11.18.2016

taking a 19 month old to the grocery store

See also:
taking a 7 month old to lunch
taking a 10 month old to church



It's the week before Thanksgiving and all through the fridge, not a drop left of milk, not even a smidge. It's time for the weekly trip to the grocery store, though this time you need food for over a week and for Thanksgiving but with roughly the same budget. The pressure is already on.

It starts on a high note when you finally find the cranberries you've been hunting for all month. Your favorite produce guy who gives away free bananas and teething tips isn't working, but that's ok because you snagged a banana when no one was looking and handed it to the baby. Things start off well but go downhill once the toddler decides that carts are, in fact, a torture chamber. She takes her shoes and socks off, throws them on the floor like she's throwing trash out the window of a moving car, and bellows about the inhumanity of her current predicament while you whirl the cart down four different aisles three times in a row because where are the dang French's onions? The green bean casserole is your responsibility this year but nothing is making sense. You finally find them on an end cap by the beans and bread.

The babe is now screaming, so you make a beeline for the deli. The man at the deli counter gives her piece of cheese on the sly every week, and she could really use that cheese right about now. While waiting for the yellow american, you scan through your grocery list that your precious child scribbled all over while you were searching for the last loaf of Honey Oat bread. You have to figure out what you crossed off the list, and what she marked off. She's happy with her cheese, so you take a deep breath and finish your shopping. Instead of your normal orderly fashion, you zig zag through the store, retracing your steps more than once because you realize you never grabbed something your daughter already crossed off the list. When you pass the bakery on the way to the meat counter, you make a mental note to grab a donut once you've gotten the chicken.

The toddler is now shouting for more cheese, because her bunny crackers and free banana and cheese slice were not enough for her. While you check the eggs, she stands up in the seat of the cart and dives into vast abyss of the cart itself, screaming for her beloved cheese. Once you realize what's happening, she surfaces, triumphantly clutching her bag of deli cheese. She rips it open and snarfs down another slice while you stand and watch, frozen in shock and a little bit of awe. It's like that scene in Anchorman when Will Ferrel says "You ate the whole wheel of cheese? I'm not even mad. That's amazing!"

You put her back in the seat but she tries to wrench her way out of it, screaming to be held. You put her on your hip but quickly realize there's no easy way to steer a full cart one-handed. You put her back in the cart and start sweating bullets as she screams at the top of her lungs. You regret not grabbing the alcoholic eggnog instead of the nonalcoholic. You do the cart/hip dance for the next ten minutes while you throw green beans, crackers, and ravioli in the cart as fast as you can. You're so flustered you forget to grab the painkillers despite your pounding headache.

She whines through the entire checkout, asking for more cheese and also to be held. You flip through your coupons and hunt for you debit card while she opens and slams the door of the fridge holding water bottles next to the tabloids. As you walk out to the car, you realize she must've also scribbled on your mental list, because you forgot to get the donut. Somehow, this is more of a crushing blow than forgetting the painkillers. She cries the whole way home and asks for water, but refuses to drink out of the sippy cup you hand her because it's not your cup.

You bring the groceries inside and accidentally drop a bag. Out of all the bags you're holding, you drop the one with the eggs. Half of them break immediately. You clean the remains out of the carton and put them in a bag as you notice your offspring darting out the door you didn't close due to the egg fiasco. You run to grab her and return to find the bag tipped over and the counters covered in raw egg. You clean it up while your girl empties the fridge and whines for lunch. You put her in the highchair with lunch while you put the groceries away, and finally sit down to eat a bowl of soup while the babe empties the silverware drawer, bringing each fork and spoon to you and covering the floor in whisks and spatulas.

You put her down for a nap and crash on the couch, but she doesn't go to sleep. Even with the monitor turned down, you can hear her pounding the wall and singing songs about Pooh Bear. Just as your headache reaches a fever pitch an hour later, she falls asleep for a short nap. Your husband is working late and you're exhausted, so you throw the kid in the car and go to Krispy Kreme less than a mile away because you earned that donut. You hand your card to the cashier as he hands you your salted caramel donut.

A moment later he hands your card back and says "Ma'am, your donut is free today."



20 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, woman! I'm sorry that I'm laughing but I am! I love Gracie's love of food and the fact that you embrace it. You deserved a dozen free donuts for that circus act though!!

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    1. She was in rare form yesterday! She's not usually THAT crazy. You'll have your hands full tomorrow ;)

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    2. Haha! I'm so excited! We will have fun <3

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  2. that donut guy is a hero!!

    p.s im moving to Chicago! Which means i will be in the US and will want to babysit!

    N xx

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    1. WHAT?!?!?! I just screamed! I live only 5-6 hours away!

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  3. Awwww, at least there was a happy ending!
    But seriously, where does one find French's onions? Like, they're not vegetables but they're not snacks...

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  4. YES free doughnut! Was that man an angel?

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  5. HO-ly smokes. I'm SURE I was a perfect angel at the grocery store when I was little but...just in case...I am now silently apologizing and blessing my mother. You deserve a medal! At the very least, another donut. I mean, you didn't get your pancakes, so...

    Also, I'm thankful I hate green bean casserole because I wouldn't even have the foggiest idea where to start looking for French's onions.

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  6. You are seriously super-mom. Also YAY for free doughnut!

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  7. So, I've just recently reached the age where shopping is getting to be not quite as enjoyable. She can climb out of the seat of the cart and stand up in it and start grabbing at things in the aisle and it's crazy. I still love shopping with her (because I take her with me everywhere all the time and I love it) but it's also kind of insane. ALSO, yesterday I went to the store for two things, one being whole milk for her because we were completely out. I realized when I got home that I had forgotten the milk. No way was I going back so she drank water for dinner and I fed her Greek yogurt as the dairy substitute for her milk. I have no regrets.

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  8. Thank goodness for free donuts. Everything else about this story is terrifying.

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  9. First your husband brought toast home, and then you forgot the donut?! How much food disappointment is one woman expected to handle in a week? That was so nice of him to give you the free donut though!

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  10. And God saw you and blessed you with a free donut because he is good and if ever there was a time for a free donut and a renewed proof of divinity, it was your day.

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  11. I love her star pants!! I wish I had her style and wardrobe.

    This is yet another reason we need to be neighbors. Weekly shopping trips together! Or we watch the others child while one of us makes a solo trip to the store. Coffee and/or doughnuts would be required.

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  12. May God bless that Krispy Kreme employee abundantly :)
    I'm a huge fan of that Madeleine doll in the cart, btw. I had one just like that when I was little, except she had a blue jacket. And ugh, yes, retracing one's steps in the grocery store is no fun, especially with a child in tow! Kudos to you for accomplishing that shopping trip-holiday food shopping is so hard, especially when it seems that ingredients are moved to different places than usual, or when buying ingredients that I rarely buy.

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  13. I want you to post this entire recap to that Krispy Kreme's Yelp page.

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  14. You just summed up motherhood oh so perfectly;)

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  15. Ah, steering the full cart one-handed. I usually have them sit on the handle of the cart and kind of hold them with my upper body and still use both hands to steer. It doesn't sound very safe when I write it down like that, but no one has died yet so...

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