I’m over at Scary Mommy today!
I spend many minutes of my life trying to finagle my way out of taking my children shopping with me.
It’s not that I don’t like spending time with them. I totally do. The two of them are cute and funny and they came out of my body without leaving any stretch marks so I love them.
But I have found that I especially love them when they are not sitting within wet-willy range to each other in the backseat of the car while I schlep them to boring places like the grocery store and Target.
Unfortunately, I often have to take them with me and, like Dante traveling through the 9 levels of hell, there are the 9 levels of pain and torture that await me while shopping with my sweet cherubs.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
1. Carseats. My main goal in life right now is to teach my 3 yo how to operate the buckles on her carseat, marking the moment when she can finally get a job and start paying for the carpal tunnel surgery I will need from all that buckling and unbuckling.
2. Irrational hunger and thirst. Miles away from any food source and mere seconds after they have drunk the last drop of water, my children often believe that they will perish. Yet, at dinner they are stuffed after 2 bites. I have found that being a parent is basically learning to live with a constant set of contradictions dictated by someone else’s bodily functions.
3. Parking lots. Parking lots and children do not belong together. I’m not sure why one day, someone said, Hey! Lets drive 3000 pounds of metal around in circles right next to kids who are flailing like wounded fish at the end of their mother’s hands and see if they can manage to get loose just in time to get squashed. Great idea, parking lot people.
4. Entering and exiting buildings. This has been an adventure ever since my daughter began to believe that she is the one (and the only one) who can control the automatic doors. Woe to the soul who happens to sneak by us and open the automatic door before she is good and ready. I’m just thankful that most strangers can’t understand what she’s saying yet and that I taught her to curse in German.
5. Cart negotiations. I can feel myself tense up as soon as we walk into any store, hopeful that the tiny carts will somehow be hidden away from my 3 yo’s desperate, searching eyes. And while she loves the IDEA of the little cart, she doesn’t actually want to push that thing through the entire store. She only wants to push it halfway through the store and then abandon it in the noodle aisle without one look back or one F*$% given. Not that I blame her, I feel exactly that way most of the time.
6. The bathroom. My children can sense when the bathroom is at the very farthest possible point from us and then they suddenly have a desperate urge to go. Or maybe they think it’s hilarious to see me jog through Target holding my boobs because I forgot to put a bra on. Either way, they must get some satisfaction from the whole ordeal because it happens every single time.
7. Busy-bodies. From the side-eye I get when my daughter is wearing rainbow leggings and a bathrobe, to the actual “shushing” some old guy gave us once when my then 3 yo son was singing loudly in the grocery store to the Abba soundtrack that lived in his heart. And, unfortunately, people with opinions about how I’m managing as a mother often appear during cart negotiations.
8. Crap at the cash register. I have to admit, I have kinda given up on this one. For many years, I was a staunch supporter of not buying anything that sat at the end of the cash register. And then one day, I caved and bought some cracker and Nutella concoction and, well, now I’m weak and my daughter is loud and I kinda don’t care either.
9. And finally, STICKERS. Is it just me, or is there some crazy sticker conspiracy happening? In one day, I counted 5 different places that offered my children stickers. Including the nice police officer that pulled me over for expired tabs. My 3 yo is actually TIRED OF STICKERS and now refuses to take them, much to the horror of every cashier. They all look at me as if I were to blame and I find myself trying to convince them, that, yes, I do allow stickers, she truly doesn’t want one.
There you go. The 9 levels of horrible things that we all have to endure while runningerrands with our kids. I promise that, if I meet you out in public with your children, I will hide every tiny cart and I won’t even consider opening that automatic door before you. If you’ll do the same for me.