Shopping with a child (or two or three children) can be so rewarding….until you get to the store, especially a grocery store. Quality time is being spent with your little darling until the items that are appearing in your cart are the decisions of the small fry you have with you.
The grocery carts of the childless are very noticeable as they do not contain Fruit loops, Captain Crunch and Lucky charms (all at once), pop tarts, candy, bubblegum not to mention an assortment of small cars and fruit snacks in weird shapes. Travelling around the various departments can yield many special conversations as you spend your quality time with your offspring trying to educate them about the food chain and fiscal responsibility in only purchasing what fits within your budget. This lasts for all of about three minutes.
Depending on what age you have in tow the challenges vary accordingly. The younger child is busy running down the aisle as you lean closer to the shelf to verify the price and suddenly realize your little darling is now nowhere to be seen! If you are lucky then you can easily locate junior in the next aisle, eyes glazed over and drooling over some toy the thoughtful store merchandiser has seen fit to display at a level lower than your own knees. If you are not so lucky in locating the little thing, after combing the place with your heart in your throat…you find any employee and ask them to look for your missing child. The employee then (hopefully) gets a “code Adam” message blared through the intercom and all sorts of what seemed like other shoppers identify themselves as undercover security agents ( and you thought the store was full of other shoppers). Relieved that so many professionals are looking for your little protégé you feel a little better and keep looking around to see if you cannot locate this kid before the store officials do. Oh, good there is your child, crying and calling for you while being held in the arms of one of the store’s security personnel. You are so relieved, you feel as though you have a new lease on life and want to cut short your shopping trip home to be sure this kid does not pull this again and you can go home with what is left of your sanity.
You slink to the cashier counter with your head down as your fellow shoppers give you the look of “what is wrong with you losing your own child?”-You just want to pay for the groceries and leave. Meanwhile, Junior who is no longer holding your hand has discovered the plethora of chocolate bars purposely merchandised at the checkout counter less than two feet from the floor. You are so thankful the little darling is close by you focus on getting the groceries on the conveyor belt, answering the all too often question “would you like plastic bags with that?” in the affirmative while checking out of the corner of your eye to be sure your kid is still nearby. You render payment and are impatient with the printing of the receipt as you cannot wait to put the little darling in the car with your purchases and get home.
Once you have loaded the groceries and the kid into the car it suddenly strikes you that you did not use the recyclable cloth grocery bags you brought with you for that purpose. Once home you are asked by the other adult you might live with (other parent) why you bought so many chocolate bars, kid’s cereal, bubblegum and forgot to buy the milk and the bread you originally went to the store for. You find yourself telling your significant other…it was not about buying what we needed…it was about quality time spent together.
Memo to myself…have husband mind small fry if I really want to save money (never mind my sanity) in the grocery store.
The Garden Goat