There’s a reason I go alone on Saturday mornings. Only, Christmas Eve was this past Saturday. I was not going to attempt to weave through the endless crowds of people who forgot cranberry sauce, or stuffing.
No, I decided to be brave, and tackle shopping with my two boys this morning.
Why is it one is so much easier than two? If you are used to the insanity of two, will you not feel a thing by adding three children? Or four to the mix?
Ben likes to push the cart. Not my big cart, his own little Ben sized cart. Which is awesome. He loves it when he gets to put his own special foods in HIS cart. I want him to participate. This morning I let him search for Northern Beans. I’m about to embarrass myself by admitting I had NO CLUE what Northern Beans were until a recent recipe called for them. If I can keep him on a scavenger hunt of sorts, he stays occupied. Once he found the beans, all beans let loose so to speak. His cart turned into a race car, and he proceeded to rip up and down the aisles and wanting me to watch this behavior. “Look Mom! Watch me Mom!”
I know his ploy. What he really is doing is testing me. Will mom let me do this? Will she scold me? If she doesn’t see me, can I keep doing it? If she doesn’t respond, maybe she’ll let me race on over to the next aisle, and sneak some bags of candy into my cart.
And I’m a bad mom. I normally wouldn’t care. I have to choose and pick my battles, and we shop early when there are barely any shoppers. I need Ben to stay entertained and busy. But when other people are glaring icily at me and my rogue son, something has to be done.
“Ben. When it’s just us in the aisle, you can race around, but when others shoppers are in the aisle with us, you need to behave and stay close to me.”
Yes, I said something like this, but much prettier. And it worked, until Ben starting racing around the corners at the top of the aisle, to move to another aisle, and shoppers were turning the corner too.
And of course, there’s Nolan. If he could talk well enough, he’d say, “Feed me. Take me out. Put me back in. Hold me.” This would be his mantra. Once his Cheerios of a snack ran out, we played this game while Ben was zooming all over the aisle. “Watch me mom, check me out mom!” Then Nolan starts to screech and holler. If you’ve never heard Nolan screech, you are in for a treat! The soundwaves reach awesome decibels only whales can hear.
Usually, I can somewhat reel them in with the promise of a bakery cookie at the end of the shopping excursion. “If you behave during the trip, you get a treat.” Yes, it’s a form of bribery, but dammit, it works! But not today. The boys know our home is filled with tasty goodness. Pies. Candy. Yum Yum’s. They are smart boys, albeit a little nutty this morning.
Somehow, we managed to get out of there after only an hour of shopping.
We did not however, escape the older gentlemen who seems to frequent the store every morning, and has canned jokes to tell me. I see him Saturday mornings too. Usually I pretend it’s the first time I’ve heard the joke, which is really the 10th time I’ve heard it. He stops us on our way out, blocking my way to freedom. Nolan is trying to wiggle out of the cart, and Ben is trying to leave the store.
The man says: “What is Beethoven’s favorite fruit?”
I answer: “BA-NA-NA-NA!”
He looks absolutely shocked. How did I know his joke? This gives me a second to smile, wish him a great day, and push the cart with Ben holding onto the side, straight for the car.
I’m trying to figure out how I don’t have grey hair yet.