A stiff drink. That’s what a lady at the grocery store told me I would need after she witnessed my four boys wandering throughout the aisles asking for this and that.
I am usually quite sane at the grocery. That is because I do NOT take my four boys. And today I was reminded of exactly WHY. It went a little something like this:
Before we exited the car, I made an announcement that would shatter the worlds of four hungry little boys: “Along with the regular groceries, you may each choose a small snack.”
What’s wrong with that? These next three words are what’s wrong….
“But no candy….. (candy, candy, candy… can you hear it echoing like some sort of bad horror film?)”
“WHAT?” they cried. And I mean cried. Okay, not with real tears but pretty close.
After this tragic news I headed into the store, along with my crew Eeyore, Grumpy, Charlie Brown and Elmer Fudd (the child who, I am quite sure, wished he had brought a gun to finally kill off Bugs Bunny, which would be me, of course.).
Immediately, I have oranges, apples and cantelope in my cart. Not bad. I’m actually quite proud of my little curmudgeons. Then comes the coconut. “Hmm, maybe we need two,” declares Elmer.
No, I say because I know what happens to coconuts in our house. Smallish children wield largish hammers and strike away until the coconut milk leaks out, at which point one smallish boy runs to get a largish bowl to catch the smallish amount of milk. After milk collection, hammering resumes until the thing splits in half. Everyone takes a smallish bite and exclaims in a loudish voice that it tastes badish.
So no coconuts. But now I see a small gourmet package of figs and a huge bag of pistachios. No to the figs. Yes to a smaller bag of pistachios.
“But the smaller bag is already de-sheeeeeeelled,” cries Charlie Brown. I give in and tell him it would be a good soccer sideline snack. “But I want aaaaaalll of them.” Fine, I say, and walk on.
Next I notice two boxes of cookies from the bakery as I watch Eeyore round the corner with two bags of “Double Stuff Oreos.” One of each, I say. One from the bakery and one Double Stuff. I am wearing thin. Where is my resolve?
Then Elmer finds the snack of all snacks. “I’ve been looking all over for these,” he says.
All over? Like in your bedroom or in your backpack? What, did you browse through the fridge in the teachers’ lounge or at the orthodontist? Did you sneak over to the neighbors house? Because I KNOW you have not been searching at the grocery. You do not go to the grocery because I go to the grocery! and you are not allowed, unless I am having a lapse in judgment which I am clearly having today. So don’t you act like you have driven from Marsh to Whole Foods and everywhere in between to find your little snack.
By now you can tell that I am getting a bit aggravated. But I let Mr. Fudd get his sacred snack – a three pack of ready-to-eat – already in the bun – Ballpark Franks. Yes, I am serious. And yes, he ate them in the car on the way home. Cold. Disgusting. Franks. ’nuff said.
(At 75ish pounds in the 5th grade, he could stand to put on a few pounds so while they’re filled with… uh, well… fillers, I didn’t feel too badly about the purchase.)
I tried to grin and bear the rest of the “I want…Can we get…These are soooo good…please…I said please…you never let us get any….What? Why?…they are not that bad for you…I hate our dentist for saying that about fruit snacks…can this whole box be mine…he already picked something…can I steer the cart…you can’t drive right…moron…he called me a moron…oooh, air fresheners…don’t we need air fresheners…” trip to the grocery. And I thought a stiff drink is exactly what I need.
So the minute we got into the car, the boys formerly known as curmudgeons, put their seatbelts on as I popped open an enormous bottle of…Sunny D (did I really buy that stuff?). I emptied old water bottles rolling under seats and cleaned out a coffee mug I had used at church yesterday.
Before I journey toward home, I exclaim, “Look alive!”, as I hand each of them the totally fake orange drink in the eclectic “glassware” I have found. I figure if I need that stiff drink, they probably need it more. I mean, what’s worse than going to the store thinking you’re going to score some candy and ending up with three cold hot dogs instead?