I had planned the trip to the grocery store all day... right after the baby wakes up we'll go. The baby decided to sleep longer than usual. I should have known the way my toddler screamed as he was torn away from Ruff Ruffman that this was NOT going to be an easy trip, but what can you do when you couldn't even serve a peanut butter sandwich to your family for supper let alone the sinful dip you pledged to bring to a get-together that night.
So we were off.
I won't bore you with an isle by isle recap. But I will tell you that the if-you're-good-you'll-get-a-cookie-before-we-go cookie was never obtained. And for me to with-hold that, especially knowing the even bigger tantrum that would ensue... why I don't think it's ever been done. But for the most part I am keeping my cool. The bread is smashed with a hole in the bag. The bananas look like they've aged six days in the last 45 minutes and the plastic "bag" they are in would no longer considered a bag in most third world countries . I don't think there's one potato chip still in original size in the bag. One of the cokes in the six pack has been pulled off. A can of artichoke hearts dented. As I checkout EVERYONE is aware of our presence.. even the guy in the back room running the forklift listening to his ipod can hear is blood-curdling screams for a sucker. As we leave I have the baby in her huge slippery snowsuit bobbing under on arm.. I'm not even sure if she's right side up at this point and my toddler decides he doesn't want to leave so I am literally dragging him by the arm.. oops.. by the sleeve.. ohhh.. by the hood.. he's running towards the store and I'm dragging him the opposite direction trying to get out of the middle of the road. Literally dragging him. I some how make it to the car. I tell him to wait by the car. No luck. He's off. I try again. Same outcome. Now he thinks he wants to sit in the middle of the parking lot. I drag him to the baby-side door.. try to fish the keys out of my pocket.. baby is slipping and her 23-odd pounds feel like 60. I have no choice but to hold my toddler against the car with my leg.. he escapes.. runs in front of a car pulling out.. I scream bloodymurder for his life. Grab him again.. place him in the same leg-up hold. I can only imagine what the world is thinking. And because I'm always afraid of being perceived as "that" mom it's always in the front of my mind. White trash just wouldn't match my purse. But just as I finally reach the keys in my pocket... dangling 11month old in her puffy armour... screaming toddler pinned against the car... my body contorted in a position last seen on a Cirque du Soleil dancer... a van pulls up, window rolls down and the lady calls to me "I just wanted to tell you that I think you are just a wonderful mom" She pauses to seemingly hold back tears "It really touches me." I just smile and throw up my one free arm and she drives away. I don't know what she saw... or more so the things she would have had to have missed in order to make that comment. But it gave me the strength to pick up my toddler and just hold him and rock him and whisper it was "all right" for a minute in the middle of the parking lot to settle him down instead of just throwing him in the car. Because that just might be what a "wonderful mom" would do.