It is only a recent development that I am now comfortable taking my boys to the grocery store. It’s not without challenges. Since the Superbowl is approaching, they tend to participate in imaginary football games using all the displays that advertise this big game. It doesn’t seem to bother them that they are the only ones in the whole store running passing patterns and/or blocking for their brother as he runs to the freezer section which is the designated end zone. I found the best way to combat these football antics is to give them actual permission to run plays before we head inside. Somehow, if your Mom says ‘2 imaginary field goal attempts are acceptable’, they suddenly lose their charm (see previous post Parenting 101).
I have also found it helpful if I have the boys participate in the task at hand. They alternate between being the cart pusher and my assistant. The cart pusher generally endangers himself and all other patrons in the store. Any sort of food display is at risk as well. I tend to apologize to my fellow shoppers or praise them for their mad dodging skills. As for the displays? I often wish I was on the grocery store payroll for the number of ‘clean-ups in isle such and such’ that I have hastily done as my boys knock over yet another stack of food items.
This past week I had T.Puzzle as my assistant with a new recipe in hand and Full Speed was my cart pusher. It was going fairly well except for an unfortunate, crushing turn that Full Speed had made. Luckily, all that suffered were some coffee filters. We regrouped and headed to the next isle. Since I hadn’t made a Target run all week, I also had to get some basic household items which I relayed out loud to Full Speed. I then checked my text messages to see what Mad Dog needed from the grocery. I told Full Speed those items as well. I then checked in with T.Puzzle and we went over the recipe and he set out to get the final ingredients.
As we turned the last corner our cart was so laden with food and other various products, Full Speed could barely push it. I made him stop as I went over my lists, rechecked my text messages and tried in vain to make sure I had everything I needed.
“I sure hope I got everything,” I said as I eyeballed the mound in our cart.
“Mom, you have to remember like 300 things! I think it’s okay if you forget one or two of them,” Full Speed said.
That goes for all of you reading this, too. Just as my boys will inevitably simulate a sport while shopping, it’s inevitable that as parents, we are going to forget something along the way. Keep it in perspective. Look at the 298 things you DID remember. Now, go kick a field goal!