Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Irony at Thanksgiving

Guess what?! I actually journeyed on my own to the grocery store with all four children! Can you believe it? I never thought this day would come. And it probably wouldn't have if I hadn't been in desperate need of disposable diapers for our trip back home for Thanksgiving. So, thanks to the "It Must Be Done Mommy Mode" I was in because of leaving town, I sucked it up and did it. And...somehow...we survived! Barely.

After two, count 'em two, absolutely last minute diaper blowouts, one mad hunt for a perpetually lost shoe, and one agonizing argument over who can and cannot open the car door, we headed out--albeit a good 45 minutes later than I had planned. The car ride itself was uneventful: of course every one was strapped to a seat, happily listening to WeeSing. Not much chance for things to go wrong under those circumstances. And then we arrived.

We must have looked hilarious crossing the parking lot. In my left hand I had Atticus in his infant seat. I held Gabriel's hand in my right hand, and then Noah held Gabriel's and Saylor's hands, that is, until Gabe pitched a fit because Noah was trying to help him. Good grief. So we made it to the front of the store and got a buggy, at which point our problems began. Whole Foods, I love ya, but let's g
et real here...your buggies are the pits! Definitely NOT family-friendly! I tried putting the infant seat down in the basket part of the buggy so that Gabriel could ride in the seat, but the basket is too narrow...like a craft store buggy! You know what I'm talking about? Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc. Pu-lease! A tiny basket at a grocery store?? Where is the logic in that?! So that was Gripe #1. Not totally thrown off yet, I simply placed the car seat up top and latched it onto the back of the kiddy seat, even though that meant Gabe would have to toddle about. But for heaven's sake, if they didn't make the kiddy seat a good FOOT higher than any other buggy ever made, and the seat back and push handle were even with each other! Huh?! Atticus was lying completely flat in that thing, staring up at the ceiling. How uncomfortable and scary! Gripe #2.

Well, I decided to "march on" despite our circumstances. It wasn't easy. I couldn't see a THING over that mile-high car seat, and Gabriel was walking, if you can call it that. After discovering that he would not be able to sit in the buggy at all, he proceeded to have a meltdown. We'd never done it THIS way before! It was just much too much for him to put up with apparently! So...we'd walk a couple of steps holding hands (WHILE I pushed the "buggy tower" with my left hand) before he'd fall out crying again; I'd then let go of his hand so he could walk on his own, and he'd just plant himself and cry. It took us five minutes to get from the buggy area to the diapers (a total of maybe 20 steps). Noah kept trying to help, but that just made it worse because Gabriel doesn't WANT Noah's help! Grumble, grumble...trying to hold it together...got ...to...get...diapers...

I grabbed the diapers we needed and while there discovered that there were no longer any G-diaper refills on the shelves, nor a place for them. Excuse me?! Whole Foods, what do you think you're doing? For goodness'sake, are you fazing them out?! Come ON!!! A whole six months on your shelves and that thanks to me and a couple other moms calling your manager and insisting you should get them, since our Whole Foods location was ridiculously the ONLY one in the U.S. not carrying them. You finally get them, but there's not so much as a mention of them as far as advertising goes. No marketing campaign, no free samples, no "how-to" workshops, nothing. People around here don't know about G-diapers--obviously--so TELL them! Good grief. Thanks a lot, Whole Foods. I guess I'll be paying shipping fees from now on. Gripe #3.

By this time I was definitely getting irritated. We hustled over a couple of aisles, grabbed a few snacks for our trip, and headed to the check-out counter. Noah was a big help unloading the buggy while I man-handled Gabriel who was still spazzing out, by the way. I managed to pay (one-handed), and they got my bags loaded into the buggy. The assistant manager was standing nearby and had been letting the kids choose a treat from the kids' freebie basket they keep at the check-out counters. Sometimes they offer treats, sometimes they don't. I'm not sure what one must do to qualify...it's a bit confusing. It annoys me because children remember stuff like that and naturally come to expect it. You know...oh, that's the store with the little kiddy buggies I can push myself, or that's the place with the big buggies shaped like race cars, or this is the one that lets us have a free snack! Anyway...once they were all set with their snacks-to-go, the assistant manager noticed what a sight we were as a whole. She must have taken pity on me, because she offered to walk with us to the car, and then on second thought, maybe she ought to push the buggy herself. Yeah, maybe. How humiliating! All I could think was, "If you'd just provide some decent buggies around here, this wouldn't be nearly so hard! I feel certain you can afford them!"

