Previously, I have written about being successful (read: surviving) during a trip to the grocery store with your children. Today, we forsake this sound advice and discuss how to look truly insane while at the grocery store.
You'll still need a couple of hooligans in tow. These will do nicely.
Go to the store at about....4:30 or 5:00 in the afternoon. This is the worst possible time to go. You are hungry, the children are hungry, and the store will be packed full of people who have left their jobs for the day and are on their way home. They will not find you and your burgeoning family as cute as the old people do on Tuesday mornings, your usual shopping time.
Enter the store and discover the deli counter is 10-deep. You wait a moment, but the kids starts to squawk about their free cookie and you start to feel a little...resentment....at the nicely dressed, probably recently showered, people who are holding loaves of french bread and bottles of wine instead of pushing a cart stocked with bananas, Yo-baby yogurt, and peanut butter. Decide it's best to hit up the bank first, so you head to other side of the store.
On the way, snag the free cookies. Gratefully accept any offers of "mama bite????" from the little tykes because you are starving and really, really wish it were acceptable for adults to get the free cookie, too.
At the bank, the line is shorter, but the kids expect to be allowed to stand on a chair at the counter where normal people quietly fill out their deposit or withdrawal slips. They use up about 50 sheets of each and monopolize all the pens. The actual teller desk is not exactly close to the mess they are creating, so it is possible to pretend you don't know whose kids they are and complete your transaction in relative peace.
Back to the deli. Still busy, but possibly not as bad. Realize belatedly that the almost 2 year old has pulled about 50 numbers out of the little machine (when did his arms get so long??) and the already disgruntled deli counter employees are staring with narrowed eyes at your little group. Extract numbers from child, attempt to laughingly distribute numbers to arriving customers and get rebuffed. Stuff numbers in your coat pocket, because a mother is also a walking trashcan. Marvel at the young man who appears to be only purchasing a package of shredded mozzarella cheese and a half gallon of Private Selection chocolate chip ice cream, and, apparently, some deli meat.
You rejoice when your number is called because the children are starting to mutiny and this is the last stop....if you can just get your Boar's Head Ovengold Turkey Breast (half pound please sliced thinly I can stretch it farther that way thankssssss) and survive the check out aisle, you are home free.
The deli employee disdainfully asks if you were actually jumping up and down when your number was called. Resist temptation to explain that the kids are about to blow the place up and that hearing The Number (this time, 70) is sweet, sweet relief that the whole terrible operation is almost over and YES, YES you did possibly give just one little teensy jump, more of a hop, really.....an exuberant hop with the remaining energy you possess.
Feed children half of the very expensive deli meat purchased for a week's worth of lunches. Gird loins for the check out aisle, where Gianna will inexplicably douse herself in hand sanitizer and Dominic will beg to be allowed bang on the credit card machine.
Make your exit. Load kids, groceries, self. Back into shopping cart. Return shopping cart. Go home. Kids, self, in house, (remember: unload groceries) eat dinner, brush teeth, stories, (crap, the groceries!) prayers, nurse toddler to sleep, (OMG the groceries...), snuggle with pre-schooler until she falls asleep, (GROCERIES NOTE TO SELF DON'T FORGET), hastily clean up living room, beg friend to come stay with sleeping children so you can go pick up husband from work (GROCERIES must remember), arrive home from retrieving husband and now-functioning second vehicle from car shop, thank friend profusely, put both children (who are now awake and angry) back to sleep, get ready for bed.
It is now well after 10 pm and you remember.....THE GROCERIES. Send husband out into the cold to bring them in. Thank God for the freezing weather that has preserved your forgotten groceries, pretend He won't notice that hours earlier you bemoaned the chilly temps as you bundled kids, coats, and gloves to and fro.
Gloat over your now sweetly sleeping children, and thank God again, this time for the abundance of good things in your life.