Yesterday I took all 3 boys to the grocery store with me. This is not my favorite activity, but sometimes it just has to be done.
As we piled out of the van, Tate informed us that we needed a cart. He wanted to get said cart before I even had Cole out of his car seat. I was able to intercept him before he wandered through empty parking spaces in the somewhat deserted parking lot. To do that, I had to carry Cole like a football…a very long and flailing football that weighs about 30 pounds. Jake sat back and watched, snickering the entire time. Ah, tween-dom is looming large.
I managed to wrangle my
herd children into the store. Tate chose his cart. As I put him in, Cole had his chance to dart…and dart he did. Right for the huge s’more display. He grabbed a bag of marshmallows and proceeded to beg like he was a starving child. He wasn’t going to win that one. I wrestled the bag away, informing him that we had no need for marshmallows as big as my fist. (Seriously, and we wonder why America has an obesity problem.) I plopped him right on top of Tate in the cart. I let them figure out their sitting arrangements.
I needed a few things. Mostaccoli noodles, french bread, and some fruit. Somehow, I ended up with about $25 worth of extra items like cupcakes with an unnatural blue-hue of frosting, a quart of low-fat chocolate milk, and two different kinds of cheese from the deli. (I may have also bought some candy at checkout just to get them to shut up a bit….)
While we went down the aisle that contained the pasta, Tate was doing his best impression of a fire siren. It was some sort of vocal stim, and it had a hairs-raising-on-the-back-of-my-neck effect. I think it had the same effect on other people, as we got a few good stares. One woman just smiled kindly and nodded her head. Later, as Cole tried to escape from the cart, head first, this same woman giggled to herself and moved on.
We moved on to the deli after that. Tate gets very anxious at the deli, because he knows precisely which cheese we must buy, and can’t stand having to wait in line. We buy “square” cheese first. (As opposed to the octagonal cheese????) Anywho, I got a half pound of American and a quarter pound of extra-sharp cheddar (which is rectangle cheese, if you must know). Every time Tate comes to the store with me, we have to buy these 2 cheeses….because that is what we did the first time I took him by himself…and so it shall be forever, I suppose. (Or well, until he gets over that particular routine.)
We got our cheese, and started to move towards the bakery. I took a pause as I refereed between Tate and Cole, who were near blows over the “square” cheese. Jake ran up to me, letting me know that the soup pots are, indeed, hot and “burn-y”. He was shaking his hand, and told me he touched it. Ah, well, at least he learned. At this time, an older woman looked at me wide-eyed. When she got my attention she asked, “Are they all yours?” I clarified that she meant my 3 boys. She nodded. I told her yes, they were all mine. “Oh, my. You have a lot going on there.” I nodded politely, while thinking, oh, honey, you have nooooo idea.
We made it to the bakery. I chose some bread for our dinner, and started towards the produce. That’s when Tate became enamored with 3 Angry Birds balloons. Oh boy. I will give the kid credit. He informed me that there were 3 balloons and 3 boys. So each could have his own. Ha!! I explained that I wasn’t buying the $10 (EACH) balloons. He got a little pouty, but then countered with the cupcakes. Those were $2.50. I called it a deal and we were done.
As we chose some fruit, Tate found the scale.
Look at this here. Look at this machine. It’s so cool.
That’s called a scale, Tate. It tells you how much something weighs.
Yes, yes it is.
I like it. (As he’s pressing down on it, watching the little marker spin all around.)
I can see that. Time to go.
(During this exchange, a mom and her daughter were watching us. The daughter proclaimed that Tate was adorable. The mom agreed.)
We finally made it to check out. I bargained with the 3 boys that if they sat quietly on the bench, I would buy them all a treat for after dinner. They rapidly threw candy at me and made a beeline for the bench. Whew! The woman behind me asked if the boys were all about 3 years apart. They are. She smiled and said she had 3 boys, and they were all 3 years apart…and that watching my boys brought back some memories. She said that now her sons are 23, 20, and 17. She tried to assure me that it gets easier…and harder. I thanked her, collected my children, and we headed for the van.
With three young boys, no trip to the store is “little’. It’s usually a survival of the fittest competition. Luckily, I met that head-on yesterday. Mission accomplished…even if I did get a few extraneous items…which were, by the way, totally worth it!