It starts with thinking that goes something like this: ?I just need a few things. I’ll take the kids to the local market and we’ll grab dinner at the cafe there. It’ll be fun. Efficient. I’ll have two helpers and bribe them with a treat. Plus, I have a list.On the list: avocados, snap peas, clementines, tomatoes, strawberries, ground turkey, milk, cheese, almond milk, almonds, coffee, mac 'n cheese, canned peaches, granola bars.
This is magical thinking, really. You see…
On the receipt: Smart Puffs, fifteen bucks' worth of granola bars (three boxes), Sea Salt Caramel gelato, frozen broccoli, cheese, almond milk, a frozen pizza, a green Camelbak water bottle, a magazine purchased for $5.95 (because its coverline promised less stress), a discount for remembering shopping bags, a $2 donation to the Humane Society.
And here’s how it all might have gone down:
5:58 pm: Arrive at store.
5:58 - 6:02 pm: Children scuffle over who gets to push the cute, kid-sized cart; a decision is made to simply take two. (Everybody wins!)
6:02 - 6:04 pm: Like drunken mad men, two kids steer two mini carts in two different directions—one toward racks of wine; the other into shelves lined with spice-filled glass jars.
6:04 pm: One cart is “returned”— as close as possible to the Do Not Enter automatic doors. (Apologies!)
6:05 - 6:09 pm: You run into a friend and make small talk; the kids conspire to collect random items into the cart.
6:10 pm: You allow tantruming Kid #2 to go ahead and carry the green water bottle he is coveting through the store (with no intention of actually purchasing it).
6:11 - 6:15 pm: Bathroom break #1 (chronologically and otherwise).
6:15 - 6:20 pm: Kids select dinner, then precariously balance cafe trays stacked with veggies, rice, sloshing soup and chocolate cupcakes.
6:20 - 6:35 pm: You and Kid #1 eat dinner.
6:35 - 6:50 pm: You and Kid #1 play word games while Kid #2 “finishes his dinner”—more slowly than anyone has ever eaten seven grains of rice before.
6:50 - 6:55 pm: You allow the children to consume treats before any real shopping happens.
6:55 pm - 7:15 pm: Kid #1 consumes his cupcake in less than five minutes. Kid #2 continues to lick, smash and smear chocolate all over his face, the table and the chair for another 15.
7:15 - 7:20 pm: Clean up! While discussing what goes into the compost, the recycling, and the dish bin, you twice fish a metal fork from the trash.
7:20 - 7:30 pm: Bathroom break, #2 (chronologically and otherwise).
7:30 - 7:42 pm: Haphazard hurried shopping. You concede to purchase approximately 40% of items proposed, 99% of which are entirely unnecessary.
7:42 - 7:45 pm: You pay for all items, including the green water bottle you intended to return and two extra boxes of granola bars that mysteriously appeared. A $2 donation is made to the Humane Society after Kid #1 shuffles a bunch of cards with cute cats on them.
In the car: You realize you forgot to buy wine.
It’s the New Year, and I have been doing a lot of thinking. I want to say, with all of my heart and all of my soul, that I am sorry. I want apologize for anything (and everything) I have said or done that made you feel less-than or sad or small.
This year I am resolving, with a twist. There will be no diet, exercise, less swearing and drinking, "more church" kind of resolutions. This year I'm simply letting go of the things that are just not productive nor conducive to my life. This is the year I give up several of my hard-earned mom-related titles.
Surround yourself and your kids with piles of magazines and update vision boards for the fresh, new year to come. If nothing else came from this evening together, we exercised our creativity and bonded while reenacting some of the over-the-top advertisements we came across.