01 July 2009

The Brave One

Yesterday, I took all three kids to the grocery store. For the first time. Ever.

In the past, I would get my mother-in-law to look after the kids once a week so I could make a quick food run. And this past year, I took J-man in the mornings while the twins were in school.

But this summer? There just hasn't been a good time. Ty-man has made quick after-work runs or one of us will pick up the necessities on the weekend. But to sit down, plan out a menu, and make a thorough weekly trip? Haven't done it. Because I've had all three kids.

So, after two weeks of eating out every night (You want Chili's? AGAIN?!?) and realizing that:

1) That's so very expensive, B) That's so very unhealthy, and iii.) That's so very tiresome, I broke open Recipe Manager, picked out a couple of recipes, loaded up the kids, and headed out to Kroger.

And that's when it happened. Once I herded all three little ones across the parking lot and loaded them into one of those carts that can hold two kids in the rear of the cart (near me) and two more kids in the plastic car (Bacteria! Viruses! PLAGUE!) attached to the front (Bubba's hour-long monologue included Beep! Beep! Look out!), we breezed in and began our plan-of-attack. And then the comments hit me left and right:

Wow! You've got quite the little tribe, there!
Oh, look at you! You're just so brave!
How do you do it with three little ones?
Are they triplets?
Really? The boy and girl are twins?!? I thought the two boys were twins!
What a brave lady!

The twins/triplets stuff didn't bother me. I've been dealing with that from day one with the twins' births and later when J-man got as big as his older brother.

What drove me nuts were the braves and the how do you do its. I mean, seriously? Am I the only person in the northwest metro-Atlanta 'burbs who goes grocery shopping with three toddlers? Really? And I'm not brave. Not at all. My sphincter was on high alert the whole time, waiting for one or more of them to lose their minds (which did happen with J-man when I took him out of the car so Miss-Miss could have a turn - oy).

But it's not bravery, not by any stretch of the imagination. It's no choice. It's either this or buy interest in the local Captain D's franchise. And I'm just not interested in getting fish batter all up in my hair.


HEATHER said...

Well honey, it will get easier.
One thing I could suggest to help you if you don't already have one, is a large freezer. I try to stock up when Krogers has pork tenderloins, beef roasts, etc. on sale and throw them in the freezer so I will have things on hand for when I don't feel like going to the store.
Also once the twins start reading you can divide your list and send them down the aisle while you wait and watch them. The worst thing for me is being patient enough to let Paddy do little tasks like this.

Bubblewench said...

Hey, I'm impressed! 3 kids at the store is a handfull!

Take a look at Schwans. They are a home delivery service, and everything is frozen (http://www.schwans.com/). We have a freezer we keep stocked with all kinds of stuff to avoid the store, mainly cause we hate shopping. We only have to shop about once a months for papergoods and milk and bread. We do Schwans once every 3 or 4 months. And everything we have had has also been delicioius. Easy to make too. :)

Also, another great site for recipes is http://allrecipes.com/ There you can keep your own recipie box, adjust meals to the number of people too.

It's hard to keep meal planning and making sure you always have stuff. Good luck!

That One said...

As someone who doesn't have children, I think you're brave. Seriously. I don't know how anyone can look after one child in a store, let alone three! But I'm not sure I'd be so bold as to actually SAY that to you in a store.

Regardless, it sounds as if your first foray into shopping was a success!

(By the way - it's great that folks actually speak to you in the store. Up here in Michigan, you probably would've just gotten really funny looks.)

Unknown said...

Hmm ... I think you'd be surprised at how many people never take their kids grocery shopping. I rarely see anyone at the grocery store with more than two kids - even during the summer. So, yes, you're brave. I feel brave when I just take my two!

I second the extra freezer suggestion. We have a small one in the garage. It only kicks on once a day, so it uses hardly any electricity. Lots of frozen veggies, meat, breads, etc. I don't know how I lived without it!

Expat No. 3699 said...

Brave? Maybe.
Crazy? Most definitely.

Just kidding. You just do what ya gotta do.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I do think you are brave. It takes a lot of effort, planning, and caffeine to make a run to the grocery store with kids. Even the best laid plans go to shit, so when faced with such a daunting task, I think brave is definitely part of it. But, I hear what you are saying. LOL

sybil law said...

You are my hero.

Annie said...

I understand no choice... Tim regularly works 12 hour days, and rarely get his full day of as planned. I've almost given up on taking my 2 at the same time. The 5yo won't stay in the buggy and the 3yo is right on his tale. Bribery no longer works either. Do what I did Monday - leave for the grocery at 9pm... The kids are in bed, the store is mostly empty and best of all - you get a few sacred minutes to yourself. BTW, I'm really increasingly convinced that we're long lost sisters!

hello haha narf said...

i just love you

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Other Heather - Oh, I like that idea. I'll get the kids to do all the work! Genius!

Bubblewench - My mom always did Schwans. Maybe I should finally check that out.

Tuli - It was a success. And I was surprised!

Melio - We have a freezer, I guess I just need to make it work for me!

Employee No. 3699 - Most definitely nutters.

NATUI - Brave + Caffeine = Hopped up crazy mom!

Sybil Law - And you? The wind beneath my wings. :P

Annie - Dude. I would come back for a HS reunion just so we could catch up and reconnect that sisterhood. :)

Hello Haha Narf - I just love you, too! :)

Military Mom said...

Hell girl, I'm impressed that this was your first time! How old are your twins? I can't really remember a time I've ever gone to the store without my kids (not by choice, mind you). Now that they are older it isn't so bad, but I still get frustrated. As a mom of 3, I know where you're coming from and I feel your pain! And BTW, I just love you also. Thanks for being such a faithful friend of my blog all this time.

A Free Man said...

Last time I took my one kid to the grocery store I lost him. So, yeah, I would say brave.

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

Even if it was out of necessity, anyone who has attempted to bring kids grocery shopping understands that it was very brave.

I hated going to the store with the kids when they were younger and mine weren't as many and as close in age;) Now they can be helpful - Sarah can even read labels now. I do tend to get distracted with them there and either forget things or buy extra. BUT, it will get easier.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Military Mom - OK. I'm glad I've started taking them. I had really avoided it but having them all there wasn't all bad and it made me get it done quicker to avoid the meltdowns. And? I wouldn't quit reading you just because you aren't writing as often. Life happens, hon. To you? In a big way. I'll be there whenever you post and need to vent. :)

A Free Man - Hee hee! You lost him?!? For some reason, that makes me smile. :)

MommyCosm - I know it will, but I know I'll go from, "Quit melting down!" to "Quit whining!" when they get to the teen years and would rather be anywhere else than the grocery store.

Beverly said...

YOu know why cant people keep their mouths shut? Seriously, HERE I get is he your only one? DO you want anymore children. WOW He must be spoiled To which my dear son says NO I DIDNT GET _______________. Its crazy!

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Beverly - No. Way. People ask you that?!? Nice. So very intrusive. People just need to keep to themselves. Seriously.

Gypsy said...

I do think you're brave, but to say that to a stranger in the grocery store? Interesting...

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Gypsy - That's what I thought. And I had just walked in there. It was surreal.