Thursday, August 17, 2006

God is good. All the time. Even on Grocery Day.

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.


Rebecca said...

I am in awe! Praise the Lord!!!

I still haven't been to the store with my two and my littlest is nearly 4 months! I am taking your story as a pep talk and I'm gonna get out there by the end of next week. After all, it can't be that bad, right?

Hey, my word verification says "gtful" - kind of like "grateful", that's pretty cool!

Rebecca said...

Wow, this brought back memories. Even though it was over 16 years ago, I can still remember my first grocery trip with three little ones. My biggest challenge was getting the toddler in the shopping cart while wearing the baby in the sling.

That, by the way, is why I don't return shopping carts to their little corrals, despite what Gary Ezzo says about how sinful that is. I was so thankful for every time someone had left a shopping cart near my parking space, handy for me to put the toddler in BEFORE putting the baby in the sling! Plus, it made it so much easier to navigate the parking lot, especially when we kept adding babies #4, #5, and #6!

I also sometimes did preventative treats. We've had some pretty nifty errand/shopping routines over the years that either included some sort of fun stop along the way (pet stores, the farm-like produce place, a coffee place the kids liked, a toy store that encouraged the kids to play with a vast variety of displays, a butcher store that gave out free hot dogs to "cute, well-behaved children", etc.)

Shopping and errands seem so boring now that they don't have to be planned with fun elements and nursing stops along the way!

Tammy said...

That's great Amanda, good for you!! Having that 3rd child does seem very overwhelming at times. And, I had the 2nd and 3rd together, lol! Enjoy the little things!!

Emily said...

Woo hoo for a great outing! Personally, we had the worst one of my mothering experience EVER today! WIC brings out the absolute worst in my boys. Do you think that's some sort of message?

Dapoppins said...

Wow, I need to start counting my blessings like that!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Those really are the miracles moms pray for- how wonderful!!! God is good!!

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