Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Worst Grocery Trip EVER...and why I am very happy about it!

Well, we finally had it. I knew that someday we would because my children are real children. We have always been blessed with excellent behavior in the grocery store(due to tons of practice and preparation in advance), but not on Tuesday. We went to a new grocery without the normal preparation and had multiple meltdowns of the century. And I'm thrilled. Let me explain.

I have been telling my sweet ones that dancing and running in the store will lead to "owies" that will hurt either them or the little old lady they run over. I have finally been vindicated. Andrea did an excellent dance move on the brand new floors and performed a glorious wipe-out. Small wound on her elbow and we were in for a first rate meltdown. Next, Nathan was running to each coupon dispenser screaming "coupon money!" at loud volumes. He shook each dispenser until all the coupons were gone and Andrea quickly joined him still screaming about her wound. The shrieking and behavior were not acceptable to my standards of grocery shopping so I tackled them both while carrying poor traumatized Ethan in the sling. I wish I were kidding or exaggerating. Nope, exact, gospel-truth. I tackled them right by the dairy section and in front of several sneering middle-aged on-lookers. I ignored their un-timely remarks and kept my cool the whole time.

After declaring that we had a first aid kit in the car and that "coupon money" game was officially a bad game that shall never been played again, I took my dual screaming children through the store leaving an entire cart of groceries. I held my head high and calm like I was the Queen in the streets of London. No less than two managers stopped to ask if we were "alright." I smiled calmly knowing my victory in this lovely disaster. "Just fine, thanks." I replied coolly.

We made it to the car, where Ethan was feeling left out and needed nursed. A band-aid for Andrea and a slightly smug discussion from me on the dangers of dancing in the grocery store filled the almost 30 minutes in the van. I actually had the presence of mind to pray. I even hadn't slept for a couple days and I still thought of this. God does speak even to the overly sleep-deprived! We prayed and I used my last ace in my pocket - the red, race car driving grocery cart. The tears dried. Smiles returned. We marched back into the grocery store where the same people stared as we re-filled the cart. I nursed exhausted Ethan in the sling and pulled the huge, almost un-moveable red race car driving cart with my two repentant children in the driving seats.

So, Nathan is still angry that "coupon money" is officially a banned game. Andrea knows that dancing on slick new grocery floors is a bad idea, and I am thrilled that we made it through the "Giant Eagle grocery store disaster" in one piece and with a new sense that what mommy says is really true. The tantrums will come but I have found that if I can keep my composure and ignore what other people say in these moments, I can address my children's needs in a loving and respectful way. Hooray....for once it worked. All the same we're not going to Giant Eagle again for a long time.

Special thanks to my Dad and brother Patrick for inspiring me in creative parenting.

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