I don’t remember going to the grocery store as a child.
That could be for several reasons: Maybe my mom did the shopping after work, before she came home; maybe I did go but just wasn’t aware of…well…anything; or maybe I did go, but nothing exciting or out of the ordinary ever happened.
Disclaimer: my computer and I have officially filed for divorce. Yes we still live together, but that’s only because we are to broke to officially separate AND replace one another. So unfortunately I am not able to upload pictures.
Knowing me and the kid I was, it was more likely the second one. I am continually amazed at young people today and how aware they seem to be. Classic Example: I never knew there were other pregnant women out there until I became pregnant. Some might characterize that as being “narcissistic” and of course there may be an element of that, but I firmly believe it’s due to “head in the clouds syndrome” which ultimately leads to my total lack of awareness.
Whatever the case may be, I’ve had three memorable moments in a grocery store as an adult. One of course, was in college when my bank card was declined. For those of you who knew me in college, I’m sure that doesn’t come as a shock. Two and Three were both kid related and not having my wallet. So I had money in my account, but I didn’t physically have my wallet. In that regard, my memory of grocery experiences hinge on not having money in my account, having one or all of my kids breakdown, or loosing my ability to purchase the a cart full of perishable items. Not too dramatic or memorable.
So if I’m 41 now, that’s about 30 years worth of grocery shopping with most likely my mother and/or my kids. 30 years where nothing out of the ordinary other than the usual monetary crisis or a frustrated kid.
When Abby and Phoebe were toddlers I would bring their plastic grocery cart to the store early in the morning and allow them to pick a few things of their own. It’s perfect if you think about it, as a mom with young kids you HAVE to go grocery shopping, it’s fun for them and let’s be honest, if their having fun and engaged in the activity then you can be sure they are learning, plus there’s never anyone there so it’s the perfect time to take pictures. They love to feel important and helpful. It’s a win/win.
Well finally at the ripe age of 41, I can officially add Saturday, April 28th, 2018’s grocery shopping excursion to my memory bank.
As always I took the girls on our regular Saturday morning coffee and grocery shopping run. Greg was putting CC down for a nap, so it was just Abby, Phoebe and myself.
I grabbed the cart like I always do. Not the kid one with the big plastic car cemented to the front and not the normal shopping cart.
No folks, I went for the small cart. The one that allows you to zip around the store as if your Mario Andretti nearing the last lap in the indie 500.
Abby is the typical oldest sibling: always helping me grab items from other isles; reminding me about the butter, jelly, and toilet paper I forgot; helping to corral her younger highly spirited sisters; watching the cart, my purse and her sisters while I run to grab a forgotten item or make a b-line for the nearest bathroom.
But that day, it was Phoebe who took the lead and asked to be in charge of pushing the cart. “Absolutely” I proudly answered back with a glisten of a tear in my eye. I gave her a little pat on her back and had a moment of thankfulness and appreciation.
Abby and I split up, hoping to tackle the shopping and make it back while CC was still napping. I always enjoy a good catnap on the weekends.
I was going for the onions, bananas, and lemons. Abby and Phoebe were picking the mushrooms, celery, and carrots.
Luckily for me the onions were on sale and displayed right up front. I grabbed one, dropped it into the bag and tossed into the cart.
I turned just enough for my peripheral vision to acknowledge our small grocery cart flipping over to its side in slow motion. Only to be followed of course, by the most obnoxious bang and clatter from the steel hitting the cement floor.
As I turned to see what had happened, I see this little yellow onion rolling over to my feet…practically begging me not to allow Phoebe to push the cart any more.
And there she was, Phoebe just as shocked as Abby and Myself, scrambling to get up from her side. I bent down to help her up off the floor, gave her a big hug and checked her out for the usual rattling of the loose bones inside, “What just happened Phoebe…are you okay?” I’m panicking. I’m looking at the wheels on the cart assuming one of them is out of its socket or something.
Phoebe is repeating as she normally does when she falls down, “I’m ok mommy, I’m alright, seriously mom, I’m fine!” Clumsiness is apart of her life so much to the point she uses the self talk to assure herself as much as me.
Of course the oldest sibling wouldn’t be the “oldest” if she didn’t rat out her sister with her usual, “Phoebe was standing on the side of the cart like we do with the big one…but before I could tell her to get down, she fell”.
My 41 year old eyes and brain just could not come together to reconcile the newest event plaguing Phoebe. At some point my brain began to catch up and I let out a little giggle.
After a full body check, all I could think about was how in all my 30 years of dull non-eventful grocery shopping, my kid at 8 years of age gives me my most memorable moment…and of course, I’m in trouble if she’s already experiencing these unbelievable grocery experiences events at the ripe age of 8. More to the point, maybe she’s in trouble.
I felt it billowing in my belly, a big boisterous laugh I never can control, and as soon as she confirmed she was in fact completely fine, we all lost it. We laughed until we were in tears…with Abby re-enacting the scene every time our laughter began to wane.
It felt as if we were in that moment for a long 20 minutes trying to regain some sense of self control.
I kept looking around waiting for a manager or cashier to come over and ask if we were ok. Honestly, they were probably hunkered down on the opposite shelf wiping their tears as well, silently praying that crazy family doesn’t catch them laughing their asses off. I mean there was not a single soul there.
I had one of those moments where I laughed so hard I started to cry. My stomach cramped. My cheeks ached. If I wore mascara it certainly would have been running down my face.
We pulled ourselves together, picked up the small cart from the floor, I threw the onion in the basket and attempted to explain to Phoebe, “because the cart is smaller, and isn’t holding anything, it’s lighter…” but soon realized it was probably a moot point. I’m sure she figured that out on her own.
I’m happy to write, everyone made it back to the car in one piece. But of course it wouldn’t be a typical shopping trip without forgetting a major item. When we made it home, I chucked the $75 worth of grocery items in the fridge and announced to Greg we were going out for dinner. No way was I going back to the grocery store after that fiasco. One shopping
disaster trip is all I can handle in a single day.