Sunday, June 7, 2009

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

Like most of my ideas, it sounded like a good idea at the time.... (Note to self, if it sounds like a really good idea, think twice, because it probably means utter chaos is going to result.) The sun was shining, the violin lessons were taught, the violin practicing was done, and the baby had just gotten up from his nap. I had promised the girls we would make chocolate chips cookies, which proves to be rather difficult when you have no chocolate chips.

"So," I thought to myself, "The grocery store is half a mile away. We should just put the baby in the stroller and walk to the store. It would be great to spend time together, get some exercise and get out of the house for a while." At this point, I should have just told myself to shut up.

The girls were thrilled at the idea. Max kicked his legs and drooled, so I assumed it was okay with him. The walk there was uneventful, and the time in the grocery store was nothing out of the ordinary. ("Abby, put that down!" "Please don't poke holes in the meat packages!" "No, we are not buying candy bars, lunchables, kiwis, chocolate milk, treats for the dog, washable markers, overpriced Barbies, purple cauliflower, or whatever else you are asking about." "Ashlynn, don't put that in the cart! We're not buying it." "If you don't come back here RIGHT NOW, take that out of the cart and put it back where you got it, we're not making cookies at all!" See, all perfectly normal.)

It was when we left the grocery store that things started going downhill fast. Somehow in the 20 minutes that we were in the store, a massive thunderstorm had blown into the valley. The wind was gusting like mad, and the storm clouds were looking awfully menacing. Despite the girls whining, we didn't have a choice. We set off for home, hoping that if we walked fast enough, we would avoid the torrential downpour.

Just as we got the the point of no return, the sky opened and the downpour started. The thunder rolled, and the girls shrieked, to badly paraphrase a Garth Brooks song. We had no choice but to keep going. The girls were crying, Max couldn't decide if getting soaked was funny or not and was alternating between crying and giggling. I couldn't help but laugh. Because really, what else can you do when you have crying kids and a stroller full of soaked groceries?

Ah, well, nothing that a warm blanket and some chocolate chip cookies couldn't fix.

You would think that I would have learned my lesson. But oh no.

Friday, we were missing a few things for dinner again. (I really need to start planning better!) This time being slightly smarter, I packed all three kids up in the van and schlepped us all to the store. Now grocery shopping normally is bad enough. Grocery shopping with three kids in tow= mind numbing torture.

Highlights of this particular shopping trip include:

--Forgetting to get a bag of baby carrots. We were one aisle away from the produce, so I thought it would be okay to send 7 year old Abby back to get a bag. A few minutes later, just as I was wondering what was taking her so long, I hear the scream of "MOM!!!" from clear across the store. Abby has gone in the wrong direction, and is pacing up and down the cracker and cookie aisle trying to find the baby carrots.

--Standing in front of the baby food, trying to decide what flavors to get while my kids run down the aisle, holding hands singing (screeching) "She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes."

--Self checkout. Having only a handful of items in my cart, and finding all the other checkout lines about 5 people deep, I decide to be smart and use the self checkout line. (I should have heeded my advice from earlier in this post about when it seems like a good idea, ignore it, because its inevitably going to cause chaos.) Midway through, my touch screen was possessed of an evil spirit and began scanning things in of its own accord, flashing nasty messages at me, and then shutting itself down. Despite the fact that there were no less than 6 customer service people standing around at the service booth, it took some begging to get someone to come over and fix my machine so that I could buy the stupid onions. Then, just as I thought we were home free, the girls decided to climb in the baggage area, prompting more hysteria and another shut down from the checkout machine for "Unauthorized merchandise in the bagging area." We're lucky we made it out alive. Check that. The girls are lucky they made it out alive.

New resolution for the rest of summer vacation. Never again am I going grocery shopping with all three kids in tow. If we don't have it, we're going to have to do without it.


  1. I feel your pain about grocery shopping with kids. Now that school is out for the summer, that's hard to do, but I try to avoid the store at all cost, unless we're out of something absolutely essential (think: toilet paper!).

  2. Ah yes, my friend. I couldn't agree more. Grocery stores are nothing more than an evil plot to torture the already half-crazed mother. And Self-Check Outs? Well, those are just there to push us over the edge on the off-chance that the actual shopping didn't do it.

  3. Grocery shopping with 3 kids. Hate. See, it's scarred me so much that I can't even write complete sentences about it. Even if my husband is home he won't keep the kids at home so that I can shop in peace. Last week was the first time in a LONG time that I got to do so. Hubby kept 2 kids at home, but I had to bring the baby. Fortunately he was a perfect angel. He sat in the driver seat of the cart-car and said "hi" to every single person in the store. By the time we finished, he was so tired that he was saying "HIIIIIIIIII" in this growling devil-voice, but other than that he was still a perfect angel :-D

  4. This post is perfect, since I went shopping with my kids today too. We actually had a torrential downpour of rain too, but luckily, we were still inside the store. The Albertson's workers actually gave me and my kids rain slickers to wear out to our car and sent an employee to help unload the groceries and bring back our cart because the rain was so bad. Isn't that cool?

    But I laughed out loud at all the lines you said to your kids, because I think I've repeated most of those (or at least something similar). Our big issue right now is getting Sariah to SIT down in the cart and stay there. Ugh!


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