Most trips to the grocery store with my traveling circus do not go on without a case of wild excitement, obnoxious acts or blatant denial of authority, usually mine. Taking them all to the store usually seems like a great idea. In my head, I imagine a quick trip in, to get the handful of things I need, and then a quick trip out. Smooth and easy. I imagine my kids behaving well, paying attention and apparently acting in ways they've never acted before, in public, in the grocery store, good. I don't think I've had a trip to the grocery store with the three of them where I leave and think, that wasn't as bad as I thought. It's usually worse then I can imagine.
So after school this past Friday, when I picked my son up and he had a complete and utter melt down in the parking lot outside of the car, when I told him I had to run into the store to get a couple things, you'd think I just told him I had to cut off his leg. I should have taken a hint. But once again, as I followed my usual pattern, ignored my premonition, blindly, naively and ignorantly, took a detour on the way home and headed to the grocery store with all my kids in tow. Mistake number one.
As we got out of the car my son begged and pleaded for the car cart, which were no where to be seen, so i told him he had to walk. Mistake number two.
As we walked in we walked right by the bathroom, mistake number 3, and about 50 feet after we passed the bathroom, he reached down, grabbed his crotch, and screamed, at the top of his lungs, he was going to pee his pants. He then made a b-line for the bathroom and took off sprinting. I followed, other toddler and baby in tow, heads bobbing, people swerving out of the way as my son nervously shouted, he was going to pee his pants. Once we got to the bathroom, my son ran in and my daughter, who then explained she had to go, followed. Mistake number 4.
As we were leaving, I reminded my daughter to wash her hands. Mistake number 5. And as I turned around after helping my son get a paper towel, I realized the sink my daughter was standing at was overflowing with soap suds. She had emptied and entire, yes, entire bottle of soap in her hands and was playing with it in the sink.
To keep from boring you with all the antics my kids performed from aisle to aisle, I'll get to the good stuff. As I was at the register paying, and calmly ignoring the wild animals that tagged along with me, Mistake number 5, I glanced over at the man at the register next to me who happened to be amused with something happening in the main exit aisle in front of the registers.
That's funny, I thought.
I wonder what he's looking at.
As I look over, I see my son laying on the ground on his stomach, and my daughter sitting on his back, pretending to ride him like a horse, oblivious to everyone else around them. Meanwhile, blocking the aisle to a man in a motorized shopping cart who is slightly annoyed. As I go over to get them, and drag them out of the way,I hand the cashier my card and my kids take the cart and attempt to start pulling it backwards, with the baby in it, and the groceries, while running down the aisle.
My blood pressure spiked to stroke range and I thought of doing one of two things, screaming at them at the top of my lungs or turning around and walking away, pretending, I had no idea who these kids were. But instead, I caught up with the cart, claimed them as mine and proceeded out of the store, sweating.
"That was fun", my son said.
"Can we don that again tomorrow?"
And a big knot appeared in my throat and I almost started to hyperventilate as tomorrow's shopping trip flashed before my eyes.
Mommy needs a time out before I sell my kids.