Owen and I went shopping for groceries to make yummy stuff for his birthday party this coming Sunday. I spent most of the morning cross-checking recipes with the pantry and fridge and marking my Real Simple grocery checklist so that I could move efficiently through the store. Sound nerdy? It gets better. I don't just use any old mark in the boxes next to the items I need. I put a "/" before I leave home and I add a "\" when I actually place the item in my cart. Get it? It's foolproof. Unless you happen to be a big enough fool to bring your overtired 1-year-old shopping with you.Owen starts getting sleepy again about 4 hours after he wakes each morning. I know this. And I also knew that he woke up at 6:30 this morning. Yet no alarm bell sounded in my head when I packed him up and rolled our shopping cart into Publix at 10:30 AM today.
We hadn't even made it through the produce section before he started to wilt. I attempted to use Common Parenting Tactic #1: Create a diversion. I took the three oranges I'd just picked out and gave them to him so he could help me put them in the little plastic (gasp!) produce bag. Only they were too heavy for him and he got frustrated, and then it occurred to me that the oranges had probably been sprayed with some kind of waxy toxin that was going to make him grow an eleventh toe. So I abandoned Tactic #1 and quickly moved to Common Parenting Tactic #2 (which I usually don't have to employ until somewhere around the shampoo & deodorant aisle): Offer Cheerios. And the rest of our experience went something like this:
Aisle 2: Cheerios working.
Aisle 3: Get stuck trying to find Sugar Free Instant Vanilla Pudding. Realize some goofus has obscured said item with a misplaced box of Sugar Free Instant Lemon Pudding. Almost don't notice O standing up in cart. Wrestle him back down. Offer more Cheerios.
Aisle 4: Discover O is missing shoe, probably from wrestling match. Return to Aisle 3.
Aisle 5: O gets full on Cheerios. Becomes more interested in them as projectile objects. Abandon Tactic #2. Realize I don't have a Tactic #3.
Aisle 6: O crying. Revisit Tactic #1: Try steering shopping cart fast and crazy past the moisturizers and dental floss. O now petrified, crying harder.
Aisle 7: Give Cheerios back with stern warning not to throw them. Tack on, "I mean it Owen. I'm not playing. " for maximum intimidation.
Aisle 7.5: O grabs handful, swings a stiff arm to side of cart like it's the arm of a crane, locks eyes with me, and opens his palm to the floor.
The remaining aisles are a blur of speed-shopping and cajoling and retrieving objects from the floor. At checkout, I was astounded to discover I had picked up a $9.00 box of garbage bags (20 cents a bag!). For that price, they'd better tie themselves closed and walk to the curb every Tuesday and Friday.
But we survived. O took a monster 3-hour nap when we got home, and I did a figurative belly flop into the gallon of Milo's sweet tea that was intended for the party. I may be awake until next Tuesday.