DISCLAIMER: This is not what our groceries look like. Please reach out and let me know if your groceries are this aesthetically pleasing.
Today I went to the grocery store. My trips are a bit different than what they used to be. I spend half my time going back and forth from one side of the store to the other chasing down the products I have coupons for. Today as I stared at my digital coupons and paper ones in hand, I would say I was in the way of at least 25 different people throughout my shopping trip. Between keeping my daughter happy and steering my overflowing cart, it is a chore.
The first thing you do when you drive into the parking lot is pray there is a spot close to the cart collector. All the moms out there know what I’m talking about because once you load the kid into the car you bolt over to return the cart. Today a lovely person was pulling out of the spot next to all the carts. Score. Obviously the morning was off to a great start. I grab my cart and get Gwen situated and go straight to Starbucks. I treat myself to Starbucks on my shopping days because I know I will need an extra boost.
My iced coffee in hand I venture into the produce section. Why is it that every time you get to the produce section there is someone standing directly in front of what you need. I have terrible attention issues when I go to the store so I try and do things in order because if I don’t, I know I’ll leave without something. Today I hovered over this woman as she took her time selecting avocados. I talked to the person in the avocado line. He didn’t speak English so we spent a lot of time smiling and nodding at each other. Not that this come as a surprise, but I love small talk at the grocery store.
As we continued around the produce section I carried on with my typical conversation with G. I always tell her everything we are getting and why. I actually read somewhere that talking to your child constantly is important in brain development. I have always done this, not because I’m a super parent, but because I have no one else to talk to, it just so turns out it is one of my better habits. I think people think I’m crazy, but I’ll be the one laughing when my kid is the next Einstein.
As I am writing this, I just am thinking about my future grocery trips after this second babe arrives. I will either have to wear the baby and push G, or purchase a significantly less amount of groceries because my cart will be full of children. I do not know what I will do if three comes along. Well maybe that’s why Instacart exists. If I grow three children, I will have earned my Instacart.
We carry on throughout the store. Gwen capturing the hearts of everyone we walk by. I’m busy scooping up all the items she’s taking out of the cart and throwing on the ground. Every little old lady stops me and tells me that they either have grandchildren or they express how quickly G is going to grow up. Meanwhile I’m picking up cucumbers and ground beef off the ground.
At this point, my cart is filling up and I have the realization that staring at produce is such a bad idea. All my poor fruit and veggie friends are stuck under all the other heavy items. Gwen’s screaming at this point because she can’t lift the orange juice out of the back of the cart. We are on our 14th time listening to “Do you want to build a snowman?” and I am a few chucked hot dogs away from a breakdown. Little do I know, we have just begun.
I get to the baby food aisle. G knows when she sees those pouches. It’s a full blown meltdown until she is sucking one down. I’m just sitting there trying to figure out how I’m to choose between banana zucchini or apple broccoli… both sound vomit-worthy. I realize at this point in the midst of the meltdown, that this is how it works when you are a parent. I think before I became a mom it was just like something good kids didn’t do. If you had a well-behaved child, they were always well-behaved and came out the womb saying please and thank you, as well as being tantrum-free. HA. HA. HA. That’s just not the truth. Suddenly you realize that the good kids ar3 good because they were taught that and guess what… I’m the teacher. I always tell G that I understand why she may want to behave in that manner. Only a few years ago I think I realized you can’t throw a fit when you don’t get your way, so I’m also new to the club. I always want Gwen to know that I’m learning too. I don’t want to be a super human to her, I want her to see that I fail, but I learn from those moments to grow everyday. Parenting is hard.
So now we are headed towards checkout. My cart is filled to the brim and so obviously this means I go to self checkout. I bring my own bags and like to pack those suckers to the max. I actually had an older man ask we why I was doing it myself with such a large load. I briefly explained my overload strategy. I’m also a one trip kinda gal. I would say I usually have to do three trips on my bigger orders, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try my best.
“Do you want to build a snowman?” is still playing on repeat for those of you who were wondering. About 15 minutes later I have scanned everything. Then I enter the magic Kroger plus number and watch the numbers go down. Today I think I got a little high from it. Then I hand the attendant my paper coupons. I feel like I need a crowd around me cheering me on like a TLC lady. I pay and get my receipt. I get so excited to see the number that I saved. Today I did something epic. I saved $76.86. A tear streamed down my face as I proudly pushed my cart to my car, which brought more tears because I remembered my convenient parking spot.
Talk about a trip. Now I need a four hour nap and some Netflix. G agrees with that considering she’s been sleeping since I loaded her into the car. I hope she remembers these days the way I do as she grows up. Soon she will be my little helper pushing around her own cart and loading it with things we don’t need. I can’t wait for that.