Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Absent-Minded Mother Goes to the Grocery Store

It was to be so simple an errand. We had a relatively short list. We zipped, as much as we could zip with the preschooler hoofing it and the toddler in the shopping cart, through the store. We triumphantly loaded our stuff on the conveyer belt, proud that we had had no meltdowns or incidents. In fact, my blood pressure had barely surged at all.

Till I discovered that my wallet wasn't in my purse. Or in the car. It was, I hoped, at home, somewhere.

The very nice cashier stowed my cold purchases in a nearby refrigerated case, and we tore out of the parking lot. Right smack into a rush hour traffic jam.

Once we got home, I ran into the house and found my wallet quickly (thank goodness -- when Allie sets her mind to raid my purse, the contents sometimes end up in the most unlikely places). Back we slogged through the traffic to the store.

Upon releasing Allie from the confines of her carseat, I realized that she had procured a pen at some point (who knew there was a pen in the back seat?). "Allie!" I said, trying to keep calm. "What happened to your face? And your leg?"

"Look, Mommy," she said, pointing to the scribbles now covering her skin. "I have chicken pox!"


Back in the store, we found our cold items, but none of the other stuff. After waiting in line, I asked the cashier if she knew where they were. "Oh. I guess someone restocked them."

Very large sigh.

Keep in mind that I had not the wisdom to get another shopping cart, so as I recollected and juggled the noncold items, I had to corral an extremely busy Allison as she darted hither and yon.

Back to the register, only to find that the line has grown by 8 people. And I was too wimpy to cut in front of them. I was, however, giving a wonderful performance as the frazzled, snappish mother whose children are running more or less amuck. Finally, at long last, we paid for everything, went back to the car, wended our way through the traffic snarls, and arrived home, 2 hours after we first departed for our quick trip to the grocery store.

It is somewhat therapeutic to have written this. You may not feel the same having read it, but thanks for indulging me.