Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Shopping Story

Once upon a time there was a Mom who went shopping at Target with her two young boys. And when she left the store she sent her husband this message:

"I am never going shopping with these boys again".

You see, a simple trip to the store for diapers and milk is never quite that simple. It begins with the older boy insisting on riding in the biggest cart the store offers. The kind where both boys sit behind the cart and help Mommy "steer". This is great except that it doesn't turn down most aisles and one of the straps is broken, so big brother keeps leaning over and hurting little brother. Little brother retaliates. Mom steers the cart with one hand while separating the boys with the other.

Mom decides to try on one shirt in the dressing room, after spending 15 minutes maneuvering the huge shopping cart into the handicap stall. Once she has the shirt on she can't see herself in the mirror because her boys and the cart are blocking her view. She gives up and moves on to the diaper aisle.

On the way there the little brother is no longer distracted by the assortment of snacks Mommy has been shoving into his mouth to keep him quiet. He starts screeching and screaming. This little boy is LOUD. Passing customers are staring, but the Mom averts her eyes and continues on, trying in vain to hush both boys. Nobody can hear her over the racket.

She gets the diapers (they are on sale! small victory) and steers the ship over to the milk. Along the way her boys knock as many food items off the shelves as they can. Mom takes away their toys, which is followed by even louder howling. She is pretty sure the adjacent stores can now hear her children. What was she looking for? Oh yes, the milk.

At this point Mom has already gotten the "You sure have your hands full" comment from 3 separate strangers.

Mom gets into line and remembers 5 things she forgot to purchase. She is too tired to get out of line and go look for said items. Besides, she's pretty sure one of her sons pooped his diaper. By the time her items are being rung up, younger son has reached his limit. The Mom unstraps him and attempts to hold him on one hip while searching in her purse for money. Instead she finds cracker crumbs and a toy car. Oh yes, and half a rotten banana from two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, older brother keeps threatening to climb down from his seat. The Mom sternly tells him NO multiple times. But the minute she turns her back he attempts to climb from his seat forward into the shopping cart basket. Except he had taken off his shoes about two minutes after they arrived at the store, and he isn't as agile without them on. He slips and comes thisclose to landing on the floor on his head. The cashier lets out a loud gasp and the teenage girls in line behind the Mom are staring in disbelief. They look at each other and make a silent vow never to have children.

The Mom fills her basket with her bags and pushes the cart out to the car. She is still holding the youngest boy, who rips the sunglasses off of her head and throw them into the street, popping the lens out of them for about the 99th time since Mom bought them. Once at the car the Mom spends 10 minutes trying to strap her youngest into his car seat. He screams and writhes as though he is being tortured. Mom breaks out in a sweat. When she finally has him buckled in, she turns around to discover that her older son has pushed himself off of the car with his hands, and he and the shopping cart he is sitting in have rolled halfway into the parking lot. The Mom races to grab him.

Everyone is safely in the car and Mom is on the verge of a breakdown. She pulls herself together, tells herself that the prior events are really quite comical, and that perhaps she should take the advice of others and "cherish" these fleeting moments.

When they are almost home her older son suddenly asks her why she didn't buckle him into his carseat. The Mom rushes to pull over to the side of the rode and buckles in her son, thanking God for protecting them from an accident. She sends up a quick prayer for patience, kindness, wisdom....anything that will help her with these boys.

And that is when she texts her husband. And vows never to go shopping with her children again.

Except that vow is broken only two days later, when they run out of bananas. They are the only fruit her older son will eat, so they are a necessity to keep in the house. Mom doesn't want to go back to the store, and considers scrounging around in her purse for that 2-week old banana to feed to her son, but wisely decides against that plan. See, God is already blessing her with wisdom.

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