Well…it’s Sunday. And what do we do on Sundays? Can I get a high five for football and grocery shopping??!! And by football and grocery shopping, I don’t mean that we are tossing the pigskin down the aisles, I mean that OB is watching football and the girls and I are trying to make it out of the grocery store alive.
After a hiatus from Market Basket because of all of their many woes, we have now been back for two weeks. As we walked in today and I started to get us a cart, the girls spotted one of the ginormous ones with the bench in front and insisted that they wanted that one. The super awkward bench carts are sooooo heavy and hard to steer. I’ve been trying to avoid them, especially since LB will end up wanting me to hold her within two to five minutes of walking into the store. But lately they can’t agree on anything, so I decided to go with it. They each took their favorite spots on the bench; PR on the right and LB on the left. When I went to buckle them in, we were missing a strap. Of course. There was one more bench cart available so I checked it out, but it had also been robbed by the strap thief. Evidently. Thankfully I’m supermom and can solve all grocery store problems in the blink of an eye. I popped a strap off of the other cart, fastened it onto my cart, buckled PR in and we were on our way. We actually made it through the dairy section and to the end of the first aisle before LB started insisting that I pick her up. I’m not 100% sure why she wanted me to pick her up, but I’m guessing that it had something to do with the fact that PR wouldn’t keep her hands to herself and was all up in LB’s personal space. I tried my best to awkwardly push the giant cart to the side of the aisle so I could stop for a minute to get LB situated in the sling. PR was happy that her agenda had worked out and the bench immediately became her own personal lounge chair.
I got everything but the produce section done while waiting for our deli number to be called. My ticket number had been 33 after the current customer when I’d pulled it, so I had a little time. After getting most of what was on the invisible list in my head (but not chicken stock because I forgot that) we went back to the deli and waited a little while for our number to be called. Just as I was in danger of getting bored, LB loudly pointed out that the woman standing behind us was wearing pink eye shadow. Like literally, pointed with her finger and everything while loudly exclaiming, “Look at that girl’s pink eyes!” I tried to recover with, “Oh yeah. Pink is your favorite color! So pretty, right?!” Oh my gosh, come on number 55… “Why that guy is looking at me, Mama?” I followed her little pointer finger in the direction of the man that was standing behind us with Pink Eye Shadow. Oh good Lord, LB. Probably because you just insulted his main squeeze’s choice in eye makeup. You’re lucky you’re a two year old girl and not a dude because he probably would have had some choice words for you to go with that dirty look. I don’t actually know if he gave her a dirty look. Or if he was looking at her at all for that matter. I couldn’t bring myself to make eye contact and LB isn’t all that reliable. She recently told me that she is a princess (untrue), that she is going to marry Spiderman (not likely) and that it’s gonna go down at a dance party (ok, that part is possible).
Meanwhile, PR was getting restless and wanted to get out of her seat. We still had a couple of people ahead of us, so I told her she could get out and stand with me. Immediately LB wanted to get down and walk, but I looked at her with my serious face and gave her a stern, “No”. I know my limits. It’s true that I’m supermom enough to put together a grocery cart strap, but having two children loose at the deli is just asking for it. Once it was finally our turn, I was able to get cheese for the girls, which I used to lure PR back to the bench where I quickly buckled her in.
We trekked our way across the store to the produce section. By the time we got there, PR had finished her cheese and wanted her freedom back. We were so close to getting out of there and I didn’t want her getting upset, so I said that if she walked very nicely next to me and made sure that she listened to me, she could walk until we got to the checkout. She immediately wanted to push the 300 lb. cart and since I didn’t want to pay anyone’s medical bills, I told her that she had to let me push. She wasn’t into that idea and kept squeezing in between me and the cart which was making it harder for me to push it (make sure that when you picture this, you don’t forget that LB is strapped to me in the sling). I asked her again to stop, but she still didn’t listen, so I had no choice. I picked her up, put her on the bench once again and buckled her in… once again. Queue the waterworks. She kept unbuckling herself which was annoying, but she also was screaming at the top of her lungs and crying. That was kind of mortifying. I just needed a few more fruits and veggies and we were done. I kept trying to soothe her. I tried getting down to her level and talking quietly to her, hugging her, telling her I understood why she was upset. Nothing was working. PR is typically so mild-mannered and calm, especially when we’re out in public. This was the worst. I felt like everyone was looking at us. Mainly because everyone was looking at us.
I had the cart pulled off to the side so we were blocking the obscure greens like Swiss chard and beet greens since probably no one was going to be coming for those anytime soon. I was crouching down, trying to talk PR out of her tantrum when I heard, “Can she have a pop?” I looked up to see a father with a toddler holding a lollipop in one hand, a bag of lollipops in the other and a mother smiling behind them. No pink eye shadow. Phew! No grocery cart either. What kind of family of three comes to Market Basket on a Sunday to hang out in the produce section with no grocery cart? Who would want to brave the crowds without the payoff of the most inexpensive groceries within 50 miles? When did Market Basket become a spectator sport? Did they come just to replenish their lollipop supply? So many questions. But he had asked me a question. He wanted to know if he, a stranger, could give my screaming child candy. “Uhhhh, no. Thank you, though!” They didn’t walk away. “Really? She can’t have a pop?” I don’t need a pop, man. I need a tranquilizer. “She’s having a tantrum. She can’t have a pop. But thank you again!” “Well how about one for the road?” Is this guy serious? “Nope, not one for the road either.” The pink eye shadow-less woman gave the guy a little nudge and they were finally on their way. Now I know I’m a softie and a pushover, but I am sorry, my child who is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store is not going to have that behavior rewarded with a lollipop. I’d rather have her tantrum it up throughout the whole store and get all of the disapproving looks.
I freed up the obscure greens, got the last few things I needed, backtracked one aisle to get the frozen corn that I had almost forgotten and we were headed to the checkout. Finally. PR was still screaming that she wanted to walk, but when she saw me open the freezer for the corn, she asked if it was cold. I told her it was and she held her hand out for it. She immediately stopped crying. “This is so frozen, Mama!” Are you kidding me? That’s all I needed to do? I found the shortest checkout line and unloaded the cart with LB’s help. And by help I mean that I had to hand her each item from the cart so that she could put it down on the conveyor belt herself. It’s a real hoot. We actually ended on a high note because when the girls asked for stickers, the cashier girl ripped two off, put them onto the register, picked up her pen and started to draw. Immediately it dawned on me. This was the cat girl! My sensitive emotions could barely even handle this after dealing with being screamed at throughout the entire produce section. Before I even knew what was coming out of my mouth I was all, “Oh my gosh, we’ve been looking for you for months! My girls got your kitty stickers a while ago and ever since then they have been so upset about getting stickers without cats on them. Thank you so much!” Nice. I’m sure that didn’t sound creepy.
On the ride home I told PR that she would need to have a time out once we got home. She was not on board with that idea. I offered her a deal: if she went quietly to her time out with no complaining or whining, I wouldn’t tell Daddy what had happened at the store. PR knows just how much Daddy does not approve of public displays of hysteria. She quickly took me up on that. I pulled into the driveway and as I was getting out she asked, “So you’re not gonna tell Daddy, right?” Nope. He’ll just have to read about it on the blog.