Posted by: Tricia | Thursday, November 13, 2008

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

Tonight was the dreaded night that comes around once a week…sometimes just every other week.

Grocery shopping.

With a two-year-old.

This used to be fun.  It used to be a joy.  The IB & I used to have such a great time.  He used to love riding in the cart, flirting with other shoppers, being so cute.

Yeah, not anymore.

And tonight was the icing on the cake.  He has taken to not wanting to ride in the cart.  OK fine…he can walk.  The RK is great about keeping up with him so I can focus a little more closely on purchasing our necessities.  But the IB was having nothing of being a sweet, cooperative, cute little shopper tonight.

I’m the type of mom to not cave to a child’s every little whim just to make him shut up.  The IB was in full meltdown mode, and God bless the RK, he was doing his best to get the IB to cooperate, but nothing was working.  There was one point where the IB was lying down in the middle of the canned veggies aisle shrieking at the top of his lungs.  So, in order not to cave, I gave a little “OK bye bye!” and started walking away, hoping he’d freak out at his mom leaving him and come running.  That didn’t work, so I turn back to go get him.

“Oh, hi there!” I say to my neighbor from across the street, who I recently heard is pregnant, and to her daughter who is the RK’s age.  We start to attempt a conversation over the eardrum-busting screams and wails.  Of course, I ask the obligatory question, motioning to the mass of rage and fury that is the IB:

“So, are you ready for this again?”

And oh, looky there!  Here comes J from work!  Just great.  J and I have a great rapport, but I’ve heard he’s bad news when it comes to dating/relationships.  The claims are unconfirmed, but I hear he’s been married three times. And from what I understand, it’s because he’s ignorant to the concept of monogamy.  He’s also made completely inappropriate advances at other female coworkers, but never to me (and frankly, that offends me a little.  There’s no way in hell I’d ever do anything with him, but…I’m just sayin’).  He witnesses the oh-so-pleasant situation I’m in, and says, “Yeah, this is why I have no kids.”

“At least none that you know about, ” I quip.  He shoots me a look that says, “Smartass.”

The five of us part ways, and I drag the IB back to our cart where the RK is waiting.  The IB is really going full-blast now, and I’m just about to the point of tears myself.  And further down the aisle is J, probably thinking how pathetic my life is, and how he’s so glad he’s the studly playah he is.

That was fun.

The IB ended up calming down a few moments later, after I threw him into the child seat of the cart and cinched that seat strap to within an inch of suffocating him.

That’s what I get for not getting the shopping done by myself when I had the chance this past weekend.

It’s going to be really weird seeing J at work tomorrow.  I wonder what he’s going to say.  He’s my age, and I’ve had some great, intelligent conversations with him, but I’ve also seen a very immature side of him, too.  The week I hung my Longhorn banner in my cubicle, he started grilling me about it.

“Did you graduate?”

“Regretfully, no.”

“Well then it doesn’t count.”

“Oh come on…I was in Longhorn Band for three years.”

Laughter.  Silly, little-boy, ridiculing laughter.  But I handled myself quite well, I think.  Not letting it get to me, I maintained my air of pride about this fact despite his intimidating response.  Later on, in a much more private format (email), he lets me know he thought it was pretty cool, and we have a friendly quirky email exchange about it for the next hour or so.  And now he mostly calls me ‘band geek’.  Which I don’t have a problem with.

So I’m afraid of curious to see what he’s gonna throw at me tomorrow after the spectacle he witnessed that is my life at the grocery store tonight.

I already know how I’m going to respond, though.  I’ll be sure to let him know that no, parenthood’s not easy.  It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.  But I love it.  It’s what I was put on this earth to do.  Instances like that are but a tiny ripple in the pond, and their occurrences are temporary.  Before I know it, the IB will have outgrown meltdowns like this.  But then I think about how he’s going to outgrow a bunch of cool stuff, too.  Like this:

Hard to imagine something as sweet and precious as that screaming his lungs out in public, isn’t it?  Or perhaps it’s the other way around.  So to all of you in the grocery store tonight who witnessed the downright demonic side of the IB, I promise that’s the exception to the rule.

