Today I restocked our house with edible food.
I feel that I have to clarify “edible” because, to be honest, there was a container of fuzzy sour cream and some liquified celery hiding out in the refrigerator when we returned from spring break, but since they are far from edible it seemed wise to head to the grocery.
(Right now you’re shocked and amazed that I almost killed myself with food poisoning a few months ago, aren’t you? I promise, I didn’t try to eat toxic veggie dip, there was absolutely no fuzz on that dip container… a bloated pea was my only indication that something might be wrong.)
(I just got the bill from the hospital for that little three day stay. I am continually grateful that we have a magical money tree in our backyard. Yowsers.)
After I caught up with what we’d missed while being gone on spring break it turned out we needed to go to two grocery stores to get the supplies for our meals. I always start shopping at the cheapo grocery, Aldi’s, even though I’m still offended that I have to pay a quarter for the privilege of steering their cart through the store (the fact that I get the quarter back if I return it is beside the point).
Dos was in charge of steering the cart in Aldi’s and let me tell you, that was a disaster in the making. I was engrossed in checking the ounces of shredded cheese available when I realized she was pushing the cart at a good speed toward the glass-fronted cooler. Fortunately I caught her before she shattered the glass with a well-placed crash.
Tres decided to screech her way through the store. It was like shopping with a teradactyl. Just my idea of a restful day of housewifey bliss.
Lest you think that Uno was perfectly behaved, please know that when we hit store #2, Wal-Mart, she decided that her life would not be complete without gum. And I heard about gum every 45 seconds the entire trip.
It’s true, I timed it.
The truth is you don’t care or need to know that I’m currently in possession of two cans of kidney beans, a container of Mrs. Dash, and some string cheese that I’m hoping was made with hormone-free milk in addition to multiple other things that we bagged one item per plastic sack at Wal-Mart. Or that I’m particularly excited to try the Apricot Chicken that’s on this week’s menu.
What may interest you is that I realized that, though we received compliments from grandmotherly-types throughout each store, I’ve become THAT MOTHER that community members shake their head over when they see.
Are you following me? Let me explain.
When I was pregnant with Tres I went to the chiropractor. When I let him know that I was with child (which typically is of medical concern to a doctor about to twist your body so that your toes are capable of picking out earwax in order to produce gunshot sounds that can be heard three counties away) he asked me, incredulously, “Weren’t you just pregnant?! Don’t you have two little children at home?!”
“Why, yes, I do. We just keep reproducing,” I answered. “No one seems to be able to explain to us how we keep getting pregnant.”
He was quiet for a long moment. I was all prepared for him to be sarcastic and joke with me about our naivety regarding procreation. But then he clicked his tongue and – in complete seriousness – said:
“Wow. You’re going to be that woman in Wal-Mart with all the little kids hanging off her cart that I always feel sorry for.”
How do you respond to that one?! I wanted to say that, coming from a man who spends his weekends dressing up in pioneer clothing and spinning wool culled from his personal herd of sheep, I wasn’t sure who to feel more sorry for.
But I didn’t.
My mother did instill some manners. And it was absolutely OK for him to feel that way. But I’m scarred for life.
So, that begs the question: Do you always feel sorry for the people with multiple children you see in stores, even if the children are well-behaved? (Because, honestly, if they’re not well-behaved it’s always feeling sorry for them. I think anyone who sees a family of multiple screaming children believes that those parents are experiencing a version of Dante’s Inferno on a daily basis. Just sayin’.)
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