I don't know why we do it, take all our kids to the store with us. I'm not sure if it's truly family time, or if we just enjoy torturing our children—and ourselves. But, nonetheless, we all pile into the car and hit the grocery aisles together.
Sometimes having five people works to our advantage. We find items on our list quicker when the twelve-year-old searches with us. We remember to buy things we otherwise would have forgotten when the six-year-old is with us (I still can't believe she's SIX!).
But there are other days when a singular thought SCREAMS through my head, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???"
Yesterday was one of those days. This is how our trip went.
Kid #1 to Kid #2: Would you stop looking at me?
Me: Enough. I know you're mad at me because I won't let you read that book, but stop taking it out on everyone else. Seriously, your sister is looking at you. Get over it.
Kid #1 huffed and lagged behind.
Kid #2 pushed away Kid #3: Stop, stop, stop. Mommy, she's trying to lick me.
Me: Gross, Rissa. *Sticks arm between them and pushes them away from each other* (Why do they make carts with dual seats again?)
Kid #3 smiled and stuck out her tongue, and the hubs wandered off to collect items on our list . . . alone.
Kid #2 screamed—in the store!
Me: Abby, shhh.
Kid #2: But she keeps trying to lick me.
Me *Takes kid #2 out of shopping cart*: How about you walk for a while?
I loaded a few items into the buggy as my husband rounded the corner—thank God—and added his loot to the rest of the pile.
Hubs: Was that Abby I heard screaming two aisles over?
Kid #1 ran up the aisle with Kid #2 hot on his trail: Get away from me.
Hubs: Get over here, both of you!
I glanced around to make sure no one was watching our horrible parenting skills.
Kid #2 wailed: He hit me!
Me *puts her back in cart with licking sister*: Ethan, why can't you just get along with her?
Kid #1: She's mean and annoying and—
Me: I get it. It's impossible. When are you going to learn to be the bigger person?
Kid #1 rolled his eyes.
Hubs wandered off again while the rest of us perused the produce section. Somewhere near the potatoes, Kid #3 started growling like a dinosaur, at the top of her lungs. Everyone in the store looked our way.
Me, under my breath: Rissa, stop.
Kid #3 leaned her head back and roaaaaarrreeeed again.
I laughed. What else could I do? She wasn't crying? She was just being a toddler, a creative, imaginative toddler. While the roaring was quite loud, my request to make her stop only made her louder.
Kid #1: I'm so embarrassed. What's wrong with her?
Me: Same thing that was wrong with you when you were this age.
Kid #1 rambled on about something I'm sure meant he was perfect and we would never have allowed him to get away with anything of the sort. Maybe he's right. Maybe not. I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter because to him I'll always be wrong.
Hubs returned with the rest of the items from our list, and we rushed toward the check out lines. While a few of our fellow shoppers probably judged us, I was at least satisfied we didn't break anything or have to remove our children from the store.
Not that we've ever had to do that . . . yet.