28 July 2009

oh, the laughter.

i have been on a schedule of going to kroger on saturdays. this evolved when i was working 60 hours a week, and the only time i could grocery shop was the weekend. every sunday, after church, we would go eat mexican at "the horse restaurant" and then all trek through wal mart. then, paul got really sick of participating in my grocery shopping (apparently my efficiency quotient was, in fact, deficient)

So, i started going on saturdays without him-

and then, if you regularly read this you know, i had to quit going on saturdays because, i thought, that had to be the worst time to go.

But no. Its not.

This past week, i stretched us through the weekend without a grocery store trip and was planning to go on Monday.

going with all three children has proven quite a challenge -

1) collins has to ride in his car seat because he cannot sit up yet - and i cannot see around the car seat to see whats in front of me, so i frequently run into unsuspecting old ladies, or, more often, unsuspecting clever displays of tostitos RIGHT NEXT to the ingredients for rotel.

2) eason is just untrustworthy - thats what it boils down to - i cannot let him walk with me because he wants to touch, and/or climb on, everything! Its not even malicious - its just little boy, short attention span, fascinated by colors and items and aparrati on which to climb.
And, a lot of the time, i cannot even see him to tell him to stop - see Number 1 above-
And if he gets in the big part of the cart then there really isn't enough room for the groceries.

SO - On Monday, I tried to work it so that I could go to the store with fewer than three children - i was willing to go with two - ada and one of the boys - but going with Collins and Eason is just lengthening my trip by at least 125%.

I had sewing camp this week (more on that later), so I couldn't go in the morning (which is obviously the preferable time to go) - so i planned to go during children's nap time - Paul would be home from work around 2 and then i could leave big kids here napping and either take or leave Collins - great plan.
Well, Paul wanted to go work out when he got home. I love when Paul works out because it means his bod is so hot!

couldn't resist. didn't really try to resist.

But - i do love for him to get to work out, because it makes him a happier, more easy going guy - So, i was fully supportive of him working out - He got home around 2 - but his work out partner wasn't available until 3 -
So, Paul and Will finally left, on bike, for the Y, at 315 or so.

ENTER TORRENTIAL DOWN POUR NUMBER 1. (notice the foreshadowing)

Paul and Will were stuck at the Y for a while - they finally got home, soaking wet, with Paul injured from a rain-caused fall from his bike - around 445.

I decided I needed to finish making supper and get it in the oven before I went to the store.

I pressed start on the oven timer at 515 and ran out the door. (made a yummy new dish - more on that later)

(I will say, looking back, that perhaps I could have put off the kroger trip to tuesday.... but then the kids would have had saltines for breakfast two days instead of one day....)

I'll also say that God and my husband are good - and i was able to leave all three kids with him while i ran to the store for what i assumed would be a 25 minute sprint through.

515 on a Monday evening - new worst time to go to kroger.

You'll be pleasantly grocery shopping with a bunch of people who have gone back to work on Monday to discover - wait - their jobs still suck. (as crude as that word is, i couldn't come up with anything that would take its place - "stink" doesn't quite provide the umph i was looking for)
And they are still discontent. Oh, and at the end of the day, their spouse calls and says "remember - we don't have any milk - and i'm in a meeting at my job that also sucks, so can you run to the store"
While there, they realize that milk is not the only thing they need. They also probably need to feed their families for the rest of the week. But they don't know what to feed them, so they start wandering the aisles in this bizarre in-a-hurry-but-don't-have-a-list mode that the designers of the tostitos/velveeta/rotel display are counting on.
This puts them in a worse mood, because, let's face it, they know, on some level, that they are on repeat - a broken record - scratching the sound of this awful, unintentional, pitiful failing.
I find myself almost paralyzed because i am at the same time angry at these people, at our society that has created these people - and also so sad for them. So sad that they feel, rightly or wrongly, that they cannot slow down - and be intentional - and make a grocery list.

But - i make it through Kroger - list completed - in about 38 minutes.

Walk to the front. to discover that - oh - i don't know - KROGER HAD NO IDEA THAT THIS IS A TYPICALLY BUSY TIME FOR THEM AND THEY HAVE half OF THEIR LANES OPEN. ('half' there is not in caps - because if i had been telling this story orally - i would have dropped my raised voice at that moment for emphasis...)

There are an average of 5.3 people in line at each check out - and at the self-check, my personal favorite, there are 12. I hop in the 12 person line because i figure doing it myself will be best at this point -

I scan my items. The filets I bought as a treat for us are not on sale for as much as the sign said. I don't care and pay the extra 20%.

I enter my alternate id - because i've been using my mother's kroger card account for 7 years now - but i don't have a card - so i have to enter our phone number - which is actually no one's phone number now... wonder how that works?

I swipe my credit card... and....


It was one of those moments in big, metal buildings when you hear the sound and wonder if its some gunfire - or some machinery about to crash down on your head - but, no, its just water.

its 622 pm at this point. I wait for ten minutes, visiting with an old mock trial foe - begin pondering how my priorities and loves have changed so much over the past few years - the down pour does not let up.

This is not just a steady rain type of situation. This is one of those rains that almost seems desperate. And because its desperate, one thinks it will run out of steam soon.

But it doesn't.

So I make a run for it - which is stupid, because I have to actually unload my groceries from the cart into the car - so I should really just stroll to the car.

I'll add here that I have on blue jeans - purely out of vanity (they fit great and it makes me feel skinny) - blue jeans - perfect attire for anything except rain.

By the time i get all of bags into car and close door, i might as well have gotten in a shower and stood there, fully clothed, for 10 minutes. I actually think I was wetter than that.

I drive home. Get out of car. Stroll through the rain into my back door. Spy the looks on my husband's and children's faces, not to mention my dear friend Dan who had come to eat with us.

Oh, the laughter.


  1. Have you tried a soft baby carrier for carrying Collins while shopping? Either a sling or a Moby wrap are best because they are erognomic for baby and better on your back. Makes grocery shopping (and everything else in your day!) MUCH easier. I have one of each kind of carrier, and they were lifesavers for me, and I only have the one baby! Plus, putting the car seat on the shopping cart really isn't safe because it's not strapped down in any way.

  2. neither ada brooks nor eason would do the sling - don't know why, except they both liked to be stretched out and to ride in one of those, the baby really has to be scrooched down (i think i just invented a word).
    i haven't really tried with Collins, but may -
    the car seat hooks into our kroger carts just like it does the base in the car - in fact, you cannot get it out without pulling the lever on it - no matter how hard paul cusses at it frustrated, he still has to pull the little red lever... =)

  3. Oh, that's good that the seat secures to the cart! I wasn't trying to be all "know it all", I'm sorry if it came out that way. I just see so many seats balanced precariously on carts and it seems so dangerous! We didn't have an infant carrier car seat -- Nicholas went straight into a convertible seat -- so I had never even thought about it until I read somewhere online NOT to do it.