Today I had the dreaded task of going to the grocery store with both kids. A chore that I have now vowed I will not do again anytime soon unless absolutely necessary. This is the story behind that decision.
Yesterday, part of my "to do" list included making a grocery list. I added items here and there in between loads of laundry, cleaning, feeding, picking up toys and lots of holding my cranky daughter. However, I never really finished the list because I hadn't decided exactly which meals I would cook this week. So, this morning I was thumbing through some of my favorite "go to" cookbooks trying desperately to make quick decisions to finish my list. BUT, it was one of those mornings and things just weren't happening in a timely manner. Before I knew it, it was nearly lunch time and I still hadn't finished my list and left for the grocery store. I decided to just wing it, which I never do because I am just too type A for that, and leave with only a partial list. I put Mia in her car seat, grabbed the diaper bag, corralled Austin and walked out the door. As I walked around to the side of the car to put Mia in, I saw Austin pause and bend down. I didn't know what he was so intently observing, but he soon came over to show me. There on the tip of his index finger was something dark and somewhat slimy that he had obviously picked off the driveway. I pleaded with him to not put it in his mouth or touch his clothes until I could grab a wipe and get the ick off his finger. He walked away and as I rounded the car to find him and clean his hand, he was again bending over picking at the driveway. And this is what he was picking at.
In case you can't identify it from the picture, that is a nice plop of bird poop! I grabbed his hand and told him what it was, which didn't seem to phase him much. He just kept repeating, "no touch bird poopy." Since he was picking at it, I had to dig under his fingernails to adequately clean him up. So, that was how my shopping trip started.
When I got to the store there were no shopping carts with the little car in the front, so I had to put Austin in the back where the groceries should go. I started in the produce department and of course he wanted to touch everything because he had better access to it than usual. The first casualty was an apple that he managed to snag as we went by. It bounced, rolled, and landed smack dab in between an old lady's feet. It startled her and she looked around trying to figure out where it came from. I walked over, retrieved the apple and apologized for scaring her. We moved on and as I tried to get other things I needed, Austin put some things in the cart that he felt we needed. I gained a small bag of potatoes, a couple yams, a cucumber, and some sort of herb. I thought that getting him a doughnut in the bakery department would at least occupy him and keep him from touching everything in reach, but that only managed to make his curious little hands sticky. When we reached the meat department I put a large package of chicken in the cart, but leaned it up against the side so it wouldn't be in his way and he wouldn't touch it. Yeah right!!! I ended up having to put all the meats and quite a few other items under the cart.
Next, we stopped to try on some Crocs because they had a good assortment of colors. I took off one of his sneakers and made sure that I was getting the proper size. It was the first time he stayed seated in the cart for more than a minute and amazingly he decided he liked it down there. For the next five minutes he was happily playing with his new shoes. But then he noticed that I had added some things he liked and proceeded to start playing with the items in the cart. "Banging, banging," he was saying as he knocked two glass jars together. I confiscated one jar and continued on, realizing that I was going to have to hurry as he was starting to make an unfortunate game out of the groceries. The next couple items were cold and he decided that he didn't want them back there with him and tried to put them back as we were moving. That forced me to have to put all remaining items under the cart and only buy absolutely essential items to shorten my trip.
When it was time to check out I asked him to help me put the groceries on the belt. He eagerly started helping until the belt started to move. At that point he was so fascinated by running his hands along the belt as it moved that he would no longer help me and was actually preventing me from being able to efficiently do the job. Thankfully, the store has a service called helping hands, which I needed a few sets of, and a nice young man brought an extra cart for my bags, followed me to my car and loaded the groceries for me. That was the best part of this week's grocery shopping.
So, I have decided that even if I have to shop at 10 pm or on the weekends when it is crazy busy, I will not take both kids with me. Especially when I haven't made a proper list and have to try to think on my feet with little fingers roaming everywhere within arms reach.