Grocery shopping is a chore. I know that some people enjoy it, and honestly, I usually don’t mind it too much. Today, though, was one of those shopping trips that have you considering take out for every day of the week.
I prefer to shop by myself; that way, I can focus on my list and make sure to use my coupons. If I have one of the kids with me, extra stuff (usually junk food) ends up in my cart. When all five of us go, it’s just a circus. I planned to go by myself today, but at the last minute, Alex asked if he could go with me. He likes to help me at the store, so I agreed and he happily joined me.
We did fairly well in the produce section; he selected some nice apples and grapes. He looked around for a cookie sample in the bakery, but discovered that they were only offering sugar cookies today, so he decided to wait and eat some cheese from the deli.
Oh, the cheese. That’s where the shopping trip took a nasty turn.
Alex used to eat cheese, then outgrew it (he tends to do that with foods; he’ll eat something and then, for no reason, refuse to eat it anymore). Lately, though, he has been eating the colby jack cheese from the deli. This is something we regularly buy, so that works out well. We went to the deli counter, where he discovered that there was a line; looking back, that could have been the trigger for the meltdown that would soon begin. Fortunately, though, we didn’t wait long, and I ordered our cheese (I use it to make “Mommy Mac” for No Meat Monday). He waited, somewhat patiently, for his shopping snack. For no apparent reason, though, he dropped to the floor when I tried to hand him the cheese, because it wasn’t “all orange”. Ugh. Not ten minutes in the store, and there we were, the center of attention. Thinking quickly, I asked him to show me which cheese he wanted; he pointed out a round swiss, because it was a circle. I pointed out that it wasn’t orange, though, so then he picked out a colby, because it was orange…but it wasn’t round. After putting him back on his feet (I have little tolerance for the flop ‘n drop routine, and I always help him stand back up), we finally found an orange, circle cheese, and I asked for a few slices (since I already stocked up on the colby jack). The lady kindly handed Al a slice, with a hopeful look on her face…but down he went, again. Seriously?!? I was out of patience by then, we had a small audience, and we had barely started on our grocery list. It was time to move on.
I managed to get Al away from the deli, and after giving him a few minutes to bounce back (he didn’t), I hauled him into the back of the cart and went on my merry way.
Al did eventually snap back to his typical self, and helped me finish the shopping. But, when it was time to check out, he wanted to help bag the groceries (the people at the store are always great about letting him help). Today, though, he was too shy to ask if he could help, so I did it for him, but then he wouldn’t take two steps away from me to put things in bags. So, of course, when we were finished checking out, he started in on another tantrum. “Nope,” I told him, and took his hand, leading him out of the store and to the car.
That was the longest, most frustrating shopping trip I’ve had in a long time. I think the long weekend off school is taking a toll on the poor kid. I know for sure that I’ll be doing the shopping on my own next time. Until then, I will enjoy our well-stocked kitchen…and the pint of Graeter’s I threw in the cart mid-tantrum.