Ever since I had my 4th child, my beloved, wonderful, magnificent, husband has offered to do the grocery shopping. But every once in a while, there is a need for me to get something during the day, and I start comforting myself “It won’t be so bad, the kids are fairly well behaved and you only have to get a few things.”
So in the car we pile with a hopeful demeanor and much excited chatter, anything to get out of school for a while. I am thinking, this is a good window of time, Angel Boy is not ready for his nap yet and everyone has been fed recently. We get to the store parking lot and I lay out the plan of action somehow thinking it will work this time. ”Now there are too many of you to walk all around the basket so stay behind me or close to one side.” 3 yr old and infant in the cart, here we go.
The moment we go through the doors, a man bursts out “Well, Glory Be!! Half a dozen!! 2 Carts full!!!, Oh myyyyyy goodness!!” I smile politely, or maybe not so politely. Help me Lord.
Then The Little Guy who does not go to the store very often with me and he is about to remind me why starts yelling at the top of his lungs, “HEY MOM!! LOOK AT ALL THE VEGETABLES MOM!!! LOOK AT THE POTATOES!!” He does this the ENTIRE time we are there for everything we pass, so, now, as if we did not already stand out like a sore thumb, we have a blaring siren to warn others of our coming.
I try to appear composed and unaffected. Occasionally I look up and see looks on others faces, mostly disgusted. One old lady stopped us with a smile, she especially loved The Little Guy although she was trying to shush him sweetly. How could I tell her, "it’s no use woman he only has one volume". God bless old ladies. I love them. They are the only ones that smile at the sight of lots of children anymore. The world would be a better place with lots more of them (children and old ladies).
Angel Boy has decided at this point he is ready for his nap and will no longer tolerate the cart, which by the way happens to be one of those carts that is impossible to push and will only go to the left. Yep, I got one of those.
So I carry Angel Boy the rest of the way and pull the cart with my other hand from the front. Angel Boy is extremely heavy however, and pretty soon my arm feels like it is going to fall off as he gradually slides further and further down my hip. As a last resort I grab the hem of his shorts in hopes this will hold until I plop him in his carseat.
Meanwhile, some of the older ones are migrating away from the cart and unfortunately in the way of some eager beavers coming down the aisle. One lady in particular, honestly looked like she was trying to get through a flock of birds as she tried to pass us. Her eyes were squinted, her shoulders scrunched up, and her fists clenched. We get to the check out “self checkout, less interaction, safer,” I strategize. I notice the lady behind me eying my pants, she looks up at me, then down at the pants again, then up at me again. Yes, lady, they are pajama pants, but at least they are solid colored. I could have worn the ones with the pink sunglasses all over them, but then I would have fit in better at Walmart, not so much Kroger.
As we pull away, The Little Guy yells “BYE, GOODBYE EVERYONE!!!” The elderly black man behind us chuckles. See? God bless old people.
We get home and unload and get settled to start school again. I sit down, exhausted. But really, considering, it was pretty successful. I got what I needed and we did not break anything or knock over any displays. The Little Guy wraps his little arms around my neck just then and says “I wub you mom!” (sigh) I wub you Little Guy, and the rest of my precious caravan.
"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them!" Psalm 127:3-5