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Saturday, November 18, 2006  

Aisle Be Damned

Trash and I did something we haven't done in quite a while today: we went grocery shopping without M. Small.

Even when one of us goes alone, we tend to bring him along, just to get him out of the house. He likes to ride in the shopping cart anyway. And when both Trash and I go, we generally take him with us. We heard somewhere that it's a bad idea to leave a two-year-old at home alone, and although that might just be one of those urban legends one hears, you can't be too careful.

But this weekend, Trash's mom and stepdad were in town. So they all went over to my sister-in-law's house for the afternoon. We don't usually have the house to ourselves on weekends, so naturally we left.

And we remembered what grocery shopping used to be like. That little shelf right in front of the shopping cart handle, for instance? It can hold food when there's not a toddler in it. It's possible to deliberately and methodically go over your list and sort through your coupons, absent a small child who demands constant motion when perched on anything with wheels, and enforces this requirement by snatching anything paper-like from your hands. You can get through the whole store at your own pace, instead of rushing through so the kid doesn't hit the proverbial wall in aisle six.

(Trash hit it in aisle eight, but because that was her own wall and not someone else's, it was still liberating).

Best of all, when you get to the cash register and you start taking all the stuff out of the cart, it's all stuff that you knew was in there.

Normally, when we get home with everything, it's pretty much a race to get the groceries in the fridge and the cabinet before M. Small has them in the living room, the nursery, the basement, the bathroom, and the mailbox. You can imagine what this does for the level of organization in our shelves. But today Trash took everything out and we reorganized it all. Which ended up saving a lot of space. For one thing, we had three open bags of popcorn in there. Consolidating them into one is a much more efficient use of the room we have in there, although I am a little concerned that now it's going to take me three times as long to find it in a week.

In short, Trash and I would seriously be considering putting M. Small in day care on grocery day, but since his absence allowed us to spend a lot more money, maybe not.

Not that he's not great to have along on shorter trips, mind you. It's just hard to focus on both the kid and the shopping sometimes.

Which reminds me of a story Trash's brother told us last week, about when he and my (almost five-year-old) niece Deniece were at the grocery store. He's working his way down the aisles, only half-aware that his daughter is entertaining herself with some jaunty little song and dance she's making up. But to keep her distracted, he sort of joins in, bopping along, nodding his head, pointing at people when she does. Then he starts to notice the looks he's getting, and tunes in to the lyrics of Deniece's little tune:

You're old, and you're old, and you're old, and you're super super old, and you're very old, and you're old…

After that, the express lane was a no-brainer.

posted by M. Giant 9:00 PM 2 comments

2 Comments:

Aah, the weekly manic trek to the grocery store, toddler in tow. I feel your pain, M. Giant. The favorite request of Lucas (2.5 years) is to see the lobsters. Every time we get near the Seafood Department-end of the store, it starts up, "I wanna see the lobsters". It's fun after the first six visits. The best times are when the Seafood-dude uses the rake to stir them up!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 20, 2006 at 11:49 AM  

I remember grocery shopping with my mom when I was 6, my sister was 3, and our brother was 1. He was riding in the cart while we walked. My mom was walking in front of the cart, pulling it along, so she didn't see my brother pick up a carton of eggs, open it up, and start dropping the eggs on the floor, one at a time, leaving a little trail through the store. My sister and I thought it was hilarious, but for some reason, we didn't say anything. After Mom noticed what was going on, we got in more trouble for not alerting her than he did for the actual offense (which I thought was totally unfair at the time, but as a parent I now understand).

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 21, 2006 at 1:04 PM  

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