. Toddler puts his hands on the belt. It's amazing that children don't lose their fingers to these things on a daily basis.
Cashier gives toddler a bright, "Are you helping mommy today?" Toddler shouts, "No!" I laugh nervously and fish through the diaper bag for my wallet.
Wait! I remember we need to pay for toddler's apple. The cashier informs me that apples are sold by the pound, not by quantity. Ugh. "I'm sure she'll let this one slide," I assure myself. Nope. "You need to go getanother apple, so I can see how much to charge for the apple your child ate," she says.
Ok, think, woman! Leave groceries behind? Fine. Leave toddler buckled in the push-able plastic Achilles tendon-destroyer? There's no way I'm getting him out of the cart again. So I tell toddler I'll be RIGHT back. Toddler screams at the top of his lungs. Everyone stares.
With Superwoman speed I return with a new apple to be weighed.
Cashier weighs the apple. Toddler gets excited about the new apple. Cashier tosses the apple into a bin. Toddler cries.
This seems way too complicated. I should have shopped for apples before coming to the grocery store. Wait, what?
2:45pm: Finally we are DONE, kids strapped into car seats. Toddler is sleeping in 3 minutes flat, head hanging awkwardly to the side. There goes afternoon nap. Baby is screaming, ready to nurse. Soon he falls asleep, too.
Sinking into the driver's seat, I realize I never ate lunch. What grocery item has the quietest packaging? French bread. I close my eyes, savor the doughy goodness, and remember the good ol' days.
I grab my phone and Google "grocery delivery service."