This is a tale of a crazy woman (me) who takes her four small children
to the grocery store.
Part One - Peeping Tom
The Baby is hungry and needs to nurse before going into the store. So I left the beasty SUV on and A/C on high as it was 88 degrees, and went around to the back seat with the tinted windows, locked the doors and started feeding the baby. So far so good. A man, undoubtedly figuring someone left their car running with no one in it walks over and looks inside the driver side (untinted) window where there was obviously no one there. Then he puts his hands up around his head and smooshes his face against the glass to look inside the back seat, tinted window, where I was sitting breastfeeding the Baby. "Hello!" I say very annoyed. He looked at my face, he looked at my boob, he looked at my face again, he quickly walked back to his car and drove off. I finished nursing, put the baby back into her seat, and tried to open the door. I forgot that the back seat had a child safety lock and you cannot open the door. I started to freak out, how were we going to get out of the car????? OK, deep breaths, calm down Bess. I climbed over two rows of seats in my big bus to the front and opened the doors. The girls thought this was the funniest thing they'd ever seen in their lives.
Part Two - Shopping
My oldest pushes one cart with the baby in her carrier, I push the cart with the groceries and the little Animal, the Tiddlywampus walks along side. We got our produce, baking needs, meat and dairy; then The Animal started getting claustrophobic with her cart buckle up around her armpits. She started wriggling around and grabbing groceries out of the back of the cart and throwing them onto the floor. She took the bread and squished it, then threw it on the floor. She tried to eat the dog treats. I gave her some ham to keep her quiet. This worked till she started spitting it out onto the floor. Tiddlywampus was on cleanup patrol, she put the regurgitated pieces of processed meat back into the basket. We decided on an ice cream flavor, always a big issue, and proceeded to the checkout. There were 3 isles open: express, self-checkout, and one traditional checkout line with 5 people waiting. Mad, the oldest says she is "experienced in self-checkout because she did it once with Auntie Clara! Really Mommy it's easy lets doooooo it!"
Part Three - The Self-Check Out.
I do not recommend this option. Here's how it went down: Mad starts taking things out of the basket and scanning, I get all worked up because I wanted to verify the machine was charging the correct amounts. The Tiddlywampus was putting the squished bread up on the conveyor belt without scanning and the Self Checkout Security Person, a 17 year old girl, came over and reprimanded me. I push Mad down to bag the scanned items, she gets mad and says "NO Mommy I Wand to SCAN!" I give her The Look, she puts her head down and goes over to bag. Tiddlywampus pushes a button that reverses the conveyor belt and the groceries start coming back to me, piling up and falling on the floor. The self-checkout machine starts talking to me and says, "Help is on the way." The 17 year old Security guard comes over and fixes the belt. I give the Tiddlywampus The Look. She starts helping Mad bag up. There are pieces of chewed up ham on the belt. The Animal starts crying, and I mean really crying. We were starting to get looks, the kind where people are saying with their beady eyes "make your kid shut-up woman." I give her a piece of ham. She smiles, chews it, spits it out on The Baby. I accidentally charge myself 5 times for a head of red lettus, I call over the 17 year old again. I finish scanning, begin to pay, and the machine says in way too loud a voice: "There are items that you did not scan!" More looks from people who think I'm stealing. Then the voice says, "Items that didn't scan: Always Infinity, Pork Loin, Gallon 2% Milk." Oh my God people know I'm buying Feminine products, pork loin and milk. 2 kids are crying now, the cart is full of half bagged half not bagged products. Here comes the 17 year old security, she fixes the problem. OK, I had my purse, as many kids as I had when I came in, all my groceries, two carts...lets head out to the car. I smell poop.
Part Four - Loading the Car
Put Baby in. Put Animal in, she cries, but can't tell me what's wrong because her 1 1/2 year old vocabulary inhibits her. I unload one cart, Oh, she wants a "Geek" - I give her some water. Fighting coming from back seat, it's hot...I roll windows down. I unload the other cart. Cart boy comes and takes carts for me....the best thing this whole darn trip! He waves to crying babies, makes them cry more. Thanks cart boy. We're on the road, The Animal opened a pack of strawberries and is covered in juice. The oldest is throwing the tops out the window, is that littering? We arrive home, babies nap, older two play, crazy mom woman wishes she could take a bubble bath and have a cosmopolitan, but instead I unload smooshed bread and chewed up ham and strawberry mush, and tell this tale to you.