Friday, May 10, 2013

Surviving Publix

My wonderful, amazing, perfect (hopefully he's reading this) husband goes grocery shopping with my boys every Saturday morning.  This week we were busy all weekend and didn't make it to the store.  My husband caught a flight to Minneapolis for work and the boys and I had an empty fridge.  There was no other option. I had to take them with me.

The weekend was packed and the boys were tired.  They become demons when they are tired so I decided to avert disaster by popping popcorn and bringing it as a special treat while we shopped.  My oldest heard it popping in the microwave and ran over.  "Is that popcorn?  Can I have some popcorn?" he asked.  "Sure," I explained.  "As soon as we get to Publix."  As soon as it was out of my mouth I could hear the protests coming out of his.  "But WHYYYYY?  Why can't I have it NOWWWWWW?" he whined.  "Because, it's a special treat once we get to the store," I explained.

This, apparently, was akin to burning him at the stake.  "But Mommy!  I'm starving!  And I love popcorn!  I really really need it now!" he said with a fervent passion.  I told him to drop it and get his shoes on.  I'm not one for drama.

My oldest climbed into his carseat and I made the grave error of trying to help him buckle it.  The tears started rolling.  "I can do it myself!  Why do you always forget that I can do things myself now?"  At that exact moment my youngest spotted the popcorn and started crying, "MAMA!  CORN!  CORN!!"  That's when I started praying that I wouldn't kill them before the day was over.

As I drove to the store, I psyched myself up.  "Big deal, you take them places all the time!  There's only 15 things on the list!  In and out!" I told myself.  I unbuckled their car seats with a sense of resolve.  Popcorn in hand, we marched into the store.

"Mommy, you burnt the popcorn.  It doesn't even taste good," he said as he set it aside.  "But those cookies look good.  Let's get those," he suggested.  Unbelievable.  We navigated the aisles and I tried to read the list as my oldest talked incessantly about everything and nothing.  "Ooh they have granola bars. Do we have granola bars?  Is that the kind I like, Mommy?  What kind does Daddy usually get?  Can we stop to look at the lobsters?  Do you think they are sad in that tank?" He ambled on and on and on with the questions until I finally asked him to count to thirty in his head so that I could at least read the list without my eyes crossing.  "Okay, Mommy.  ONE!  TWO!  THREE!" he shouted.  "In your head, honey.  In your head," I reminded him.

My youngest, unsatisfied with the burnt popcorn as well, set his little mind on eating a banana.  Which, of course was the only item he couldn't eat because it had to be weighed.  I turned the huge cart over to customer service to buy one banana in hopes of gaining at least one quiet child.  "That will be 28 cents!" the young woman at the register told me.  I opened my wallet to find only pennies.  Twenty four pennies to be exact.  The woman must have noticed my face drop and, with a wink, handed me the banana.  Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

In the end, we made it through.  I spent $50 more than I would have and my brain felt like scrambled eggs, but we made it through.  I texted my husband to let him know that I have a whole new respect for him.  This isn't a trip I'd like to repeat anytime soon.

Do you and your spouse ever switch jobs or roles?  Try it - You just be amazed by their abilities.

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