Monday, March 30, 2009
Whole Foods, a whole lotta misery.
For nearly four years, I've sworn up and down I would never, EVER opt for the grocery store cart with the car or fire engine or other large toy tacked to the front of the grocery cart. Never, not me. I'd eye parents with pity as they tried to maneuver the monstrosity through the aisles, making their wide turns and sacrificing their dignity for the happiness of their obviously spoiled rotten kids.
I think all parents or expectant parents better yet find it so easy to judge as they witness temper tantrums at the restaurant, or they see a parent dragging their child by the arm kicking and screaming, or running through the aisles of the grocery store with a box of Cocoa Pebbles in their arms. 'My kids will never mis-behave like that', I used to say. Well. If I could eat my words now, I'd be stuffed.
I was blessed by Alex with a shopper. The girl LOVES to shop. She could sit in a cart for hours, her stroller? All day. We'd stroll the mall, I'd leisurely grocery shop with a long list while we chatted. And then I had Ian and my whole life changed. Saturday, Sean as he often does took Alex out for a date. They went to see the new movie 'Monsters & Aliens'. I thought, hey what a better opportunity to have some Mommy/Ian time. Yes, this was needed after a long hectic week, we'll bond! First a quick trip to the grocery store for some necessities.
It was raining, I pulled Ian from the car and covered him with my jacket as I ran to the door. I went to place him in the cart and he threw the hugest, back arching, screaming, flailing fit. Physically, sometimes Ian overpowers me. I literally could not get his feet through the leg holes. I was struggling, getting soaked and beginning to panic. I was embarrassed. I was 'that' mom. The one with the unruly child blocking everyone else from getting their cart as I struggled to move along with mine.
I gave up. I took Ian back to the car. Set him in his seat and scolded him. I gave him my most intimidating look I could muster. The eyes could have burned Alex to tears. But Ian? No. I told him we would sit here until he calmed down, he was very naughty and he hurt my feelings! I waited 4-5 minutes as he settled down, said he was 'soooowry' and we were able to try again. As we approached the shopping carts AGAIN, he pointed to it. It was a large, toy car plastered to the front of an already large cart. I not only saw it's 'vastness', but the colony of germs, drool, and food remnants smeared all over it's interior. Ew, gross.
'Pease', he said. He pointed to it, he grinned. And I did what I swore I never would. I placed him in the front of this tractor trailer. He smiled, I took his picture (see above) as he was so happy. And we were on our way. I made it two aisles before he realized that his car had windows. With a quick swipe of his arm 20-30 bottles of Karo Syrup went rolling out into the aisle. I'm already taking up the majority of the aisle, I'm already self conscious, I'm already humiliated and now I'm picking up syrup bottles as Ian swipes powdered sugar onto the floor. I look around and people are looking at me with that same pity I used to dish out, I'm humbled and then Ian begins to scream. He throws another royal fit, now trapped in his car and belted in the entire cart begins to shake. I'm in hell.
We're done. I'm done, he's done. I have what I most needed. I take the wide corner to approach the checkout and find it's packed. With no room for this car to even 'BE' in line without blocking the main aisle I see people looking at me, 'what a nightmare child' I read their minds. 'Poor lady, you should need an IQ test to have children', I imagine they are thinking. Then I did what any panicked mom on the verge of freaking out does. I pulled Ian from the car and ran. To my car. Without my groceries.
I later took Alex to Albertsons where the power went out 5 times and my groceries had to be re-scanned 3 times. When Alex asked me in the pitch black of the grocery store, 'What's going on mom?' My only response was, 'Well, the universe is against me and for some reason it's telling me I can't buy food'. 'Oh'. She said.
I imagine that as Ian approaches two, these moments will be more frequent. I want to apologize to all the moms & dads that I judged before. I'm sure your all wonderful parents who were having a horrible moment where your possessed child became bigger than you. I'm sure you felt as I did, wanting to swat your childs rear in the freezer section but restrained in fear of being accused of child abuse. I'm sure that you really would have preferred to NOT be pushing the giant car cart, I'm sure you would have rather been me all kidless and self entitled. I'm truly bracing myself for the next year. I'm upping my visits to the gym, I'm lifting again in hopes I become strong. Strong enough to next time, fight Ian down into the cart. That is, if he's ever invited back to the grocery store with me again.