Friday, October 3, 2008

Grocery Store Hijinks

I am in love with my grocery store. I love my Hannaford so much, that I actually used to do my shopping at midnight when I got out of work, just so I could relax and spend more time there. There was just something fantastic about being there with no one around but the slightly scary shelf-stocking guys (I overheard a couple of them talking one night about how they'd recently been sprung from jail) and the blasting satellite radio with awesome tunes from the 90's (I could totally rock out in the cereal aisle if I wanted...which I may have done...once...) And the lone checkout guy, who I knew was probably working this dreaded shift to avoid annoying moms like me, who insist on bringing 87 coupons and pull all the gallons of milk out of the cooler looking for the one with latest expiration date.

Anyhow, I no longer work the evening shift, so my moonlit shopping excursions have come to a halt. And you know what that means...Shopping With Kids. Everyone knows Shopping With Kids is like running up and down the aisles with a ticking time bomb in your cart. It takes a clear head, calm nerves, and occasionally some personal protective equipment. Our grocery has some neat perks like racecar shopping carts and free cookies in the bakery, so it's a pretty sweet outing, and the mere mention of the grocery store has my kids struggling to get their shoes and coats on to get out the door. They love going, still not sure why, since the thrill usually wears off at about Aisle 4 when they've finished their free cookie and start filling the cart with eighteen varieties of Dijon mustard.

So we had this little event unfold earlier this week, while taking a family trip (first mistake) to the Hannaford. It was Devon's week to cook dinner and he needed to gather his ingredients, and quite frankly, I don't trust him to go alone. I could send him to the store with a shopping list that is alphabetized, color-coded, arranged by aisle and food group on an Excel spreadsheet, and yet he would still manage to buy the wrong things. I would have on the list an item such as a jar of Smucker's Sugar Free Strawberry Jam. My adorable husband would buy Welch's Strawberry Jelly in a squeeze bottle, because in his mind, the two items are basically the same thing. Many of you probably understand that bringing your husband along to the grocery store is really no different than Shopping With Kids. When you get to the checkout counter and start unloading your stash, you begin pulling out items that you know for certain weren't on your list. You look suspiciously at your hubby, who is gazing nonchalantly at the newest US Weekly, and then at your kids, who by now are hanging upside down out of their racecar harnesses, singing "Happy Birthday" at the top of their lungs.

Wasabi mustard? Devon, and his weirdo sandwich fillings.

Grey Poupon, creamy AND whole grain variety...thanks, kids.

Double-Stuf Oreos? Hmm, could be any one of them.

A two-pound bag of candy corn?? Oh wait a minute...maybe that's mine...

So our massive cartful of groceries is now teetering precariously on the conveyor belt. I whip out my coupons and my reusable shopping bags, feeling pretty good that we are in the homestretch and survived the trip with no major catastrophes. Then suddenly I hear a splat. One of my delicious Weight Watchers Amaretto Cheesecake yogurts has apparently leaped to its death off the conveyor and splattered all over the floor. (I guess it decided that perishing was preferable to coming home with us.) They called the cleanup crew, I'm apologizing (for what? For not using my Spidey skills and jumping over the racecar to snatch the container out of mid-air?), Seamus is now sobbing because he spotted the Oreos and wants them RIGHT NOW, and in the midst of this, no one is watching Grace, who decides that she is going to help us pack the rest of the groceries. My big helper! My dainty little princess picks up in her bare hands a gallon of skim milk (she is freakishly strong) in an effort to get it in the cart...and drops it. Yup. A gallon. Of milk. All. over. the. floor. I look at the poor front-end manager who had already rushed over for the yogurt incident, and I almost laugh and cry at the same time, saying, "You're not going to believe what just happened."

Hey, at least the cleaning crew was already right there. Did I mention how much I love Hannaford? Hannaford rocks. Love you guys. Please let us come back.


Mike said...

Hahahaha... Yep, going shopping with the kids can be a serious adventure! The plea to let you back was hilarious, too... I don't get the problem with the jelly though - you're saying they're not the same? LOL

Greene Family said...

So funny! I agree with Mike - your plea to go back was hilarious!

Kate Reyes said...

I love this story! I seriously just laughed out loud while reading it. Last week I actually went to the grocery store by myself...better than the spa!

Ellen said...

haha.. I have totally enjoyed reading this post! Love the blog look too! I'm about ready to start my own blogging.. just need a little more time..haha.. anyway.. what's life without drama? I'm looking forward to some day relating with my own kids! for now my niece it a ton of fun!

Kim said...

Emily-this post was SOOOOO funny. I am laughing over here. First of all the whole free cookie thing-yeah that is finished in like 2.4 seconds so I have to make sure I am armed with a snack pack or Preston last week helped himself to a banana. And I love Seamus screaming about the unopened Oreos-gosh these boys are alike.
You should send this to the Times Union-it would be the funniest article!

melkrivdo said...

That is why I will jump at any chance I can get to go alone to the grocery store. I finish faster and get EVERYTHING that was needed on the list.

Destini said...

Oh, I so dread the grocery store and everything about it! I go to great lengths to not take the kids or John with me when I go - at least having some "me time" makes the trip not too bad! Your post is too funny!

Caden and Mommy said...


Too funny! I know what you mean about bringing the husband! It's sad when I look forward to going to Target ALONE after Caden has gone to bed. Such simple pleasures!


Lisa said...

OK. So, it's official - that was a Reality TV moment. If there are any producers scrolling blogs, you'll be getting a call any minute now. It's both horrific and downright hilarious at the same time!

mandymomof2 said...

I almost peed my pants from laughing so hard. I have to say that has never happened to me.
Our moment in the store is the fight with Andrea to sit in the cart. She insists that she has to help with the shopping.

Aren't kids great!