I recently risked entering the Retail Circle of Hell, otherwise known as the grocery store between 5 and 6 p.m., with my daughters. I’d been home with Miss C, my six-year-old (who was sick), all day, and we’d just picked up her little sister, Miss A, from daycare so it made more sense for me to hit the grocery for a few things for dinner than my husband, who was on the other side of town.
A cookie from the bakery usually keeps them occupied until the frozen foods section and then I make a mad dash to get whatever items are on my list as fast as humanly possible before the sugar hits their blood stream.
We made it to the checkout line in record speed, but then Miss A spotted the restrooms and started doing the “I gotta go, I gotta go NOW” dance.
For the record, I hate that the restrooms at Publix are located at the front of the store in plain sight from all the checkout lines because as soon as Miss A and Miss C see them, they insist they have to pee. They could have peed right before we left the house, but there’s something about the Publix restrooms that’s as enticing as the play zone at McDonalds. I don’t know if they pipe in bubble gum scented oxygen or subliminal messages for free cupcakes with pink sprinkles, but they can’t resist the restrooms there.
As I swiped my debit card, I convinced Miss A she could make it the two miles home to pee, but then I remembered I’d forgotten an ingredient for the recipe I was going to make for her Thanksgiving lunch at daycare today.
I shoved our behemoth car cart full of groceries aside and we headed toward the dairy aisle when I realized I was down one child. Miss A was distracted by a Barbie and the Diamond Castle toy and was lovingly touching the fuchsia box as if she didn’t have enough Barbies at home to start an Olympic volleyball team.
“Miss A, come on, mommy needs to get unsalted butter. Come on! I can’t leave you there!”
Mommy, I can’t. I need to look at this toy.
“Miss A, I can’t leave you. Come on. I’m in a hurry. I want to get home and start dinner and it’s almost 6 o’clock.”
By now, I was starving and I knew they were teetering precariously on the edge of child hunger freak out. We were running out of time! Must. Avoid. Grocery. Store. Meltdown.
Mommy, just a minute; I need to look at this toy, okay?
“Miss A, if you come here now we’ll go use the restroom!”
She came running toward me, I grabbed the butter, paid for it, and we headed to the restrooms.
I’ll spare you the details about how she can never figure out how to unlock the bathroom stall and refuses to let anyone help her unlock it, but it’s why a five-minute grocery run with the girls turns into forty-five minutes.
Good times at the grocery store, y’all!