You’ve just pulled into the parking lot at your local grocery store at which you’ve been shopping since before your first born was born. It was a bit daunting at first, taking a baby to the grocery store, but now that he’s a toddler, you two have the whole process down. You’re food procuring pros. From his throne in the front of the shopping cart, he helps you bag the apples. He grabs his favorite cereal off the shelf. He puts the not-gonna-break-if-he-throws-them items into the back of the cart for you. Then the two of you stand and watch the fresh produce get washed and simultaneously wonder why they chose the sound of thunder to cue that the sprinklers are coming on. Fascinating.
By preschool, you and your not-so-little one have grocery shopping down to a science. You’re in. You’re out. Tantrums are thwarted with songs, distractions and
bribery treats. And before you know it, groceries
are loaded in the back of your SUV without a single tear shed by either of you.
Booh-ya, mother shoppers.
Then you and the Hubs had the genius idea to have Baby #2 and eff-ed up the whole system. Now your grocery shopping experience is more like this…
You pull your three year-old out of his car seat and attempt to lift him into the front of the cart. You struggle to lift him high enough now that he’s so tall and heavy. “Pick your feet up…. Pick your feet up!” You eventually cram his giant man-feet through the holes. His shoes have fallen off during the process, so you put his shoes back on.
Next, you hook one of your own feet around the bottom of the cart so it doesn’t roll away with your child in it and wonder for the zillionth time, Why do shopping carts not have brakes?! Then you lift the baby’s infant seat out of the car and place him in the back of the cart. There, now both kids are in the cart. Whew! Now… um… where are you supposed to put the groceries? The baby’s infant seat takes up the whole cart. Crap.
You snap the infant seat back into the car, grab the baby carrier (Ergo, Bjorn, Boba, etc.) out of the trunk, strap it around your waist, unbuckle the baby from his car seat, and secure him into the carrier – all the while you still have your foot hooked through the shopping cart. (Seriously, anything with wheels that is made to hold children should have some freakin’ brakes!)
Then you smell something gross and familiar. The baby has pooped himself. Awesome. With one foot still hooked around the cart and the baby strapped your body, you haul the stroller out of the back of the SUV. Then you spread the blanket out, pull the baby out of the carrier and lay him down. You change his diaper in the trunk of the car with your foot still hooked through the shopping cart while singing Sid the Science Kid songs at the top of your lungs to try and keep both children entertained. Then you strap the clean baby back into the carrier on your front, heave the stroller back into the SUV and close the trunk.
You wipe the sweat from your brow and hope there are no visible pit stains.
Now you’re ready to enter the grocery store with your preschooler in the front of the cart and your baby strapped to your body. Then you pass a shopping cart with a plastic fire engine attached for a kid to ride in. You try to distract your three year-old and hope he doesn’t see it, but it’s too late. “MOMMY! I WANT TO RIDE IN THE FIRE TRUCK!” Balls.
Again, with one foot hooked around the bottom of the cart and your eighteen-pound infant strapped to your chest, you attempt to lift your thirty-pound preschooler out of the front of the cart. You struggle to lift him high enough now that he’s so tall and heavy. “Pull your feet out…. Pull your feet out!” You eventually wriggle his giant man-feet out through the holes and set him down behind the steering wheel in the new fire truck cart. His shoes have fallen off during the process, so you put his shoes back on. Meanwhile, your original shopping cart has rolled off somewhere because those stupid things don’t have brakes! You then make a fifteen-point turn to spin this ridiculous shopping cart around because the attached fire truck makes it longer than a limousine.
Twenty minutes after you park your car, you’re finally entering the grocery store.