There are many chores in a mom's life that cannot be avoided. Some are not so bad, others downright nasty and some are just a huge (although necessary) pain in the rear end. Today I had one of the latter...the grocery store. Once a week I have to do this dastardly deed to keep the natives from getting too restless. Today as I was unloading my very full cart onto the conveyer belt, a nice older gentleman behind me said (and quite loudly I might add, he may need a new battery in his hearing aid), "Wow, little missy (he actually called me little missy, which made my day) you sure have a cart full, you doing your monthly shopping?" I completely burst out laughing, I'm not sure why this statement struck me as this funny, maybe it was the absurdity of it? ;) "No sir, I get to make this trip once a week." He quips back, "Good Lord, you feeding an army?" At this point I have become something like a circus freak side show with people from as far as three lanes over craning their necks to see what this crazy lady has in her cart. An older lady in the next lane says, (also quite loudly...what is up with that?), "Oh my poor dear, you must have boys." Bingo! The sympathetic looks I got from at least 10 different people within shouting distance of us was worth the grocery bill. ;) It also got me thinking about my life in groceries.
When Bud and I were first married my grocery cart had bread, cereal, chips & salsa and a lot of wine. That was all we needed. We often met after work at some chic place for dinner like the real grown ups we thought we were...at 24. ;) The grocery store was nothing more than a quick drive by.
The Baby Years
Grocery runs must now be made every 2 weeks or so and the cart is getting fuller. If your looking for me, I'll be on aisle 9...the baby food aisle. When you have to feed a baby three times a day from those little jars of mushed up goo you had better stock up, or you'll be back quicker than you want to with said baby. And whether you have kids or not you know that the best way to make a baby cry is to stand in a check out line with the slowest checker on planet earth. Oh, and don't forget the wine.
The Toddler Years
Must go to the grocery store only in the wee hours of the morning or late at night when someone else can watch the little tyrant. Taking a toddler in a grocery store is like walking head first into a wall of hot lava....painful. The cart is now full of all manner of finger foods. You're so happy to not be spoon feeding a runny mess into your babies mouth that you will buy anything that they can feed themselves. And for crying out loud...don't forget the wine!
The Kid Years
These are some easy grocery years right here. The kids aren't too hard to take with you (if you don't mind spending an extra $100 on junk food ;), and they eat a fairly normal diet. Unless they are my little and then they only eat grilled cheese sandwiches and pancakes. ;) The cart is full of bread, chicken, macaroni & cheese and fruit. And, of course a bottle of wine or two.
This brings me to where I am today with 2 in the kid years and 1 in the teen years...hence my overloaded cart every single week.
The Teen Years
All I can say about this period is...you might want to look into a second job. The cart will be full of chicken, turkey, fish, milk, bread, chips, popcorn, fruit, granola bars, cheese, jello, juice...you get the picture. Teenagers can be very wine inducing (not to be mistaken for imbibing which they are not quite old enough to do) so picking up a couple of bottles of wine with all that food is a must!
Past this I really can't say what the groceries will look like. From the looks of my new elderly friends at the store today, it will include fruit, bread and stool softeners. I'll take my circus freak show cart any day over that. ;) I wonder what kind of wine goes well with stool softeners...Lord willing, I'll never know. ;)
The wine of the day is Mother's Milk shiraz. You aren't going to find that at a grocery store around here. ;) Oh now, mind out of the gutter. What I meant was, here in the middle of the bible belt they don't sell wine in the grocery store...seriously they don't. Not to worry, there is always a wine store conveniently located right next door to the local grocer. These people aren't fools, they know that any mother buying milk for her children is going to need a stop by the wine shop directly afterwards.
The W(h)ine Hour..
Every household has one…the whine hour. It’s those bewitching hours between approximately 5 and 8pm in the evening when the kids go crazy and moms across the world lose their minds completely. It doesn’t matter if you have babies, toddlers, kids, tweens, or teens; those hours of dinner/homework/bath time/ bedtime can just about do a momma in. What is a girl to do? It’s simple and brilliant actually, just slip in a little wine of your own! Now, I’m not suggesting anyone down a bottle of whiskey everyday between the hours of 5 and 8, in fact if you do that you will have a few whine hours of your own the next morning. Basically, a little wine during the whine hours will keep you out of the padded cell at the local cookoo house where people will walk by and peek in your little window and say things like “aww, poor mom has lost her marbles” and “hmmm, now that’s a crazy one right there, sits in there all day and hits herself over the head with a Barbie and a hotwheel”. Don’t smirk, it can happen.
So, enjoy the tales of my whine hour, and how I survive each and everyone of one of them with a sense of humor and a good bottle of wine! After all, the whine hour comes around every single day, a girl has to be prepared!