Friday, November 13, 2009

Grocery Trip

I had the opportunity to get out of work early this afternoon and spend some quality time with the kids. As I've done before, I decided to take both Sweetpea and the Little Guy to the grocery store. Cheap entertainment, right?

The store has these cool grocery carts designed like spaceships with a double seat, two seat belts, and two steering wheels. Thankfully, both kids wanted to ride (well, Andrew didn't exactly have a say in the matter) so that made things easier. The only downside of the carts is that they are like Chevy Suburbans -- they're absurdly long and difficult to navigate. I definitely catch the glares from the people with the new mini grocery carts zipping around the aisles. I guess it's karma -- I commute in our Mini Cooper, zipping past gas guzzling SUVs every chance I get.

The other great thing about the store is the free samples. There's usually no shortage of fruits, cold cuts, cheese, and bread (with dips) to snack on. Elizabeth needs to get the samples herself. Andrew was shoveling samples into his mouth like a madman. The turkey breast particularly fascinated him. His eyes got wide, his jaw dropped open, he lurched forward in his seat reaching out to grab he rolled turkey breast on the toothpick. I think he even drooled a little. I tossed the toothpick and gave him the meat. He smashed it into his mouth and gobbled it down. That's my boy. Andrew just ate whatever I handed to him - he didn't care. He was just loving all the snacks. Which helped keep him occupied and less interested in trying to escape from the cart.

Elizabeth must have had about 4 pieces of turkey. She loves the stuff. She wanted more bread - a specific kind of course, not just any bread will suit the Sweetpea's taste. Problem is the basket was empty. "It's OK, Daddy. We can wait." We weren't in a rush so we circled back around a couple times but they didn't put any more of her bread out. The woman behind the counter was probably like "Move it along already, Dad." So we did.

We had a good time and got some necessary shopping done. The cracker/snack aisle was the most challenging. E kept picking up boxes of cookies, crackers, etc. and wanted to buy them. I have her trained however.

"Daddy, I want to buy this. Is it on sale?"
(I check tag on shelf.) "Sorry, baby girl, but it's not on sale."
"Ok." (finds another box) "How about this one?"
If we can't find something on sale, we usually just move on. It works.

The only real hitch was at the end of the trip. This particular store offers kids free cookies and balloons. It's not possible to leave without getting them. (I have tried - it's just not worth the trouble) E grabbed a handful of cookies - "One for me, one for Andrew, one for Mommy." "What about me?" E grabs another cookie. "One for Daddy!" Not sure if Mommy got her cookie. Andrew definitely did not because, as E said, "He's a baby. He can't have cookies." Not true - they're harmless sugar cookies. So I let her get away with the scam.

We only got one balloon mostly because I didn't think Andrew would know what to do with it. He was fascinated with E's balloon though. He would look up at it with eyes wide and reach out his hands as we were getting loaded into the car. I had them both in and I stepped away for 5 seconds to move the cart to a proper location. I come back to the car to see Elizabeth full on sobbing - tears running down her red face. Andrew was sitting there happily, playing with E's balloon. The horror! She definitely can be a little drama queen when she wants to be. After trading the balloon out for a bad of toys, all was right in the world, and we drove home.

I need to find a way to do this at least once a month. It's good quality time.

- Rich