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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Will Shop for Food...If I Must

I stopped into the grocery store the other night with an unusually cheery outlook. I left work at a reasonable hour and had no obligation to run a kid to practice or a music lesson. To put icing on the cake (if you consider a visit to the grocery store any sort of treat), no one was with me to drop Zebra Cakes or Doritos in the cart. I was sure to save an extra $50...and a little peace of mind.

As I settled in for my shopping trip, I smiled to myself as I noticed not one, but two, young mommies getting groceries with their tots. They were all so adorable, and for a moment I felt the nostalgia of toting my kids to the food mart, when their wondrous eyes glazed over all the forage on the shelves. But that feeling quickly dissipated. 

I merely made it to the produce section when the offspring of these two mommies (there must've been ten altogether) successfully cornered the store, leaving me fairly powerless to navigate. The memories came fleeting back. It was awful taking my kids to the grocery store! What was I thinking? I'd break out into a sweat almost every time, as I'd march my two dynamos through, clinging to the hope of no broken spaghetti jars.

So, back to my logjam in the produce. It rarely takes me long to shop in that section. So I was feeling all claustrophobic as the kids blocked me in with the fruits and vegetables. But I smiled, looking like the respectable business lady, as their sweet voices screamed questions to their mom about avocados. 

Eventually, I broke through the line, thinking I was home free. After all, I could sprint through the aisles, and swipe my necessities if I needed to. I could hear the circus behind me, but I wouldn't let them beat me.

I was wrong. 

I got all caught up in the yogurts. Damn yogurt selection. Soon enough, they were all ahead of me, blocking the aisles again. But I smiled at their adorableness and gave the moms the "I know what you're going through look"...all while strategizing a plan to avoid the little tarts.

Eventually, I  gave up and only filled up about half of my cart, which was my usually MO back in the old days, when I had my kids with me. My family was happy I came home with an unusual amount of junk food. Those aisles were about my only safe haven from the family of toddler terrors–apparently they were good moms.

Does anyone know when Amazon will start delivering groceries to rural Iowa?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Musings and the Way They Dressed

I'm trying to decide when I transformed from the mom who obsessed over every detail of her daughter's pastel-hued easter ensemble to a mom who now tosses her kid's unlaundered, wrinkly shirt in the dryer for a few minutes before the family dashes off to Mass. I think it happened sometime between..."I'm too tired" and "Ok, you win."

I'm not ashamed to admit that much of my desire in becoming a mom has everything to do with dressing up the kids at easter-time. And when they're teeny-tiny, it's not so difficult. It's an achievement when you manage to dress them in some clever piece of clothing and the darling image makes you mouth"precious" all day long. Then they turn three. And if they have any sense of self, they begin to give you a little sass about the adorable outfits you've picked out. They also give you some guff about the painful and/or complicated accessories, like a requisite hat or strappy pair of sandals. But you shame them into wearing it, by telling them how much you spent. And of course, they don't care about that. So, you cajole them with more Cadbury eggs, so that they become even more monstrous. And you feel your plan backfiring when a sugar-possessed demon suddenly becomes super-empowered to tell you "I DON'T CARE" while she's destroying the purse, the hat and the matching shoes. (Boys might take a slightly alternative course, like destroy everything else in the living room. But either way, destruction has occurred.)

If you have a little boy and have dressed him up in a dapper sweater vest or tie, you might also have to contend with a husband who has already envisioned the boy being bullied as he dances around in his threads. Not even telling your hubby how much you spent will work. He just wants you to get the boy into something that de-sissifies him. But, it's too late now. It's ten minutes 'til church.  Hubby will just have to pout too. Or destruct something in the living room.

So, now that I've given my kids free reign to choose whatever they choose to wear on holidays, I have to admit a burden has been lifted. No longer do I need to be worried or distracted if any of my kids' wardrobes malfunction. Jeans and tee-shirts tend to perform fairly consistently, even though they're nearly as fun. But if I want to enjoy the days when my kids pouted, sighed and wrestled about their fancy garb, I look back and smile at photos like these...and they were worth every bit of struggle.
sad alex, forced to pose 
"Can I take off the tie now?"