And I’ve already sent this video to my mom, who agreed to buy the new camcorder as an early Christmas present…for herself!



  1. Omg, that is so cute. Look at the sweetness he is!

    On the other hand, J sounds pretty crummy and jerkish. The very idea of saying that it didn’t count unless you graduated! How condescending and elitist. He’s going to be alone some day and realize what an ass he is, and I would love to witness it.

    I envy your sweet babies. I know I’m going to be hating that I missed out on that one day myself, if not already.

  2. He is a beautiful boy, and very very smart! You’re doing good, girl. Don’t let J jack you up – just ignore him. You have all the good – and he’s obviously got some growing up to do.

  3. Precious beyond words Tricia! You are blessed and someday you’ll miss it all. I know that’s passe…but you already know it’s true! They will be young men before you know it, with deep voices and deep places…keep doing what you’re doing and DO NOT let them grow up to be as shallow as J. J might have some more human qualities but I’m thinking they are very deep and you’ve got enough on your plate as a single mom to add “deep earth miner” to your job description…yes?

    Sorry haven’t been around…my life was nuts towards the end of harvest but now I’m settled in for winter, waiting for the snow to fly…got a semi-rest before the madness begins again!

    Love your blog…any reply from Mr.Clean/plumber guy?

  4. Oh, J doesn’t get to me in the slightest. I know better. It’s not worth the energy it would take to get worked up about it. I just keep on beng me and I don’t care a flyin’ flip about what he thinks.

    He’s the type, though, that cares every bit about what people think of him, and if laughing at me while around others makes him think people think more highly of him, then he can just go on with his bad self.

    I still dig the funny little email conversations we have, though. They make the day more interesting, for sure.

    LC — I’ll be happy to loan you my…ahem…sweet babies anytime you need a fix!

    Robin — No worries, girl! It’s good to see you. And no, no word from Mr. Joe Clean. Ah, well…c’est le vie. (Did I spell that right? I speak Spanish, not French!)

  5. Ooh, yeah, I’d also like to know if Joe the Plumber responded. Your letter to him was awesome, by the way.

    I’ve been reading your blogs for hours now, though this is the first time I’ve had much to say. Your writing is excellent and I thoroughly enjoy reading your stuff. Thanks for writing it!

    I’m deeply sorry about the way you became a single parent, by the way. I think that your determination to reconcile is so admirable I can’t even put it into words. I think it’s terribly sad that your IX chose to follow his little head, and I’ve rarely seen a situation where a guy so thoroughly misses out on a wonderful woman. I have every confidence that you’ll find a really great guy in the future… but honestly, I think you’re healthy and strong and happy and you really don’t *need* a guy. I hope you find one anyway, but you’re very capable and vibrant and you’re gonna do just fine no matter what life throws at ya.

    You’d be very nearly the perfect woman, in fact, if not for your deplorable obsession with football. *shudder*

    Oh, how has the visitation worked out with the IX and his mistress? Has it been as terrible as you feared it could be? I hope not.

    Oh again, I withdraw my invitation for you to move to Portland, sorry. 🙂 Your boys need their dad and they’ll keep needing him.

    The IB sounds utterly adorable despite the head-banging rage-fits. You’ve done an astounding job of capturing the unique magic of each of your boys, via writing. That’s a rare gift. The JK sounds similiarly awesome and he reminds me of my boys in various heartwarming ways.

    Thanks a bunch for these wonderful windows into your life, and the life of your incredible family. I’m monstrously impressed with you. You’re a pretty amazing lady, but there are lots of those. Most impressive is that you’re one of those mothers who give their kids every imaginable reason to see their mom as an angel. I think it’s absolutely wonderful that you’re so torn up about smoking during pregnancy… not because I want ya to be miserable but simply because it makes it so obvious just how dedicated you are to your kids.

    Anyway, hang in there and I hope it helps a bit that some stranger from the west coast thinks the world of you. 🙂

  6. It does help…a bunch. It kind of freaks me out (in a good way, though) that anyone could spend ‘hours’ reading anything I’ve written!


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