Grocery shopping. I’ve put off writing about this for so long, for three reasons:
I’m worried that I will bore you to tears.
There’s way too much to write about, and nap time only lasts so long.
Even writing about it exhausts me.
I need to brag a little: our children are fantastically well-behaved for most of their waking hours. They are sweet, and smiley, and treat trips out-of-doors like their own little spa vacations. Saoirse is constantly asking, “Mom, are we going anywhere today?,” the answer to which is usually yes, which is also a large part of the reason why the family room couch is currently covered in laundry waiting to be folded. (Much to my disappointment, there are no real leprechauns in the world who do your housework for you while you’re gone. The myths and legends lie. This makes me quite sad, if you can believe it). At the store, SK bounces along, helping me choose everything from avocados to cereal, and Quinn is just content to flash gummy smiles at everybody she passes. But even with the most awesome of children, grocery shopping–and the requisite putting-away-of-the-groceries that happens afterward–makes me seriously want to dive into the nearest glass of wine and chocolate bar I see (and as our grocery store carries both of these items, both are a definite possibility, even at 11 in the morning…).
Both of the kids are currently in bed (well, I hear SK thumping up and down by her bookshelf, but at least she’s close). I abandoned the groceries mid-organizing to go root out the chocolate (I’ve started cleaning our fridge and freezer every week before the big shop, and it makes me sooo proud. The rest of my house looks like we got robbed, but by golly, my crisper is immaculate! Still, Windexing crusty spilled milk? Not exactly relaxing). I know I have to go back up there and finish the job, but aaaaugh.
What’s funny is I can’t recall when and how I used to go grocery shopping pre-kids. I remember when I was single, I’d drive up to Safeway or Whole Foods after work, usually around 8 p.m. But even hauling all the stuff up from a parking lot a mile away from my building, and up stairs and elevators wasn’t that exhausting. And I can’t tell you when the shopping got done once I was married. Dave and I never went together–he’s an in-and-out kind of guy, hurryhurryhurry, where I’d wander around, checking out the fun aisles, sniffing homeopathic body sprays, you name it. But still: did he go? Did I? When, after work? I don’t remember. All I know is that now, staying at home full-time means that I am schlepping our dear children there every week. And I have learned three things from these ventures. Ready for another bullet list?
Meandering about the store is not as much fun when you’re squeezing the shopping trip in the hour between your baby’s morning nap and lunchtime. I’ve turned into that person who tears into the box of baby rice cakes before she pays for them. That is not cool to me.
While grocery shopping can easily be turned into a neat teaching tool: “What color is this pepper? That’s right, green!…Would you like to smell this basil? What does it smell like?,” it just adds on another half hour to the trip. So, teach what you can, but do it in a jiffy, why don’t you? It’s okay if your kid doesn’t ruminate on the texture of kiwi just now.
Most importantly, frequent a grocery store that gives children free cookies and has a running train suspended from its ceiling. Wegman’s knows what it’s doing.
That is all for now. I have cans of tomatoes upstairs that need to be put away and recycling that must be taken out. Sigh. Where are those leprechauns when I need them?