I had my very first trip to the grocery store as the mother of three today. It was the excursion I'd been dreading all summer. (Would Baby Crabcakes cry the whole way there? What if he needed to nurse halfway through the store? What if I had to plop down on the sticky floor with a screaming baby while his brothers ran up and down the aisle hitting each other with those balloons on sticks they sell in the floral section? What if the baby pooped all over me while I was bagging my groceries? What I lose my mind? Would they kick me out? Would someone try to steal my fashionable diaper bag?!?)
As usual, God's grace was more than sufficient for my worries. So sufficient that I found myself tearing up as I said a prayer of thanks on the way home -- because NO ONE CRIED during the ENTIRE THREE-HOUR TRIP. It was a miracle. It truly was. The discount grocery store is 20 minutes from home in the middle of the day. Baby Crabcakes has never been happy in the car longer than 10.
Fortunately, his mother isn't completely stupid. Our first stop was Starb**ks, about halfway there. Grouper wanted to return the "Power Rangers" DVD he rented last week and get "Bionicle" next. Blockbuster is right next door to Starb**ks, but it wasn't open yet, so we decided to get a snack first. I know there are mothers who like to use treats as a reward for proper grocery store behavior on the way home. I'm of the "preventive treat" persuasion. Get the treat first, then when they ask for goodies in the store, you can remind them that they already got something. Since their blood sugar's already up, they don't complain. Besides, I really needed that iced soy mocha.
We settled in among the men reading newspapers and working on laptops to wait for the video store to open. Puffer and Grouper nibbled their tiny cafe scones, I got my chocolate fix, and Baby Crabcakes quietly nursed to sleep (Miracle #1!). Then I tightened up the sling, and we headed for our first official errand. Miracle #2: Blockbuster didn't have any of the "Bionicle" movies, but Grouper didn't make a peep. Just decided to get "Batman" instead. (Hallelujah!)
Miracle #3: Crabcakes stayed asleep being moved from sling to carseat.
We drove the rest of the way to the grocery store, and I remembered that we were out of cat food. The pet store is right next door, so we headed in there first. Pet stores are super-cool free entertainment for kids, in case you haven't been to one. We looked at all the fancy expensive birds, the geckos and snakes, the tarantulas and hermit crabs, mice and guinea pigs. Really, why pay zoo admission fees?
Did I mention that the budget's a little tight this month? We really tried to prepare for a month without a paycheck, but having a baby can get expensive. I had exactly $100 in cash when I left home. Spent $7+ at Starb**ks, $17+ at Petco, and had $74 plus change left for groceries. Miracle #4: We got everything we needed, including chocolate chips, for $74.09.
And a store employee even bagged my groceries!
Miracle #6: Baby Crabcakes didn't poop or cry until after I'd unloaded the groceries and put the cold stuff away.
I don't expect every Grocery Day to be so full of blessings. But I'll try to stay hopeful.