So today I did something for the very first time: I braved the grocery store with the three kids, all by myself. I think it is safe to say this was not only the first time, but also the last time.
At 11:30 I loaded up all three kids and set off for Albertsons. I normally go to FoodMaxx because I'm a cheapskate, but I figured I better go somewhere that doesn't make me bag my own groceries.
We arrived and I left the kids in the car while I ran up to the store to grab a shopping cart (Albertsons does a far too efficient job moving the carts back inside; there weren't any already in the lot!) Got the cart and headed back to the car. Unloaded Ezra, stuck him in the back of the cart, stuck Anna in the front of the cart, and strapped Isaiah into the trusty Baby Bjorn, which I would be lost without.
To be honest I was kind of excited about shopping today. I'm getting back into the swing of cooking and had planned out some different meals to make, so I was looking forward to buying all the ingredients. I had a big long list.
First stop was the deli and the bread section. Easy enough. Then produce. About three minutes went by before Ezra ripped open the bag of Romaine lettuce hearts. Okay, easy enough to fix, I just put it in one of the plastic bags they have there. Then I discovered he was squishing the hotdog buns. Moved them to the "underneath" part of the cart (I swear a mother must have invented that!) Not much longer and Anna wanted to sit in the back. Okay, whatever keeps them happy, so I moved her to the back and Ezra to the front.
Not too much later I looked down to discover her happily chomping away on the celery I was buying to make macaroni salad. Okay, better put that underneath the cart too...
And so went the rest of the trip. Before we'd left, Anna stuck her mouth all over the tomatoes I bought, the hotdogs, took a bite out of an avocado's skin, and tried to take a bite of garlic. Fortunately only one item got thrown out of the cart the entire time, and that was the garlic, by Ezra.
I FINALLY have everything I need and get in the ONE line that was open--the line was huge; why do they only have one line open??? Well someone finally opens another line, and the girl in front of me goes in it, and I follow her because we were in the back of the other line. As the girl starts loading her groceries onto the belt, the checker lady VERY loudly and rudely says to me, "She's on WIC; it'll take a long time." Now for the record, I don't think there's anything to be ashamed about to be using WIC; in fact, I think it's a good program. But was it this lady's business to announce to the whole store or even just to me that this woman was on public assistance? I would have been ticked!
Anyway, I just said that was fine, because since I'd gotten in this new line, the other line had gotten even longer and I'd lost my place in it. Plus, I really don't mind the wait. So I'm waiting and then the checker again looks at me and says in an even ruder voice than before, "You know, this is really going to be awhile." Sheesh! So I proceed to ask, "Even longer than waiting in that huge line?" and she rudely answers, "Yeah!" Um okay, so I switch BACK to the long line.
Another employee comes up to me (I think she must have seen me get worked by the checker) and says really sweetly, "I'll go see if someone can open another line." Which they did! Thank goodness!
As I was unloading my things onto the belt the college-aged bag boy fully started helping me unload the plethora of groceries residing on the "underneath" part, basically everything I had had to keep away from the kids. Then the lady checking my groceries offered to just have them bagged and put in a seperate cart, and the bag boy would help me out to my car. How embarrassing is that? Don't just little old ladies do that sort of thing? But how can I refuse, I mean it would have been a pain otherwise. I just hadn't realized how many groceries I was buying.
Now I have to tell you that I was extra embarrassed because this would mean that he would have to see the car I drive. Let it be known that I did not bring this car into the marriage, my husband did. My contribution was a 1988 Toyota Corolla. His? A 1988 Lincoln Towncar.
That's right. I drive a HUGE, OLD car. (So huge in fact that I am not always so good at driving it and sideswiped a car in Pismo Beach once.) It is just a fact of life that the Heldts drive old, ghetto cars, and you would think I'd be used to it by now. Sadly, I am not. Every time I have to take that beast out in public my pride takes a hit.
So we walk to the car and I say "Thanks so much," hoping he'll just leave the cart of groceries and think that the white suburban parked next to me is mine. No such luck. "Oh, I'll load it for you." Shoot!!! So I unlocked the doors, tried to keep my head high, and loaded up the kids, while he was somehow able to fit all the groceries into the trunk, even with the stroller and other assorted junk back there. I thanked him, climbed into the car, and hastily headed home.
Needless to say I will not be venturing out on grocery shopping trips alone with the kids anymore...but at least I can say life isn't boring!