One day last week I was having one of those days wherein I was questioning God’s wisdom regarding the entrusting me with 3 children. One might blame it on the heat and confinement, especially when you consider that we had been trapped indoors with one another for the last few days because 1/3 of the children was suffering with a sore throat.
Not bad enough to cause that child to lay quietly on the couch and cease with All The Bickering. Nay. Just enough of a sore throat to warrant remaining indoors to avoid the guilt of afflicting other children of parents that we care about.
There was a good deal of competitive Monopoly playing, on the bright side.
On the first day when I noticed an absence of audible whining, I decided that we had to venture out to the grocery store so that I might hunt down and kill some groceries for the pantry. I was able to rally the troops with the dangling carrot that may have involved the purchase of a carton of ice cream.
The grocery store of choice was our brand new Publix that recently opened. This is what is considered a “hybrid” Publix because it is stocked with all manner of organic, gluten free, and specialty items. There is even an olive bar. I’ve never bellied up to an olive bar, mind you, it just brings me joy to know that my grocery store has one.
I entered armed with my clipboard and grocery list, box of coupons, 3 children who really didn’t want to be there despite the lure of ice cream, and one DS Player. I deposited Jensen into the cart with a yellow bench seat, to aid in keeping him contained. He is able to play his DS this way, as opposed to, say, pinching his sisters and providing a running commentary regarding everything he doesn’t prefer about the grocery store IN ALL CAPS.
I’m not above the use of electronics during periods of duress. Like grocery shopping. With 3 children.
The only drawback to using the yellow bench seat cart is that I find myself pushing a boat up and down the aisles, with an additional 80 or so pounds of Jensen plus jumbo sized cart. And I have to keep my coupons far further than arms length which results in a lot of stopping, starting, searching for glasses, and reaching.
And while I have Jensen occupied with mindless electronics, the sisters are still free to inflict pain and suffering upon one another. For some odd reason, when out in public, the younger sister feels the need to grab and hug her older sister. This is not a show of affection, but a much loved method of torment. The older sister’s knee jerk reaction is to punch the little sister in the throat.
OH HOW I LOVE GROCERY SHOPPING WITH MY CHILDREN.
Mercifully we made it through the entire grocery store and list without taking out any store displays or blood loss. I aimed my full to capacity grocery cart still occupied with Jensen toward the shortest check-out line in the store. I can only imagine my disheveled appearance as I’m certain I had broken a sweat. While grocery shopping. With 3 children.
As I was turning the corner to line up my cart with the conveyor belt, a tiny woman stopped me. I knew her to be the grocery store manager as I’d met her when the store first opened. I had a look of panic in my eyes as I fully expected her to say, “Ma’am, please do not ever shop her again.”
Instead she said something along the lines of as a way of thanking me for shopping at this new Publix, she would like to give me A $100 PUBLIX GIFT CARD.
I’m paraphrasing as it was hard to hear her over the sound of my own sobbing. The first words out of my mouth were STOP IT! Followed by profuse gratitude. As I was checking out I overheard the checkers who witnessed this event talking about how much they love this manager.
After all the sales were rung up and coupons added, I
skipped walked out of the store with a cart overflowing with groceries, having only paid $14.00.
The lesson I learned is that sometimes when you least expect it, God will reach down and give you a hug because He knows that you really really need one.