You have heard it said that thou shalt bring your small children to the grocery store to be a light to the world, but Amen Amen I say to you, don't. If it can be avoided. Just don't.
But if you have to, let's talk shall we? I have written to you previously about how to have a (mostly) successful and pain free trip to the grocery store. Additionally, I have instructed you in ways to look crazy when at the grocery store. And now, I shall add a few thoughts on taking THREE small children to the grocery store. Alone.
You could try to be well-rested and well-fed but chances are, if you are desperate enough to bring three small people to the store, neither the latter nor the former is likely. So, here is my new trick. Kid Clif bars all around. Stuff the wrappers into your wallet so you won't lose them or forget to pay for these already-consumed goods. It doesn't look weird or suspicious at all......promise.
You still need to park near the shopping carts. You'll still be strapping a kid in there (the 'runner' of your group.) Strap the newborn to your person, inform the walking child they must keep their hand on the cart unless told otherwise, and away you go.
No longer will you wait in line at the deli. You must keep moving. Instead, use the little deli-station computer and order your meat the moment you walk in the door. Do the rest of the shopping and score the meat at the end.
You still get the free cookie. Except now you must also get the free balloons. No one will be actually IN the floral department to mete out such rewards, so you'll have to trudge to the customer service counter, at which point they will page someone on the loudspeaker, and that someone will come to the floral department expecting you to spend some legitimate money. Instead you will feel like the lamest person alive when all you do is request 2 free balloons.
Do you have a child who dependably releases the balloon almost immediately upon receiving this most-coveted prize? Tie the balloon on to the shopping cart in such a fashion that it will take you 7 minutes and a lot of almost-swearing to un-tie it once you get yourself, children, and groceries out to the parking lot. No worries though. You are MacGuyver-like in your skills, and you will use your keys to slice free the balloon. Problem solved.
You can still engage the help of your mobile youngsters, but when they break open a bag of baby carrots because they missed the cart completely when tossing it in...it is time to leave.
Are you frightened? Don't be. They can sense your fear. You can do this. If all else fails, take this little exchange to heart:
"Excuse me," said a woman who looked like the last person to be amused by my little brood.
"Oh, I am so sorry," Saith I. "I didn't realize was blocking the produce bags."
"You're fine. Anyone who is brave enough to bring three small children to the grocery store can stand wherever they want."
It might become my new mantra.