Wednesday, April 05, 2006

How much is that child in WalMart?

Last night the kids and I went to the grocery store. (I know, the horror.) And it wasn't just any grocery store, it was (gasp) WalMart. For those of you who have kids, you know the pain that can be grocery shopping with your kids there to help. For those of you without kids, well, you've seen us in the store, and you know how it is. It's just hard to witness. And because I'm just plain crazy for the pain, I also left my list at home. Which meant we had to go down every isle lest I forget something and have to go back to the store the next day. (There have been weeks where I've been every single day, I swear.)

So there we were, the three of us taking up a whole aisle. The kids were yelling, "he/she touched me!" and I was just trying to really concentrate on whether or not we needed more toilet paper/aluminum foil/sugar-filled, hyper-inducing snacks (you know, the necessities.) I was concentrating so hard I didn't realize that we had taken on another child. I'm so used to those children, you see, that it doesn't phase me to hear extra little voices. My son was talking, I was walking, and I figured he was chatting with his sister or someone else nearby. As long as I could hear him, I knew he was still walking along behind me, and that's good. But what I didn't realize was that he was chatting with a child who had NO ONE there to supervise him. NO ONE. I mean, who would lose track of their child in WalMart? (Certainly not me! Um, not often, anyway. Just kidding, grandparents. My kids are too busy trying to get junk food that they don't dare lose track of me - the woman who has the power to pay for said junk.) There are whole movies of the week devoted to losing your child in that store! So once I realized that I gained a child, I stopped dead in my tracks. I nearly caused a four cart pile-up in the cereal aisle. But I had to find his parent, because I seriously didn't want to have to buy him junk too.

I began to backtrack. This is not a child's favorite part of the shopping experience, because they've already begged for everything in the previous aisles. This, they figure, is a waste of time and energy. So they whine. Loudly. But two aisles (TWO AISLES people) back we find the extra little guy's mom. And she's standing in front of carpet cleaners with a little toddler who is very unhappy about being there. In fact, the toddler was causing such a ruckus, I don't think she even knew the other one was gone. The little boy just happily went back to his mom (who I really hope can get whatever it is out of her carpet that had her so intently looking at carpet cleaners.) And my kids yelled BYE very loudly. (My kids - they don't speak, they yell. I think they've found that it's far more effective.)

We did make it to the check out aisle without another major incident. Thank goodness. But I'm always shocked at how I can spend so much money without getting any actual ingredients for a meal. I should write a book. I'll call it, How To Spend $200 On Fruit Snacks And Doughnuts In One Shopping Trip. Because I swear, that seems to be all we got. Oh, and Yoo-Hoo drink boxes, because my son doesn't drink milk and I am fanatical about him getting calcium from somewhere. (But that's a whole other story in itself.)

This morning, I'm hungry and looking for something semi-nutritious to eat. And I realize I have failed. Failed to get good-for-you food at the grocery store, and failed to buy anything I really needed off of my list. (But I did come home with both kids, and they're the ones I left home with too. I totally get bonus points for that.) So guess where I have to go again. Yeah. That's right. Again. Sheesh.

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