Putting Off The Inevitable

Grocery shopping has been high on the priority list for a while now, but we have managed to find meat in the deep freeze hiding behind forgotten vegetables and old bags of soup just enough times to delay it. Because, as everyone knows, grocery shopping with kids is often times annoying as fuck if not a downright nightmare. Occasionally, the stars will align and all three will be in good moods and willing to help and infighting is at a minimum, but then Neptune rises in my anus and it all goes to hell. So yes, we should have done it before now but we haven’t. That led to both laziness and creativity, including breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast. It is now Sunday and 5yo is heading to school tomorrow while I try to keep the big boys occupied and not complaining about the lack of fresh food. Because really, that is the going concern right now – the fresh stuff. We’re out of fruit except for 2 aging mandarin oranges, and some canned things that the boys refuse to eat unless they are baked into something and then lied to about the contents of, whereas we usually have apples, pears, bananas and a whole bag of aging mandarin oranges.
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So we undertook a food cataloging activity and there’s actually heaps of food that 5yo can take for lunch tomorrow, and provided that I actually do some baking, there’s heaps of food that the rest of us can eat as well. And everyone knows better than to complain about eating eggs at every other meal now that the birds are putting out in earnest again. At the very least I have bought myself a day and maybe I go shopping with two out of three antagonists tomorrow and if not, the I take them all to Costco and bribe them all with new books. Frankly, that’s not the end of the world, and if it is? Then there is always our emergency cache of canned oranges and 2 minute noodles.

Husband is a helper, too.

Shopping with kids blows, but they know how I roll; they know what they can get away with, and I know what else they will try and get away with. I have a list; sometimes 6.5yo writes his own or rewrites mine. And sometimes, if I forget the list, we can all think about what we (want) need to make a new one. Everyone can help get the fresh stuff, and even 3yo can grab bits and pieces – though is he not great at putting them into the trolley gently.
Husband, on the other hand, tries to be helpful, but is, in fact, the opposite. He took the shopping bags out of the car this morning, and while it was a kind hearted mistake – he was clearing my seat for me to sit down – it was the first sign that shopping with Husband in tow was my mistake.
He wants to be helpful by pushing the trolley, but that is my job and gives me a little bit of zen so I don’t throttle him or the kids among the melons. It also lets the boys know that when I pull over to the side of the aisle, we are !stopping!, so “this is our area”, and then everyone can help get what we need. Unless your arms are too short to reach (past the top of your own head) down into the trolley and place items gently, in which case you have your first tantrum. Or unless Husband has grabbed whatever it is already, and not left any chance for the boys to help. Hmmm. Insert evil eye here.
He questions the things on my list, and questions my brand choices. I have my reasons, but not the patience or time it would take to explain them. Eyebrow raise challenge.
He disagrees with how I keep the boys occupied (sometimes I buy them snacks or promise them a matchbox car), disagrees with what I buy or why I buy it *see end of previous paragraph*, and gets fussy if it all takes too long.
He is worse than the kids, and honestly, I’d take the kids shopping without him any day, rather than have him come along and cry about it *see first sentence*. But perhaps if I am better prepared next time, I will have treats for him when he behaves, a snack, and maybe, a car. I know he wants to help, just like they do, and while he isn’t necessarily shaking the box of taco shells like 6.5yo, or dropping the fruit like 3yo, I should have him bringing back things from the other side of the store, at least so I have some downtime between his little peeves and so he can walk out his sillies for a few minutes, and still have the satisfaction of helping.
And a nap afterwards, of course.
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