The last little snapshot was a lovely feel good moment, because in parenting, there are actually lots of those. But today, well today is the real deal. A grocery shopping trip with all three kids.
Usually I avoid this as much as possible, and instead opt to pop into the shops on my own before picking up the kids a bit later or sending Seth out on his way home. But you know there’s those times where you just look in the cupboard and there’s nothing to eat. You walk over hopefully to the fridge, but there’s nothing there either. And then you know, you have to actually feed your kids, so you’re just going to have to take the kids and venture out to the local supermarket.
It all starts the same way…
“Who is in the pink seat today?” I ask, more to myself more than anyone else, as we try and gather the children towards the car. In unison the shout, “ME!” and I struggle to remember who last had their little bum in the pink chair. I go with my gut, it was probably Kyla, she always seems to come home in it somehow. “Riya it’s your turn, not Kyla you were in it on the way home, so you will have your turn later – yes, I’ll clip you in. No you can’t bring your dolls with you, unless you are going to carry it all around the shop. Seriously. I’m not carrying it.”
As Seth drives us to the store, I can’t help but feel slightly anxious about what was about to unfold this time. I’ll admit, they’re mostly pretty good, but you can never really tell how well this round is going to go down. And that’s not even talking about the abduction incident that happened at another store recently – talk about adding even more crazy anxiety to an already stressful situation that is parenting.
We pull up and unload everyone and realise that we have forgotten the pram at home. Great. But not all is lost because the trolleys have that little seat thing, so at least one of them is sorted out. Knox doesn’t even get a choice and is plonked into the seat, in the beginning he is calm and content to just take in all the sights.
We start to move around the aisles and try and involve the girls in taking things from me and putting it in the trolley or getting them weighed by the lady who puts the stickers on. With our new diet or way of eating, we focus on the fruit and veg section and then just quickly flit through the rest of the aisles just to see if they hold anything that we need. By this point Knox is totally fed up about seeing his sisters walking around while he is stuck in the trolley, so I’ve taken him out and Seth and I are tag team carrying him – he’s flipping heavy now.
The girls demand milkshakes. It’s our own fault because every time we’ve been, we’ve bought them something to drink. Knox complains, the girls only sort of willingly decide to share. I find myself repeating things like,
“No, you can’t sit on the floor”,
“Stop biting that!”
“Please stop shouting”,
“NO! We do not lick the sides of the trolley!”,
“That’s GLASS! Please put it down – carefully!”.
“For the last time, please stop pulling on my leg – you need to walk, dragging you around with my leg just isn’t working for any of us.”
In the queue to pay, the girls spotted the treats. We give in – I can’t help but feel sorry for them – all they get at home is meat, veg and fruit (which is weird because that’s what we’re supposed to eat right?!), but the condition is that they can only get to eat when they get home. Instead of waiting in the line and entertaining and argument with them about they can’t eat it now, I leave Seth to play and we go and sit by the toy rides.
I finally put Knox down and then watch them sit and giggle together on the big red bus. Suddenly this little shopping trip may have been physically straining (carrying them around all the time) and emotionally draining (saying no to everything that they want to put in the trolley when I really want to say a big fat yes to the giant bag of Nik Nacks!) but these moments together are just another one of the underrated moments of parenting.