Trips to the grocery store, Target, or Walmart with all four kids can be challenging. My goal is to get in and out of the store without losing my sanity. If you have a lot of kids, you know what I'm talking about!
Last year my daughter, two at the time, was obsessed with swim diapers. These are the diapers that don't get all swollen up with water and keep the pool pollution free. Brown-eyed gal did not get the concept that these diapers were for swimming only. They were colorful and came in cute designs. She loved them. If she saw one, she was very insistent about putting it on her body immediately. She wore them around the house most of the time, all summer long.
We had been shopping at Target for a while without incident, and I was feeling quite pleased with my full basket and my well-behaved gang. All of a sudden, I saw a giant summer display of Dora Swim diapers. Now, my daughter loves swim diapers, but she is absolutely over the moon about Dora the Explorer. Right there, in the store all of her clothing came off. Her diaper, her clothes, everything. The screaming for a swim diaper and Dora began. There was no persuading her to get dressed. No reasoning, cajoling, bribing, or punishing worked. Her rationality was gone in only the way a two year olds can be. She was buck naked in the store for all to see. I opened a swim diaper box, put one on her, and finished shopping with my half-dressed swim diaper clad girl.
My twin sister told me about a trip to the grocery store that might top the stripping incident. She was in the produce section, happily buying fruits and vegetables with her son and daughter trailing behind. She was in her own world, planning recipes, thinking about the menu for the week. She looked back at her children and she saw a sea of green on the floor of the produce section. They had taken all of the little bendy green ties and scattered hundreds of these produce ties everywhere. All eyes were on her as she scooted over the floor picking up the offending ties. Not a happy shopper.
I always wonder about the check out lanes. The gum, the candy, the small toys and the other appealing items that are just the right height for little shoppers. I inevitably get in a slow line and it is a referee act to keep these offending items out of the basket and out of my children's mouths.
I also often get behind someone, could be a man or woman, who is tall, tan, fit, and alone without children. They have pomegranite juice and lettuce and lean meat in their cart. I see the raised eyes at my unruly children and the once over of my cart full of juice and crackers and popsicles. I want to point out that I have bananas and apples in there too. They are just at the bottom of the cart, underneath the giant bag of frozen chicken nuggets.
I always feel a wave of relief and happiness on the way out of the store and back to my van. I can't wait to get the children strapped into their car seats and take a few deep yoga breaths before unloading the groceries into the back.