Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lowlights and Highlights, All in a Mom's Grocery Trip with 3 Boys

So one of my least favorite things to do with all 3 kids is take them to the grocery store.  I usually try to slip in on my own at some point when my mom or husband is watching the boys.  On the rare occassion I take all 3, what results is typically mayhem and meltdowns.  So it was with dread that I ventured at grocery store trip this week with all three.  I did a lot of prep work with Pierce about being a good listener and such when we got there.  Meanwhile, Reid was feeling grumpy and sad, the result of a fever (which we found out later is from roseola - so yay for me spreading contagious gunk - oops!).  Cort was in an unusually chipper mood.

So we got to Kroger and I saw the race car double carts.  I couldn't find plain double carts.  So race car it was.  The race cars are just great for bored kids, but they are a nightmare for the parent. They are completely oversized, clunky, hard to steer, and the one I grabbed had a loud wheel.  Fabulous, right?  Here is what one looks like:

Pierce was totally into driving the race car, Reid sat next to him, and I carried Cort in the Bjorn.  Things were going well in our first stop, the veggies.  I loaded the bottom of the cart with wonderful colors from kale, turnips, acorn squash, summer squash, button mushrooms, grapes, and bananas.  Then we headed into the natural foods aisle.  Unfortunately, there was a man stocking the goods, and there was no way I could make it through with my monster race car cart.  So I slowly started backing away (no way could you just turn one of these carts away) and there was a woman standing right behind me.  I almost ran into her.  Immediately I apologized, but she let me have it.  Admonishing me, she said that I was lucky I hadn't completely knocked her over and thrown out her bad hip.  She went on and on.  Then she said "YOU stay right there.  Don't YOU move until I can get my cart safely away from YOU and YOUR KIDS".  Meekly, I did as she said, while she stomped off with her "bad" hip.

Gosh I felt bad the rest of the trip.  Nothing like a verbal lashing from a complete stranger to make you feel miserable.  And of course, to make matters worse, I continued to have difficulty steering the cart around corners, and it felt like I was always in someone's way.  Suddenly, I just knew that every single person in the store was giving me a dirty look.

I tried not to let on, though, that I felt so overwhelmed and disturbed.  I continued to pick our groceries, letting Pierce choose a lunch box for preschool and making my way through the store.  All three boys did just great, except for Reid, who had to cry a few times because he felt so bad.  Pierce took over the mothering role for me, patting his brother on the back and hugging him from his side.

We finally finished and made it to the checkout.  Pierce was sad he couldn't reach the checkout to help me load up groceries (the cart was just too huge) but he made up for it by being so sweet to Reid.  And I was still stuck on that horrible lady.  Running the whole thing over and over in my head, while putting goods on the belt and chatting with Pierce.

That's when a sweet lady behind me in line spoke up. 
"You know, I've never seen a mother with 3 kids as calm and attentive to her children as you are in the grocery store.  I can tell you are a really great mom"
My heart warmed straight out of my chest.
And then I burst into tears, lol.
I told her that moms never get compliments like that and it had absolutely made my day.
I don't know if she truly knows how much her kind words meant to me right then and there, but I know they will be positive fuel for grocery trips in the future.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are a wonderful mom. I am always amazed by your calmness and how much you totally enjoy your children.
Pick a day each week to do groceries while I have the boys. I can stay as late as you need me. It is so much easier when you can just run in and out by yourself.
I bet that cranky old woman has a miserable life.
lovemom

Chicken Wrangler said...

I can just see this all happening as your story unfolds - So glad you had gotten a compliment at the end of your shopping experience - that made it worth while! You know, I never understood why they made those shopping carts because they do look so cumbersome to maneuver around the aisles. My kids would walk beside my cart (rule was to have one hand on the cart so I could keep an eye on them when they were too large to sit in the seat) and if they were older, they got to help pick the groceries I was shopping for. Much easier to go it alone, however, to get a well needed "break"!

Mere said...

I can't believe a stranger yelled at you in the store...some people are just inconsiderate! At least it was countered by the nice comment at the end of your trip. I think you are an amazing mom; A definite role model to me.

Myya said...

