a short scene

I took Gracie to the grocery store Thursday morning.

I haven't taken her in months. I've plied and stretched and maneuvered my schedule and food supply so I can go when James is working from home or off. It all started a few months ago when I suddenly had the opportunity to go alone. I got a coffee and slowly strolled the aisles in a caffeine-buzzed silence, thinking a girl could get used to luxury like this.

It's not that I hate taking Gracie to the grocery store, it's just that shuttling a three year old through Kroger is like herding cats. Cats who throw loud tantrums and demand the race car cart but will then refuse to ride in it and want to be held instead.

Thus the quiet, coffee-fueled grocery trips. But I also believe in taking her places that are difficult for me, because it's important she learns how to behave in public, and I will not let her dictate my life. I also knew my luck would run out eventually.

Last week, it did. I had to take her with me. I made my grocery list as easy as possible, knowing it would likely be scribbled on or torn. I prayed, literally prayed for help and patience and grace. It's not that all trips to the store with a toddler are bad, but when they're bad, they're bad for you and everyone in a 5 mile radius. If Forrest Gump had been a parent, he would've said "Going out in public with a toddler is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."

We had a talk in the car about my expectations for her behavior. I covered all my bases. We walked in, and the race car cart was unavailable much to someone's chagrin, but I found the kid's cart. She has a toy shopping cart at home she loves to play with, so I redirected her attention and told her she could push Minnie through the store. She lit up.

She rammed the cart into my shins and ankles once every 5 seconds, but she was having the time of her life. I had nothing in my cart but a watermelon, because she wanted everything in hers. She pushed it through the whole store, which was no easy feat since they're remodeling, and I had to go back and forth across the store a good six times looking for certain things.

We were walking from the dairy section to an aisle to grab salsa. Seconds before she had been behind me, dutifully pushing her overflowing cart with Minnie pinned underneath spinach and bagels. The whole trip had been going exceptionally well, and dare I say, even fun. I was praising her often, so proud of her for helping and behaving. As I eyed the salsa, I piped up again, saying "Look at you, big girl!! I'm so proud of you for shopping! You're so big now!" I turned around to smile at her, but I didn't see Gracie.

Instead, I saw a very short, older woman. Glaring at me.


  1. “A Short Scene.” I see what you did there.

    I legit lol’ed at this. These things happen to you SO OFTEN!!!

  2. awwwwwwwkward.....
    Oh dear.
    This reminds me of being a kid in the grocery store and accidentally following the wrong mom around. It could happen at any age, I guess.
    Also, first thing I noticed in that photo was the Thomas bagels and got legit jealous. I hate my grocery store but if it had stuff like bagels I'd probably love it.

  3. BAHAHAHAHAHA. This is the best! G is too sweet. What a great memory 💖

  4. hahahaha.... oops. Did she at least have Minnie in her cart?

  5. Hahaha! That's hilarious. Good job on taking Gracie to the grocery store! I honestly don't even want to think about grocery shopping trips when my son is too big to stick in the little seat in the cart, because I'm sure it's a whole other level of craziness. On the bright side, our grocery store is open 24 hours so if I desperately want/need to shop by myself, I just have to motivate myself to wake up early and do it or do it in the evening (granted, motivating myself to do this can be hard, but at least it's an option).

  6. Hahaha! That's funny! WHERE DO YOU GET THESE KIDS' CARTS? Ive never shopped at a store that had one. Sometimes I go out shopping with all five kids, but I'm usually sweating bullets by the time we leave. I've start shopping online and just picking up my orders, and it's a GAME CHANGER. Sometimes they make a dumb substitution that I don't catch until i get home, and by then it's not worth it to go back and return it, but overall it's been a good experience.


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