I think there should be a Mommy Olympics. If so, you could have events like how fast you can quiet a baby using the 5 S's, or surviving a long distance car ride. But I think the main event I'd be interested in watching would be a trip to the grocery store with more than one child. Points could be given based on whether you got all the items on your list, or if you remembered your coupons, and used your savings card.
I think going to the Publix is one of the most stressful things I do regularly as a mom. And it's not like I can just decide not to do it anymore. We have to eat! I'm seriously considering making trips around 9pm after the kids are in bed. It seems like such a waste to go during my 'free time' but it may be worth not dealing with the insanity of taking the kids along.
The simple solution would be to send Hubby to the store, right? Well, there's a lot of problems with that. For one, I never really know what I need until I see it (or until I see it's on sale). Two, that would still put me at home watching the kids. Three, he always comes home with some kind of specialty drink or expensive meats or other things I think of as special event items.
I had an epic trip to Publix last week culminating in A pushing G out of the cart. But you know it's not going to be fun when the whining begins when you get to the first aisle. A realized she wasn't on the 'juice side' of the cart. OH NO! THE WORLD WILL END, I PUT MY DAUGHTER ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE CART. Then she whined about not wanting to be strapped in for the next 10 aisles. I reminded her over and over that she needed to have a good attitude or else she wouldn't be getting a cookie. Of course I already knew she wouldn't be getting a cookie on this trip, but if I'd told her that she'd been ballistic the rest of the trip and I needed something that might make her turn her attitude around (is that terrible!?).
Now G on the other hand was peachy keen for the first 1/2 of the trip. He'd look over and say, 'was wong A?' And then happily play with his book or point out Dora balloons. But about halfway they apparently decided to switch up. A started keeping in mind the cookie and decided I meant what I said about not getting unstrapped. Then she wanted a hug and said she felt better. So G sees what's happening and realizes that they can't both be cooperative at the same time so he steps up to the plate. By the time we get over to the milk, he's hitting her and punching her for some reason. It's all really a blur now, I think I just was trying to make it through. It's about this time I realize that shopping no longer is a pleasure.
Where did the days go when Hubby and I would meet up at Publix in our dating days and we'd laugh about all the different names for sodas or just chat about our day? Or even something simple like being able to get in and out in under an hour? I always felt Publix's motto, 'where shopping is a pleasure' was true.
It would probably still be stressful if we were the only people in the store, but knowing that other people are only a few feet from my whiny kids makes the trip worse. Thankfully, most people just ignore it. But there are those who feel they need to comment. They fall in to three categories really:
1. The Grandparent: God bless them, old people know that kids can be crabby sometimes. Many a well meaning old man or woman has come up to my kids and said, "what's wrong sweetheart?" and tried to talk them out of their unhappiness. The result is that the kids get scared of them and quiet down for a minute but then start right back up again as soon as they are gone.
2. The dirty looks person: My least favorite. I narrow my eyes and glare at my computer screen just thinking about them now. They may not say anything to me, but they don't have to, I know what they are thinking. "Gee whiz, those kids are loud, why doesn't she keep them under control?" They are the middle aged man (who I'm sure doesn't have kids) or the 'together mom' whose only child is calmly munching on a rice cake or organic cardboard...I mean cracker.
3. Sympathetic Mom: God's way of encouraging me. Today I had a lady pat me on the shoulder and tell me "You're doing good" and, "it's always more humorous when it's not your own kids." My only solace is that other moms are dealing with the same thing.
But I did treat myself today. I did finally make it over to the bakery where I picked up two cookies for the kids. No, I didn't cave in, but I did tell them that if they behaved and were good in the checkout aisle they could have the cookie after dinner (I compromised with A and gave her 1/2 a cookie, G got nada). While I was at the bakery I spotted the Bavarian creme filled eclairs and decided that I had been a good Mommy and I deserved a treat. Definitely worth 70 cents, mmm. The lady working behind the counter even tried to give me a cookie. I guess I looked like I needed one.
Seriously, next time I'm getting my iPod, a Frappichino, and going BY MYSELF!