Summertime, and the Grocery Shopping is Funny

I always kind of liked grocery shopping with the kids when they were babies. They usually slept or looked around and I felt a sense of accomplishment at the end. Unless we got caught in the rain on the way back to the car. When they were toddlers it was even better. I'd plunk them in the front of the cart and they would make lion noises or eat a cookie or a cheese bun (yes, I always paid for it) and we would make silly comments about whatever we were buying and they would entertain the other shoppers.

But when you have little kids, it always feels like a treat to be allowed to run any kind of errand by yourself. You feel almost weightless - no solid little body to swing from car seat to grocery cart, no worrying about losing someone in the produce maze, no stopping little hands from dropping a watermelon on the bread. So when they started school, I would go grocery shopping when they were in class.

And now we've come full circle, where it's kind of a treat when they're around and decide to come to the grocery store with me. Eve's come a couple of times on week-ends - this usually results in me letting her buy whatever kind of cookies she wants, as well as some kind of frivolous cosmetic accessory.

She had no plans on Monday and we had a list of stuff for her mini-party today, so we headed to Loblaws. This, in part, is the script:

"LOOK AT THIS NAIL POLISH. It's, like, FUZZY!! Really? Are you sure? Thank-you thank-you thank-you!"
Photo by Tony Alter

"That guy had gigantic holes in his earlobes, and looking at them made me want to cry for all humanity."

"Let's get some Lucky Charms!" (Me: Get the small box). "'Hearts, stars and horseshoes! Clovers and blue moons! Pots of gold and rainbows, and me red balloons!' I watch too much television."

"I touch rotting fruit and it magically brings it back to life. I'm so magical. Everyone should invite me over to their house. If they have rotten fruit."

(Me: We need pickles and curry paste) "Why do we need pickles?" (Me: Because we're out of pickles) "Why do we need pickles?" (Me: WE NEED PICKLES). "Okay, fine, we'll get pickles. I want some nuts. (Me: We already have peanuts.) "I just want some nuts." (Me: WHAT KIND OF NUTS). "Um, like, cashews."
Oh thank goodness, whole grain!
Photo by Mike Mozart

"I'm going to go home and fuzzify my nails. While eating cashews. With.... my toes, I guess.

(Me: We missed the curry paste.) "I'll just hang out by the cupcake mix until you get back."

"I came here with Daddy, and he was very confused by the self checkout."

Then there's the soundtrack, which, since we got the Sirius satellite free trial, is all Billy Joel all the time. If she's in the front seat and something else is playing, she yells "You're not Billy Joel!" and switches it. Then, naturally, commentary.

Only the Good Die Young - "So wait, does he want to be bad? That's inspiring."

Pressure - I can HEAR the oldness in this song.

Don't Ask Me Why - "I like this one. Even though it makes no sense. She used to be an only child, now she speaks French? So what - foreign languages get you siblings?"

I'm not sure how I'm going to go back to grocery shopping alone.


Swistle said…
I'm just starting to come around to this, where I sometimes WANT COMPANY on a grocery trip. It's VERY ODD to feel that way, after feeling so lovely to have NO company.

Also, I saw someone with their earlobe-stretchers out of their ears, and it is something I think everyone considering earlobe-stretchers should see.
StephLove said…
I think I want to take Eve on a long car trip and listen to her Billy Joel commentary for entertainment.
Nicole said…
I know. I knoooooooowwww. It used to be such a treat to grocery shop by myself, now I cannot even bribe the children to come with me. I need to borrow Eve - is that okay with you? I have to do a Costco run and I feel like that would be fun.

THE STRETCHED EARLOBES WHAT IS UP WITH THAT. I saw a guy like that and it made me feel actually queasy. Eeeee.
Dimitra said…
Eve's comments are always refreshing! I love eavesdropping on the girl's conversations and getting a different outlook on the keeps me young, or rather, updated? Either way, it's refreshing...
Julie Leclair said…
i love Eve. "I can hear the oldness..." Ha! Can seh come to PEI with us? It will be a good balance to Max saying "Balls!" every few minutes and then laughing hysterically.
Maggie said…
Because my kids are so far apart in age, Youngest still loves to grocery shop with me, but is not relaxing company and Oldest is not even remotely interested in going. I vacillate between desperately wanting to grocery shop alone and wanting Oldest's company. Therefore, sometimes I save some shopping for after soccer practice when we don't have to do carpool with the other boys. The grocery store is on the way home from the field and it's virtually deserted at 7:30 p.m. and I get the company of Oldest, who actually helps find things and carry stuff to the car. Woo.
Maria said…
I love shopping with my daughter. She always talks me into double stuff oreos...
clara said…
My children forget how to walk when they are in grocery stores so I will shop alone as much as possible and wait patiently until one of them turns into Eve.

What do you MEAN that's never happening. DAMN AND BLAST.

Hannah said…
I want to spend an afternoon with Eve, listening to Billy Joel and painting my nails with fuzzy polish.

If I encounter earlobe stretchers I'm like Austin Powers with Fred Savage's giant fake mole - I don't want to look, but I can't stop looking, and the word "ear" keeps creeping into conversation where it doesn't belong. I'm dying to ask someone with them if they have any understanding about what happens to your ears as you age.
Cynthia said…
Youn can come with me and Rose next time. She always tries to eat the oranges with the peels on. Then makes a face. Every time!
H Munro said…
I will try to appreciate that my kids turn into mini-gremlins (or real size gremlins since they were pretty small) when we enter a grocery store. And that one day I will be sad they don't want to come with me.
Even that damn free cookie from Loblaws doesn't keep Em quiet,she doesn't like chocolate chip!!
Ms. G said…
Ah I miss this! After years alone, my youngest spent her last few months between graduating and leaving going grocery shopping with me. I feel so lost without her getting lost in the produce section : )
Tell Eve I am totally with her on the ear holes and ask could she do something about my banana's using psychic power?
Sasha said…
I love your kids. Ours are still eliciting smiles as they direct me safely through the mucky mud (brown floor tiles) in their baby-blanket capes. Not to say that their antics don't occasionally garner stink-eye too, one particularly crotchety old man yelled at them for "screaming" (I would have said "squealing", but whatever). He told them he'd just got out of the hospital and didn't want to listen to that.

After giving the "offenders" a cuddle, I limited myself to a passive-aggressive "I'm sorry you're not feeling well, sir." I skipped the "but if it's quiet you're looking for, then maybe Loblaws on a Saturday morning isn't the best option... oh, and I'd suggest that you refrain from bullying small children when you clearly lack the balls to face their mother... what kind of surgery did you say that was?"

Still can't decide if that was discipline or chicken-shittedness.

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