Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Readers Talk....I Listen

A loyal reader and friend e-mailed me today about my lack of blog postings lately. It could have been worded, "While I do enjoy seeing that sweet little baby picture of Reese on her Birthday Blog, I look forward to reading new posts about your adorable family." But that is not her personality. It simply said, "If you people have a blog....you need to update it. I am sick of clicking and finding the SAME thing....".

As always, I have had 1,078 ideas of blogs running around in my head, yet just don't quite find the time to sit and type them all out. But this is one cute grocery store happening that hopefully you'll enjoy.

The grocery store.

Just a dreaded experience all around. For some strange reason, I have always loathed going grocery shopping. I don't mind dashing in for a couple of things, but to actually sit down, make a list, and fill up an entire cart, just makes me crazy. I've been this way my whole married life, so it really has nothing to do with dragging along three energetic wee ones whose idea of a fun afternoon is not comparing green bean prices.

David requested a specific meal for last evening. You will be proud to know, I didn't snidely respond that I am not his own personal short order cook, nor is this a 5 star hotel where he is free to pick something to his liking off the menu. I gathered up the kids and dutifully made a late afternoon trip to the grocery store, list in hand, to get all the needed ingredients for his specified delicacy.

A trip to the store isn't just the matter of plopping the kids in their seats and be-bopping on over on the spur of the moment. It takes precision and planning. First, is timing. After naptime, after snacktime, and after potty break time usually works pretty well.

Two sets of lists are made. The rough draft scribbled out with items as they come off the top of my head. Then the second list carefully constructed from that first list, only this time, I write down all my items in order of where they can be found in the store, mapping out the quickest, most direct route, to cut down on extra time spent running back and forth from the vegetable aisle to the toilet paper aisle, then realizing I forgot carrots.

Then I must mentally prepare the wee ones for every possible scenario we may encounter once we get to the store. Believe me, this is a key element and saves many a thrown fit. For instance, yesterday, I simply stated that Drue and Tate would ride in the car cart and Reese would get to walk and be my helper. I have learned how to make every position a positive one. Reese doesn't like that she can't always ride in the cart anymore, but all of a sudden walking doesn't sound so bad if I enlist her as my official helper. Of course, then Drue complains that she does have to ride in the cart, but I enlisted her to be my helper from a seated position and she was finally ok with that. Then they are quizzed on the correct and incorrect behavior to be displayed at the store.

All the way there I kept repeating as stated above: Drue and Tate would ride in a car cart, Reese would walk and be my helper. So wouldn't you know it, we get there and nary a car cart was to be found. I had to quickly change my strategy before my whole mission fizzled to pieces. "Ok, no car carts. Drue, you get to walk and be my special helper after all" then I quickly whisked Tate into the regular cart (which he feels is his own personal solitary confinement cell on wheels) praying he would be too distracted by the pretty potted fall foliage to notice.

We were off. For some odd reason, even with my orderly list, I still seem to miss that one item that's all the way back over on the other side of the store. Personally, I think grocery stores should be set up with two of every section but on opposite sides of the store. So by the time I realize I forgot to get yogurt 13 aisles ago, it wouldn't be a big deal, because, hey, lookie there, another dairy section is up ahead!

Anyway, back to our trip. Two walkers and a rider actually poses more of a threat to a relaxing time, because I now have two little fighting helpers and no one in the cart to entertain the boy. But this trip, Reese and Drue both willingly took turns, no hair pulling involved, at putting stuff into the cart for me. And Tate had no back arching incidents accompanied by his girly shriek of disdain at being strapped down.

One dad even commented that I had a lot of helpers. As I smiled back at him and probably said something stupid, Drue stopped stock still in front of my moving cart which was quickly brought to a stop by her little achilles tendons. She toppled forward spilling her bear companion. My breath literally caught in my throat as I waited for the howls. I even prepared our gentleman friend by saying in my fake sweet mommy voice, "Uh oh, we're going to cry now...we're going to cry".

But she hopped right up, gathered glow bear, and acted as though nothing happened. Of course, I bent down and closely inspected her, sure I had inadvertently switched her with someone else's child. Soft brown curls encircling large hazel eyes...yep, that was my Druebie.

We grabbed the rest of our items, Tate did attempt to stand up at one point, but I gave him my list to hold, which took his mind off everything else. We even made it through the checkout smoothly. Our baggers put bright orange circular stickers on our milk usually, I guess to show that we did, in fact, purchase it. For some reason my kids think the sun rises and sets on those stickers. Most of the time the bagger offers them one, which they readily accept. But sometimes, the baggers forget. Reese kept asking me if they could have a sticker. The bagger wasn't paying attention, so I turned to the register behind me and grabbed two off their strip. I stuck them on the girls' shirts as we headed out of the store, still amazed at our very successful afternoon.

My thoughts of disbelief were interrupted by Reese tugging on my hand saying, "Mommy, you only got two stickers". "Yes dear, one for you and one for Drue." "But Mommy, you didn't get one for Tate." Then I watched my sweet one, whose little day is brightened by these bright orange stickers, peel hers off her shirt and gently place it on her little brothers' shirt.

"Reese!", I exclaimed proudly, "That is exactly what Jesus would have done!". She shyly smiled all the way back to the van.

What a sweet ending to my story.

I almost don't want to write about how as I was getting them all buckled in to go home, Reese turned to Drue and said tauntingly, "I gave Buddy my sticker...and yoooouuuu didn't."

Pretty sure Jesus wouldn't have said that.....

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