Every single word I was reading I could totally relate to. I always run errands with all 3 of mine & it is definitely not an easy task. If it isn't one thing it is another that is for sure. Oh & those dreaded car carts. While fun & all, such a pain for sure! At the end of your story I got teary eyed, yeah I know I am a big sappy baby but it is just that I have felt that same way & knew just how much it probably meant to you for that lady to say that. Yay for wonderful strangers!!!

Home In The Hollow said...

Perhaps that woman was PMSing...going through the change...menopausal...oh, heck she probably forgot to take her "happy pills"...:) YOU are a great mom...besides you always like to share everything you have! JP

A Daddy Blog said...

Hey, thanks for dropping back by my daddy blog. Hope you’re having a good weekend so far. I just updated that blog at the bottom to include swap.com as an alternative option, per your suggestion. Sorry your grocery experience wasn't all it could have been. My wife did a blog about some tricked out shopping carts at Tom Thumb recently.

Jenny @ Practically Perfect... said...

That was so sweet of that woman to say! I think I would've cried, too! And what a horrible woman to say that - she must have had some bitterness in her life to make her react that way to a stranger. I can remember something similar happening to my mom when I was younger - she had parked the minivan at the grocery and once she got out, she noticed that was parked a little close to the car next to her. The driver was just getting out and he saw it, too. She apologized and said she would move her van, and he started yelling at her in the parking lot about how she needed to stay right where she was, and he was moving his car far away from her and all of her bratty children. We just stared at this guy in shock, and I know my mom was so embarrassed. I've never forgotten that!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a wonderful way to end the grocery trip! I have told JDaniel only "big moms" can use those carts. He has a "small mom". They are a mess!

I hope JDanile doesn't kick his way out of his crib.

Erin said...

You are such a sweetheart. I'm so sorry about that mean hip woman---what a cranky old bat! Don't give her a second thought. YOu are right about the car carts---kids love 'em, but they are hard to steer/push. I can't stand them. Older people mostly don't think about how hard it is for young moms w/ little ones. Grocery shopping is also something I try to do w/o kids as often as possible!

SnoopyGirl said...

I must admit that I feel your pain as I think back to some awful shopping trips with my kiddos. It has really made me a bit more sensitive to others shopping or dining out with their little people. And as for those carts!!! They are horrible to steer! I have nearly taken people out and probably clipped a few heels in search of sustenance! I now try to shop alone whenever possible or to go when people are getting their kids from school and my little homeschoolers and I can get in and out quickly! God bless you and try to keep your head up and don't let the turkeys get you down!

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates said...

I can't believe someone will be so mean to you. Did she not see the three kids with you? Some people are just so rude. My kids would probably have asked out loud: "Mommy, why is that lady so mean?" That would've put her right in her place, would it not?

Aimee said...

So people just know when you need that extra boost of lovings. What perfect timing. I know exactly how you feel though, I've got 4 boys and they are always asking for that cart when we are at a Kroger type store. I despise those things.

Tiggeriffic said...

When I go to the grocery store and notice a mom has a quiet spirit with her children I always compliment her.. I had 4 children and always had to take them to the store..It was challenging at times.
There are three kinds of people in the world today: "Well-poisoners, "who discourage you and stomp on your creativity and tell you what you can't do.
"Lawn-mowers" posple who are wll-intentioned but self - absorbed: they ten to their own needs, mow their own lawns, and never leave their yards to help another person.
Life -Enhancers" people who reach out to enrich the lives of others. To lift them up and insire them. We need to be life-enhancers and we need to surround ourselves with life-enhancers.. This was written by Walt Disney...
Have a tiggeriffic day and only be around life enhancing people...

Meredith said...

that's horrible...a friend of mine has this written on her FB page. I wish more people did this. "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." I only have 2 boys, but they can be loud and frustrated and not want to be in the store too...I'm amazed how quickly some people forget how it was like to be a mom of little ones. I rarely go to the store with both boys, but when I do, it's pretty much inevitable that I'm going to get looked at!
So glad the lady in the check out line was a kind soul and said outloud what you REALLY needed to hear.

Mama Goose said...

I love that nice woman! And after having a toddler, I will never judge a parent again!