children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting



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!

children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Cupcake Parenting

Unfortunately I have yet to master the art of successfully shopping with my boys (see ‘On Second Thought).  Even though I know this, sometimes we end up in stores anyway. 

After a lovely lunch ocean side this weekend, Mad Dog and I decided to spontaneously grocery shop with the boys on our way back home.  As we walked in the entrance of the store, the boys must have been confused and thought we were at a sports arena.  They started to race each other and I immediately began throwing penalty flags.  I grabbed each one by their face and threatened that they better get it together.  They squeaked a ‘yes, ma’am’ through their squished cheeks and we moved forward. 

I’m not sure, but somewhere near the frozen section, they started to lose it again.  Mad Dog reprimanded them and I did the only logical thing I could,…I headed straight to the bakery to find some cupcakes to help me cope.  I landed on a lovely set of vanilla dazzlers with a crown of glorious, whipped icing.  As I placed them lovingly in the cart, the boys came over and peered longingly at my selection.

“Are we going to get one for a treat?” they asked.

“I’m guessing by your behavior, probably not,”  I said (more for me!!).

Magically they transformed.  They became polite, thoughtful and dare I say it, even quiet.  Yes, that’s right folks, they became quiet.  I’ll give you a minute as the shock of this settles over you…

They acted as if they were the most normal and calm children in the world.

And all this time I’ve been trying to discipline them with structure, expectations and privilege dispensation.

Who knew all I needed were cupcakes?



children, family, happiness, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

The Happy Grocery Story

Full Speed’s expression here, as T.Puzzle attempts to cause him bodily harm, aptly captures how I felt physically last week.

I haven’t been feeling up to par for a while now.  Initially, I tried to stay very positive about the whole situation.  After Mad Dog travelled for work and T.Puzzle came down with the same symptoms, my positivity started to slip away.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t magically manifest a stocked refrigerator through happy visualization.  At some point, I had to break down and go to the grocery.  I opted to take the boys with me because obviously whatever virus I had, it clearly was damaging the reasoning parts of my muddled brain.

Before we entered the grocery, I croaked out my usual round of threats to get the boys to behave.  Once we were in the store, I honestly didn’t care what they did.   Naturally, there was a lot of pretend fire arm action and we fell deeply under enemy fire somewhere in the cereal aisle. For the most part, we managed to get through the store unscathed.  That is, until we neared the bread section.  As we turned the corner, Full Speed and T.Puzzle pushed the cart into a metal display stand of antibacterial wipes.  It sounded a lot worse than it actually was.  The crash of the cart sent a shockwave down the aisle and about 17 Moms jumped out of their skins.  I could see the panic on their faces as they turned to their own carts and quickly did a roll call to make sure all their children and corresponding limbs were accounted for.

“My bad!” I squeaked through my throbbing throat.  “No worries everyone, it’s only my crazy kids, not yours.”

The relief was palpable.  I cut our losses and we headed straight to the check-out.  So what if I forgot to get milk?  At least the dairy case that housed the milk remained safely intact to see another day.

See?  Look how positive I am.

children, gratitude, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Grocery Stories

I’d like to take full parenting credit that my boys were excellent for me during checkout.  Instead, I owe it all to the technological era of our time.  They knew if they acted like crazy monkeys they would not get video game time when we got home.  Therefore, they were downright angelic.  Oh sure, there was a point when Full Speed somehow got attacked by the grocery cart and nearly had his ear ripped from his body.  And of course T.Puzzle couldn’t get over that there were no sprinkle cookies left.  He approached a meltdown and with his head hung low rather ungraciously accepted a plain sugar cookie.  The only thing that saved him was he remembered his manners and said ‘thank you, ma’am’ to the very accommodating woman handing out the cookies.  After a few more seconds of nonsense he got over himself, ate the cookie and promptly declared, “That was delicious, I would like to have a second one, please!”

All in all, not a bad day at the store.

I don’t particularly like to resort to all out bribery to get my kids to behave.  I also don’t particularly like to have my children’s pictures on the grocery’s red-alert watch list.

To bribe or not to bribe?

Today, I chose bribery.

You’re welcome, America!

children, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, terrible threes

Only Child

Over the weekend Mad Dog and I had the rare opportunity to spend some time with only T.Puzzle.  Full Speed went to Grandma’s and we kept T.Puzzle home.  He had a runny nose and we thought he shouldn’t be around the dogs at Grandma’s because he is so allergic to them.

Turns out, he rather enjoys being an ‘only’ child.  He behaved like an angel at the grocery and when we purchased him some popcorn chicken (the real kind, not the Mad Dog invented version), he held it to his chest so lovingly, you could almost see a shiny aura of goodness surround him.

When we got home, he said ‘Yes, ma’am!’ and ‘Yes, sir!’ to everything asked of him.

I’m wondering if the best solution to surviving the terrible threes is to only have one child in the home during this difficult period.

Any takers on Full Speed?