- The part where you have to leave the house. Which, as we all know, is more difficult than brushing your teeth with the wrong hand. More difficult than cutting your own hair with a samurai sword. More difficult than staying awake while watching speed walking. More difficult than convincing your husband he might get laid more if he stopped leaving his pants under the couch. More difficult than telling a three year old she can’t have cookies for dinner. Why is it so difficult, you ask? Pants, shirt, sweatshirt, socks, shoes, jacket, mittens, hat, scarf…times three. Plus a bag with formula, a clean bottle, extra clothes, diapers, wipes, extra pacifiers, teething supplies, and at least two stuffed animals.
- The shopping cart. Avelyn refuses to sit in the big basket part of the cart, so we can only grocery shop at places that have the little car attached to the front or the big plastic double seats attached to the back. Because these carts are roughly the size of a small freight train, we end up smashing down the aisles with approximately the same amount of grace as drunk Uncle Mike trying to park in the very tight garage. The same amount of grace as my one hundred fifty pound Great Dane tripping down the stairs. The same amount of grace as me playing any sports that include the use of a ball. (MAN I am on top of these metaphors today. Or are they similes? I asked Nick but he’s watching football and is proving himself less than helpful.)
- The peanut gallery. There are two parts to this. One, the part sitting in the cart, who has to comment on everything you pick up. “Mommy, can I hold that?” “That looks icky, I don’t like it.” “Are you going to share the cookies this time?” Two, the other random people walking through the store. “What happened to his other sock?” “Isn’t she freezing without a jacket?” “That’s a lot of drool. Have you tried (fill in weird inappropriate suggestion here)?”
- Using the bathroom. In the unfortunate circumstance that I have to use the bathroom, both children have to come with me. Harrison is standing, but not dependently, so he sits in my lap. Have you ever tried to pull up, zip, and buckle your pants with one arm? Avelyn is convinced the public bathroom stall represents a jungle adventure-in which all parts must be touched and all crannies explored. And at times licked.
- The part where you have to get everything back into the house. By the time you get back to the house everyone is beyond exhausted. Which means everyone is crying, mostly about silly things like you didn’t let your 3yo take the keys out of the front door. If you immediately try to make the children happy with food and television and toys, your frozen food completely thaws. However, if you try to put all of the food away first, you must do so while listening to angry, hungry, screaming children. It’s a lose/lose.
The point is, like all other activities that involve children, shopping with them is exhausting. So I would really appreciate it if everyone could take a step back from all of the ‘fast-food hate’ and ‘make sure they’re getting enough fruits and vegetables’ suggestions. Because that drive thru at McDonalds is about 1,000x easier.