I really didn’t want to make my weekly trek to the grocery store on Monday. My meal plan for the week was nonexistent, and I knew I would just wander the aisles aimlessly with an antsy toddler in tow. Wouldn’t it be lovely if someone could do my shopping for me and deliver it to my home?
Wait. That service exists. It’s called Peapod. I did a quick survey of friends to see if anyone had used and liked the service. All votes point to yes. So I started to create some semblance of a shopping list to fill my online cart.
I just couldn’t do it. I had maybe five things in the cart, nothing of any substance for any dinner, and I still needed to pick out some ice cream. I don’t buy ice cream all that often, and I really wanted to stand in front of the freezer to make my selection. So after work, I hauled Laura to the grocery store for our weekly ritual of sweet conversation, mild tantrums, and bribery.
IT WAS AWFUL. One of the worst grocery trips of my life. I was completely lost without my shopping list, and Laura was a two-year-old at her worst. We started the trip by opening our unneeded purchase #1: a package of “Monkey Ogurt” (Dannon smoothies), which Laura promised to sip carefully as we didn’t have a straw. By the time we got to the milk fridge, she had dumped most of the smoothie down her shirt. She was beyond distressed by the cold, wet, sticky feeling. We high-tailed it to the baby aisle for unneeded purchase #2: baby wipes, so I could strip my child in the grocery store, wipe of her stomach, and clean her shirt to the best of my abilities.
While we were there, I grabbed unneeded purchase #3: a package of take ‘n’ toss cups with straws, so Laura could use a straw for a second attempt at Monkey Ogurt. Meanwhile, I still only have bananas, grapes, yogurt and milk in my cart. I had promised Laura some “marshamallows” as potty training bribery on our way to the store, so we backtracked to the nuts and candy aisle for a bag, which I let Laura hold as we trudged back across the store to grab something – anything - for dinner. Just as we’re nearing the end of this abysmal trip, just as I’m starting to see the light, Laura scolds me for not opening the marshamallows. Cue tantrum. So now I have a yogurt-covered toddler screaming in the bread aisle over an unopened bag of marshamallows. Obviously, I cave and open increasingly unneeded purchase #4: the damn marshamallows. I still haven’t bought anything useful to make for dinner. We obviously need quick and dirty tonight. I head to the Stouffers section, and pick up a veggie lasagna and a chicken with broccoli rice casserole. I let Laura choose, but she says chicken and broccoli while she points to the lasagna. I put mostly unneeded purchases #5 & 6: two frozen dinners, in the cart.
We make it to the ice cream aisle, where I am silently cursing myself for not ordering our groceries through Peapod. Why, I ask myself, why do we really need ice cream? I put normally unneeded purchases #7 & 8: two pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, in the cart. Laura is back in a good mood, and somehow overlooks this source of more unneeded treats – thank GOD. We make it to the line for the register, where I am joking with Laura about how silly she is. Apparently, I strike a nerve.
I NOT A SIWWY GOOSE! GET AWAY MOMMY! I DON”T WIKE YOU! GET AWAY!
Ouch. Really, really ouch. I know she’ll say that to me and about me hundreds (thousands) more times throughout her life. When she becomes a frustrated big sister in a few weeks. When she’s a tween and wants to do so much more than I’m ready for. When she’s an angsty teen. When she heads off to college. We she’s planning her wedding… but ouch did it hurt hearing those words from my daughter so young.
We wound up spending $86 on absolute crap – half of which we wouldn’t have needed at all if I hadn’t attempted the groceries that night. I used to love my weekly shopping ritual with Laura. I’d bribe her with a snack, as we meandered through the aisles adding the items on our list to our cart. Laura would babble and chatter, I would laugh. Lately, there has been less laughter and more tears. I think maybe we need to put our mother-daughter shopping trips on hold for a little while. I’ll be trying Peapod next week.
I can’t begin to imagine what it will be like prom dress shopping in a few years.