Note: This is a vent. Please, please, please do not take it as me slamming my kids. I feel I have to leave that disclosure in case some Pollyanna-type, judgmental mom (or other) stops by. They are good kids. I'm just not always a perfect, zen-fully tuned in parent who does everything right. Did I just write "not always"? Wow...at the very least, that's sloppy writing!
Without further ado...
Do you ever get the upgraded or more expensive version of something, and then, one day, you have to go back to using the old version? And then, that day, you discover the old version a million times more difficult to use than you remember?
That's what grocery shopping was like for me this morning. Because it's summer vacation now, and I have to shop with kids in tow.
It's not an exercise for the weak. Which mean when you see moms doing it, they are actually being bad-asses.
I think at one point, I had it down, this shopping with kids. But school ruined it for me. I started shopping with no kids. Then, periodically, just with one. Just one is really not too difficult. In fact, I might actually prefer having one child for company, to chat with along the way and have an excuse to eat a donut on the spot.
I had both kids today.
It started off fine. We stopped by the recycling place first. They helped unload plastic bags. Look at me--errands with kids are fun! They help out happily!
Onto the grocery store. The one that sells everything, because we need flip-flops for the pool. They want to start there. We all try on flip-flops. We are all still happy.
We stop to check out the fish. Still good here.
I decide to shop in the back first (the meat department), since it's close. And who knows, maybe picking up produce last will feel nice and fresh and healthy!
Meat...meat...bacon...meat. Wow, I'm obviously not a vegetarian, although ironically feeding animal protein to my children is actually quite difficult. It's not that they truly want to be vegetarians; they really just want to eat nothing but crackers and granola bars. Apparently, they think that's what vegetarians do.
Do we need beer or wine? No. We're good.
I pick up a weird amount of stuff in the frozen foods section. Maybe because it's hot out?
Mustard, eggs, milk...ice cream cones! Where are ice cream cones? I don't see them on the little signs over the lanes. Do we really need them? I know I have too much ice cream at home, still leftover from an ice cream social. Too many containers of strawberry for a family that would rather have chocolate.
Now my kids are asking for stuff. Unhealthy stuff, of course. Stuff they would eat if they became "vegetarians." The stuff that is sold in the those center aisles that health magazines tell me to avoid.
I hate health magazines. They should have a special place in hell.
Did I get milk? Must have milk.
I buy the organic kind. Because I guess the organic kind does weird stuff. But my inner-cheapo hates paying more for organic.
My kids have started hanging onto the cart and doing some weird push-pull thing.
I don't believe I just passed the chocolate section and didn't buy some dark stuff for myself. I like it. The more I age, the more I believe I need it.
(I know what you're thinking: she also missed the wine. Idiot!)
Fruit. We need fruit and vegetables. That's what good moms buy. Good moms put out healthy snacks, like carrots and hummus. That's what those parenting magazines suggest.
I hate parenting magazines. They deserve a special place in hell. Maybe next to the health magazines.
Deli. I swear nothing looks appealing here, but I guess lots of people call this lunch. My kids like salami. Don't tell me it's not food. I call it protein.
You know what organic food I really hate? Organic strawberries. They always show up high on the list of organic foods I should buy, but you know what? I pay twice the price, and they end up half rotten in about 10 hours.
You're killing me, organic strawberries.
Stop pulling at my cart, kids. Look at that mom: she has four kids--one strapped on her chest--and look how well they are behaving? Of course, maybe she actually has a bottle of booze strapped to her chest.
Yeah, a parenting book would tell me not to say this.
Waxed paper. Who needs waxed paper? Except maybe me, to pre-make hamburger patties and freeze them. Why did I miss that? It's killing me to go backwards in the store.
I run over my son's foot. Not too badly. Sorry about that. Yes, we are done. Except we have to pay.
I find an aisle with only two old people in it. I guess when I'm old, I'll survive off of nothing but cinnamon roles, a couple frozen dinners, and a plant.
No, you are not getting candy. Put it back.
I'm getting all bizarrely reflective as I stand in line and watch my items tally up on the register. Grocery shopping is such a good metaphor for life. Like for some crazy reason, I think if I buy enough, if I buy correctly, I shall never have to shop again. Or at least for a really, really long time. And surely, I shall not be clueless as to what to cook.
How often are we this way in life? I've got a college degree, so surely, I'm set, and a wonderful, perfect job will fall on my lap. But it doesn't, and you don't have everything figured out. All that work and knowledge from college in your shopping cart of life? Not enough. You'll have to go back.
That nine months of pregnancy, all the books you read, that Lamaze class, and then, of course, the hours of labor?
Congrats--you're not done. Not even close. In fact, you've just started.
Beautiful wedding. Just started. Not done.
Hard workout? You've guessed it: do it again tomorrow.
Laundry! Did I need to buy laundry detergent?
Sigh...I'll add it to the list or next time.