So off we tromped back across the parking lot VERY S-L-O-W-L-Y. We made it the car to my great relief, though I should have known it wasn't over yet. Gabriel was still melting, so I was just trying to GET HIM IN THE CAR when I looked and saw Saylor flitting about willy-nilly as if she had no idea she was in a parking lot with moving vehicles! Before I could scream her name, Noah did it for me. He grabbed her hand and scolded her about the dangers of acting that way around cars, to which she responded with an angry "No-ah!" Naturally. Grumble, grumble (this time under my breath because of the lady)...I calmly instructed Saylor to get herself "into the car this minute!"

In the meantime, the lady loaded our bags into the back and said she'd stick around until we were ALL loaded up--I'm sure to prevent the death of a child, by car or otherwise. I finally got Gabe and Saylor buckled, so I climbed out of the car, finally getting off my poor knees, and carried Atticus around to the other side to get him snapped in. The lady was now conversing with Noah, who was STILL standing outside the car, about what we were going to do for Thanksgiving. Oh, yeah. Thanksgiving. Man, at that very moment I was just thankful to be back in the car where people can sit calmly strapped into their seats. We said goodbye to the nice lady, and I expressed my now very humble gratitude. Whew! Driving off, I began the process of trying to block the whole experience out. Somewhere between "Eency Weency Spider" and "Skidamarink-a-dink-a-dink" I had just about managed it, when Noah asked, "Why do they sometimes give us snacks and sometimes don't? It's confusing!" Good question. Since you brought it up...Gripe #4. I guess I should be thankful they saw fit to give you some TODAY! Grumble...

And then it hit me. As a matter of fact, I SHOULD be thankful. I guess it took a wild, maybe-I'm-not-quite-ready-for-this-yet kind of trip to Whole Foods to get me in the right frame of mind. I am thankful for the helpfulness of a grocery store employee. Who knows what catastrophe we probably avoided thanks to her?! God provides us help when we need it, and I certainly needed it. I can admit that. I AM thankful for those free snacks, however random. I am thankful I have FOUR unbelievably cute, energetic, HEALTHY little ones to spend my days--my LIFE--with. I am thankful we live close enough to family to get to see them for a bit around the holidays. I am thankful for WeeSing. haha! I am thankful for safe car seats, for the luxury of buying an occasional package of disposable diapers, for not having to miss out on ANY thing my children do or say because they're always with me, for a house with plenty of space for our now bigger family, for sight (Mary Ingalls just lost hers in our Little House reading), for a computer to communicate with so many friends and family members (thank you, Facebook!), for a husband whose patience with all of us never ceases to amaze me, for coconut pie (here's to you, Mom!), for quiet, snuggly moments with a snoozing baby, and for giggly, tickly moments with the bigger kids. I am so blessed.

3 comments:

  1. Girl...I don't know what to say other than, "Bless your heart." That's what my Dad always says to me when he's leaving me with the kids alone. I agree with you on the WF shopping carts. After Remi was born, I could only grocery shop with the double stroller and Finn pushing the cart (or if he wasn't being agreeable, I pushed the stroller in front of me and pulled the cart behind...I'm sure that got some looks). Also, we ask for the snacks if they are not offered or just look for the basket ourselves...I figure with the hundreds upon hundreds of dollars we spend in there a month, it's okay. And by the way, I used to have strangers, not just employees, offer (and I accepted) to help me to my car back in Raff's wilder days. :)

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  2. Lori Lori Lori... I was reading through your older posts (with the busy holidays I don't often find the time)... when I read this one, I wanted so much to be there! haha. I'm glad you realized at the end of all God was blessing you. Sometimes those blessings are what we expect nor what WHEN we expect. haha. Have a blessed Christmas! And I'll start emailing Whole Foods about their baskets. It isn't so much to ask.

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  3. I love you, but I HAD to laugh my boodie off!! I remember the days! And I know that I'm supposed to miss them, but I'm just selfish enough to say that I don't! I love that everyone can walk and buckle and potty and sleep ALL BY THEMSELVES!! Of course, as I type, I'm holding my two girls, 8 and 6, so maybe, hopefully, it doesn't ever REALLY end!

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