Just about everyone knows what it’s like to have cabin fever. If you’ve ever been forced to stay indoors during hurricanes, blizzards or bouts with the flu, you know that it’s tolerable for about the first fifty minutes and then all you can think about is everything you could be doing outside. Yet, there you are stuck doing absolutely nothing, because you can’t get your mind off of how closed in the place feels and how much you just want to get out.
Well that’s us. That’s been us since day three of our kids being sick, which was about the time we noticed our first child sneezing on our second. So nice when they share, isn’t it?
We’re in the second week of limited activities and instead of watching our 4yo bouncing off the walls, and going without bananas and milk yet again, I decided to take the kids on a quick run to the store. Go ahead and laugh, as most parents know, there is no such thing as a “quick” run to the store when you have kids in tow.
As soon as we got there I struggled to fit our infant’s car seat in the shopping cart. They tempt you with an abundance of food and goodies, yet they give you carts just large enough for a loaf of bread and some butter. How am I supposed to shop? Deep breath, and go.
So we make it inside and my oldest goes for the mini shopping carts. Okay, we can manage this. Maybe she gets the task of helping cart the groceries around, it seems harmless enough. That is until we make it halfway through the store and she starts running around doing her impression of Tokyo Drift.
Another deep breath and I get her to drive within 5 feet of me while urging her to stop taking everything off the shelves and putting it in said cart, “No sweetie, we don’t need soy cheese slices.”
Two more minutes go by as we’re waiting at the deli and she’s got her hands on the glass. This lasts 30 seconds before she starts drumming on the glass and pointing to all the stuff we should get. I patiently work with her and ask her to take her hands off the glass. I turn away to order some food, and she’s got her hands up on the glass again. “You need to stop playing on the glass,” I say. Momentary pause while I get our next item ordered and she’s at it again. “If you don’t take your hands off the glass you won’t get a cookie” I say feeling confident since this is what she’s waited the whole trip to get.
It takes less than a minute for her to go from absolutely perfect to sprawled out on the floor in protest. That’s it, “Let’s go.” She refuses to move and I am forced to hoist her over my shoulder. As she begins wailing, I realize I can’t drive the “big” cart and the kid’s cart while carrying her carcass over my shoulder. I try to set her down and she collapses onto the floor again. All I’ve got left is to lift her up and plop her down on a pile of uncured ham and soy cheese. At least she’s mobile now, sort of.
Next dilemma, there’s two kids and two carts. No way can I leave either one of them. So I’m hunched over at an angle pushing a crying toddler in the dinky kid’s cart, every third wail she’s belting out, and my higher hand is guiding the baby’s seat wedged in the “big” cart, which really isn’t big at all.
We make it past all the wine bottle displays and a nice lady ahead of us in line offers help to guide the “big” cart across the finish line, which is the register. I think we’ve made it, and we have until I unload enough groceries from the “big” cart’s kid seat and try to lift my now calm toddler into it. “Ouch! Something’s rubbing,” she says. Still lifting her above my head with her feet dangling chest high, I struggle to fit her in the seat, but after a few moments I have her secured. Two kids, one cart. Why didn’t I just do that from the beginning?
Feeling I’d accomplished something and not wanting to miss out on sweet goodness myself, I eye some cookies at the checkout and sneak them in with the food moving down the beltway. I heave a sigh of relief and we’re out the door.
It only takes us fifteen instead of the normal twenty to get everyone and the groceries in the van and we head home.
Things were uneventful until I started unloading the kids and groceries. It’s lunchtime, so I had to do it in stages. Kids out, check. Food on table for oldest and toys to distract baby, check. I unpacked food from the front and headed back to get the rest, clicked open the lift gate, and that’s when it happened. I watched in slow motion as a carton of eggs spilled over and the viscous insides of one slid out of the van, crept over our back bumper and jiggled into a pool on our new garage floor.
My thoughts: Karma, never should have touched those cookies. If my daughter didn’t get any, I shouldn’t either. And, I’m so done with grocery shopping. (See also, Disaster on aisle...)