When my boys were much younger (and smaller), taking them shopping with me was kind of like playing the lottery. It could be a wonderful, beautiful time with my little guys, or it could be a nightmare!
Here’s how my nightmare trips usually went. When they were really little, like infants, the shopping trip would start out good, and then they would wake up! They cried, and then continued to cry, until I was walking to the check out lane and we were both crying.
Then they got a little bigger, and sitting in the shopping cart worked for about 5 minutes, then they figured out how to get out of that useless safety belt. So by the end of the trip, I ended up doing all the things that the shopping cart warnings told us not to do!
Someone probably cried.
I clearly remember those days. I remember looking at moms with “big” kids. Their kids were independent. There were no diaper bags or strollers. Their kids were walking, not riding. I thought about how much easier it would be when my kids got to that age.
When I hear babies crying in the store, my mind goes right back to those days. My heart truly goes out to those moms.
As I stand in the store, sympathizing with those moms, I suddenly come out of that daydream – startled – because I have accidentally been shoved by one of my boys.
My “big kids”, you know, the ones that I thought would be so easy to take to the store, are shoving, pushing and fighting with each other right in the middle of Target. While two of them are fighting, the other one has hijacked the cart and he is running around filling it up with the junk food that he knows I will object to.
Then, I pull out my mom voice, my mom look, and whatever believable threats I have. Sooner or later, we pull ourselves together and act like normal human beings for a few minutes.
Then we make our way through the home organization department, and my 6 foot 3 inch, 18-year-old son, begins pulling out the very top drawers of all the plastic shelving units. The ones on the top shelf. You know, about 9 feet in the air, where normal-sized people have to get a ladder out to put them back.
Then, they all find random merchandise that they can put on their heads, make inappropriate jokes about, or take a selfie with.
After I have stopped them from causing more trouble for the Target employees, I focus on making sure everything is put back in its place. I turn around, and now, I have lost my children. They’re gone… Isaac is pushing the cart, with Russ standing on the front of it. Russ is pretending to be Siri narrating the navigation route. I can hear him saying “Recalculating, recalculating…”.
Jonothan is walking by my side with his arm around me, trying to calm the anxiety he sees in my eyes.
We catch up to the bigger boys and try to rein them in once again. I cannot think clearly any longer. So, we head to the check out line!
So, after negotiations at the check out lane are finished and we have agreed upon what we are actually buying and what we are putting back, we head the parking lot. Russ “drives” the cart to the parking lot. Usually, he is perched upon the cart with one leg on the metal bar and one leg pointed in the air behind him. Honestly, it would be impressive and somewhat beautiful, if I were not worried about a collision with a car, or the cart flipping over on top of him.
Anyway , when we finally get to the car, my sweet boys open my trunk and fill it with the groceries from the cart. They tell me to get in the driver’s seat, they will take care of it all. They do!
After they close the trunk, Russ runs the cart to the farthest cart return in the parking lot, and then gets back in the car, ready to go!
I ask them, “Remind me. Why is it, that I bring you all with me?” They show me their puppy dog eyes, and answer in a sweet voice, “Because you love us”. I usually roll my eyes and respond with a long, drawn out, “UUUUUUUUUUUUGH”!
Right before they sync their phones to my car, and take over my car stereo system with their Spotify, they say, “Mom, you know you had fun”.
Don’t tell them, but they’re right…
***The names in this story have not been changed. The events in this story, though, may not have happened exactly as portrayed. This is a compilation of many different trips to many different venues. Theses trips include but are not limited to Target, Kroger, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Zoo, The Cowboy’s stadium, The Grassy Knoll, Walnut Ridge Baptist Church, or simply walking down the street…