Last September, when Mischief started school full time I lamented about missing my buddy. I was sad that I would no longer have a pal to run errands with and hang out with ... WHAT WAS I THINKING?!
I very quickly adjusted to my kid-free days and developed a solitary routine of chores, errands and writing. I adapted to the silent house, playing my choice of music in the van and wandering up and down grocery aisle, comparing prices and brands at my leisure. I ignored the wailing children and the harshly whispered threats of discipline; not my kids, not my problem. I would leave stores, smug in my solitude, grab a latte and head for home, pleased as punch that I was able to complete my shopping in record time, without raising my voice or in fact, speaking to another person the whole time.
Enter Summer Break.
After two weeks of summer break our cupboards had run bare. I had depleted my freezers, been creative with meals and even resorted to take out a couple of times. I needed groceries but I was afraid. It had been almost ten months since I had stepped foot into a grocery store with my children and I was not looking forward to it! All I had to do was think about the days of chaos and mayhem (aka shopping with preschoolers) and I would break into a cold sweat. I spent days trying to figure out if I could make a bag of frozen hashbrowns and three cans of soup stretch over the next six weeks but there was no way around it, I would have to go grocery shopping and I would have to take the kids.
The night before the 'Big Trip' I made my grocery list and planned my route while I watched TV. The show was Extreme Couponing and I have to admit it, I was envious of those people and their hoards of groceries. They would not have to drag their kids into Superstore for months, maybe even years! I kicked myself for my lack of forethought. Had I planned better, been a better hoarder, I would not be in the situation. If I had only hoarded noodle soup and laundry detergent we would be set for the summer.
That night I fell into a fitful sleep, my dreams filled with images of cases of Kraft Dinner and dish soap and a thousand foot long receipt weaving its way through our house like a snake. I dreamt of towers of soup and crackers and freezers over flowing with frozen dinners and the constant beep, beep of items being scanned. When I awoke the next morning it all seemed so real that I was confused and disappointed when I opened my pantry to find the same three cans of soup and stray boxes of jello and crackers that had been there the day before; just those things and nothing else.
Since the mountain did not come to Mohammed, this Random Mother will have to go to Superstore ... with all three kids in tow!
You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. ~Franklin P. Jones