Congratulations on making it through the set of double doors and getting a cart. By the time you're placing your lightweight purse into its spot and getting out your iPhone notes with a grocery list, I'll be noticing the smear of ketchup that made its way onto my white t-shirt at breakfast and still wondering why we needed it with oatmeal. I'm in the middle of unbuckling myself when I notice the cup holder with the coffee that is no longer "extra hot, hold the whip" but I'm gonna freaking need this today so I gulp it down while my toddler launches a Hot Wheels at my head. He barely misses.
While you're making your first stop in cosmetics to get a bottle of nail polish, I'm only just now getting the sliding door of the minivan open, catch falling toys and say goodbye to a receipt blowing away in the wind, only to find all three children without shoes. I know they had shoes when we left the house and I'm (still almost) positive that the locks on the windows work so they have to be here. The boots are found, shoe laces are tied, and I don't care that half the shoes are on the wrong feet.
Now we make our way through the parking lot and I yell so no one gets hit by the passing cars or trucks backing out of the handicap spot and I wonder WHY THE HELL there is no family parking. (Damn you, Ikea, with your childcare and family parking spaces and tiny meatballs.) We're finally inside and I have to explain, yet again, to the six year old why he cannot ride on the side of the cart: Remember, honey, when it tipped over sideways last month and you almost cracked your skull open? That's why! in my velvety voice because people are walking in behind us.
I have my mostly-list because it's never succinct and I hope today is not the day my iPhone drops and shatters on the floor. The kids are begging for the toy aisle but are content when I say no but I know the countdown has begun.
Side note: I am thoroughly convinced that grocery stores, ahem Target, sends beams of rays that target a mother's intelligence and common sense because I start thinking that surely THIS IS THE TIME that I can get a shirt for 70% off in peace. My better sense of judgement kicks in and we beeline towards the groceries.
You'll be doing wine pairings for this weekend's hipster entertaining, grabbing an IPA six-pack, and answering a casual call from the BFF. Meanwhile in aisle six, I'm measuring distance from my youngest's fingers and the glass jars of spaghetti sauce. Wait, how did you get that toy from ten minutes ago? Please put it on a shelf, I don't care where. Stop wrestling, we are indoors and this has never been acceptable behavior at a store.
One last glance at the list and we're down to the last three items and produce will be easy because the bigs (my oldest two) will stand at the bakery looking through pictures of cakes while I make sure our potatoes aren't moldy and ensure the cheapest apples get in the cart. The youngest is screaming because he can't join the big brother and sister and you are happily walking past me, pause to pick out fresh flowers for your DIY table you finished over the weekend, and I'll glance at your skinny hiney, blink back jealousy, and debate between red or orange bell peppers. I have altogether forgotten what life is like without my kids but the sound of avocados rolling across the floor snaps me back to reality.
Considering the deep love I have for Target, I should be best friends with every cashier but I'm too exhausted for chit chat and I will cut you if you slow down so stuff those paper bags like your Christmas bonus is on the line.
You've driven off to meet girlfriends for a casual patio brunch by the time I'm opening the automatic hatch and my kids are asking "Did we do good today?" like pitiful little pups who know this routine all-too-well. I remind myself how amazing my little people are despite the look of death they all received when I was handed the receipt because they were trying to shoplift ChapStick.
We're almost done loading our bags into the back of the minivan, or Pearl, as we affectionately call her, and I am still scanning the parking lot for kidnappers and purse thieves because I am their perfect target and I have the most beautiful children in the world and they can sense my distraction. We're like the wildebeest on water's edge. The cart goes to the corral and we are all buckled and no purses were stolen and I can exhale because no one peed on the floor or dumped the bag of popcorn behind the clothing rack.
And for the briefest moment, I wonder if I could get away with drinking a Raz-ber-Rita on the way home.