Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Clean Up On Aisle Three

There is one place more than any that I despise taking the girls, and we have to go there every week.  That place is the grocery store.  I know, I know, I should find a time when I can go alone.  My sister sometimes goes when her husband gets home from work or on the weekend.  I just don't feel like giving up any of my very limited free time to go grocery shopping.  Especially since it's something I don't like to do to begin with.  So, I usually end up taking all three girls EVERY week.  Most of the grocery stores do a good job to try and cater to people with kids.  Ralph's has shopping carts with the kiddie cars attached to the front.  They also have little kid size carts for older kids to push around.  After a while, the novelty wears off and I'm still left with three screaming kids who have no desire to grocery shop, and no amount of goldfish or graham crackers will subdue them.  

Yesterday was my shopping day.  The unfortunate part, now that Sonya is in school, is there is no good time to go.  I would love to go while she's in school, but Georgia takes her nap then.  Since it's only half day, after school, Lana takes a nap until about 3pm.  That means I don't get to the store until late afternoon when it starts to get busy.  Dealing with all the people in the store and the three girls toward the end of their day is just not a fun time.  But it had to be done,  so off we went.  

Lately, Sonya wants to sit in the little car with Lana, but that's always a nightmare, because they end up fighting for most of the trip.  Thankfully,  she decided that she wanted her own cart yesterday.  Lana got in the little car and Georgia sat in the front of the cart.  Georgia is usually pleasant while shopping, as long as her goldfish supply doesn't run out.  If it does she will  turn around and see what's in the cart and grab for anything she can reach.  Usually it's the plastic bags with the produce in it.  You know, a fun safe thing for a baby to play with-a plastic bag.  What?  That's okay, right? 

The girls started off okay, as they usually do, but after we left the deli things with Lana started to take a turn.  First she kept asking for a cookie.  That was the bribe of the day I was offering, IF they were good in the store.  Lana wasn't quite getting that she had to wait until the END of the trip to get the cookie.  So she just kept chanting,

"I wan coooookkkieeee!!  I waaaaannnnn cooookkkieee!!!"  

"That's not going to get you a cookie, Lana, " I told her.

"PLEASE!" She responded.

"Not until we're all done, sorry," I explained.

Then she whined for a minute and when this got no reaction she decided she wanted out of the car and wanted to walk.  I try to avoid this at all costs, because she does not stay with the pack.  No, she likes to wander and lag behind.  Sonya I can always count on to stay right next to me, wherever we are.  In fact, she freaks out  if I take a step in front of her, but I could disappear and Lana would probably shrug her shoulders and think, "whatever, at least I got my blankie".  

So, she kept repeating louder and louder that she wanted to get out and walk.  Then she started to climb out of the little car while I was pushing it.  The bigger problem, however, was she had taken off her shoes.  She takes off her shoes randomly while we're out, for some reason.   

"You can't get out until you put on your shoes," I said.  

This was met with more whining and grumbling protests.  Then she did something that was a bit on the manipulative side and a tad bit funny, I admit.  I was in the bread aisle, trying to figure out which English Muffins were on sale.  Lana pointed to the floor and told me she had to get out to get her shoes. She had taken her shoes and thrown them across the aisle.  Now not only did she HAVE to get out of the car to retrieve her shoes, but she had to do it barefoot.  I was not about to let her win this one.

"Oooh No!" I said and picked them up and handed them to her.  She hadn't anticipated that and proceeded to get mad.  I told her to put them on.  Finally she relented, and I helped put them on her, then she got out. She decided to help Sonya push her little cart.  Great.  THIS should be fun.  

They were  doing well for a while and sharing the cart nicely, which was most surprising.   Then they started to get a little crazy, and a little fast, and almost ran over a few people, including the old lady with the cane.   I finally stopped them in the frozen food section and told them in my sternest, most serious mom voice and face, that this was their last warning and to knock it off.  If I had to talk to them again there would be NO cookies this trip.  They both nodded their understanding and looked a bit worried.  Huh.  I guess the stern mom face does work sometimes.  They were mostly good the rest of the trip.  Both of them helped put fruits and veggies in bags when we got to the produce section.  Georgia later inspected them up close when the Goldfish ran out.  What surprised me most was how they shared the pushing of the little cart.  I thought that's where all the problems would be, in fighting over that, but no, they were good about it.  We were walking down one aisle, in search of Pirate's Booty, and this woman laughed and commented how we looked like a parade.  I guess we kinda did with the girls in front of me pushing their little cart, and me pushing the big cart with the car attached and G sitting in the front seat.  

After over an hour of shopping, I announced to them that I thought we were finished.  

"NOW cookie?" Lana asked hopefully.

"Yes, Lana, now cookie," I replied.  

They all squealed their delight.  Sonya and Lana because of the excitement of cookies and Georgia, because her sisters seemed excited, so she must be too.  Lana even voluntarily climbed back into the car to make it faster to get to the cookies.  They got their cookies, which kept them quiet upon checkout and out we went.  Another shopping trip done until next week! 

I'd hope to have a repeat of them sharing the little cart, but I know better.  Next time the novelty of sharing it will have worn off and they'll be fighting over who has more handle bar space.  I'll just have to perfect my stern mom face this week.  Then I might call Ralph's to see if they can add clowns and face painting in their efforts to help out bribing moms.  Actually, that's not a bad idea...

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