I try very hard to avoid bringing my children to the grocery store. Of course we all know that it isn’t always possible, so often I end up at Publix with my trio. We grab a cart and then Mabel starts the recruiting process to convince her brother and sister to hoist her ass into the cart because she knows full well that her mother’s old lady back issues make this an impossible task. After a bit of abuse and threats, Mabel manages to end up in the cart….and then we are off to the deli.
Publix has Boar’s Head deli meat and I love it but getting your salami and ham can take quite some time. At this point Mabel tells Gus and Meg to run off and fetch some items. It’s really a nice idea because they are quick and they know where to go so it cuts down on our overall time in the store. After Meg and Gus have run off, Mabel carefully stands in the cart and puts her arms out with a little smirk on her face….her eyes telling me all that I need to know. Mabel knows that the height advantage of standing in the cart allows her to koala on to me without the painful process of me bending and lifting to pick her up. I can’t hold her for very long, so it’s typically about thirty seconds and every time she shares just a little insight or comment that makes me pee in my pants.
With a little jump and the command to “wrap”, Mabel wraps her arms and legs securely around me so that our faces are nose to nose and then something wonderful would be said to me like…..
- So what are we going to screw up for dinner tonight.
- Look, I keep telling you that it’s okay to eat a few grapes before you put them in your cart
- What is common sense? Isn’t that when things are the same on both sides like butt cheeks?
- Laughter, laughter, laughter and finally….These jeans don’t fit so right now my butt crack is showing.
- One day I will work here and get all of your salami for free.
And then all at once I have to let her drop because I fear that I will suffer a back outing and be incapacitated at the deli.
By this time Gus and Meg have returned and Gus, my sweet brown eyed boy who never asks for anything will say something like….”Mom, can you please buy watermelon and cantaloupe?”. Why don’t you just ask for a radish and a cucumber too and make me feel like an even more terrible mother? Why couldn’t he ask for MM’s and pop-tarts like normal kids? I give in and Meg graciously agrees to go and get two milks,but not before Mabel reminds her to “check the dates” because she is very aware of my expiration date phobia. Meg instinctively asks Mabel for what a good date should be and then Mabel contemplates and embarks on her performance of "The Months of the Year Song" put to Macarena music and dance moves. She literally cannot remember what month it is without performing the song. Meg smirks and enjoys the idea that she just convinced her sister to do that ridiculous dance in public and then runs off to the dairy section.
Sure, we may complete the perimeter and find a few more items that we need and Meg always tempts me down the candy aisle hoping beyond all hope that something will be BOGO. And then we hit the check out lane where Mabel unloads all of the items stuffed in around her and immediately tells the casher…”My Mom forgot the bags so we won't be saving the earth today.”
As much as I try to avoid the grocery store with my kids, I never regret it. It really gets better and better as they age. Any minute now I will be sending Meg off to the store all by herself! Chances are that she will remember to save the Earth.