Let me first start with a disclaimer. I know there are many women (and men) who often successfully do what I attempted today. I admire those people greatly because clearly I am not one of them. Bill and I both work and the kids go to daycare. When they are home, we equally share the parenting duties. Bill being gone this week has had me going in uncharted waters. I think after today I'm taking my 22 month old and my four month old and heading back to the kiddie pool.
So what is this amazing feat I attempted today? Ready for this?...Going to the grocery store toting the girls without Bill. Yeah, I told you many will guffaw at me; but it was my first time attempting it. It was a complete disaster. It was only out of the kindness of strangers that we all made it home in one piece.
My mistake today was that I decided to put Bailey in the Baby Bjorn so that there would be room in the basket for the groceries. Her infant seat would have taken up the whole basket area. Reagan is also very honed in the senses. She's like a dog. She can sense fear and vulnerability and pounces at that precise moment when you've just become a cat with only three legs. I must have been giving off something that said, "I'm a cat with two legs, one bad eye, no tail, and I can't meow." She was at her peak of performance today. So here's the story...
The parking lot
As I said, I put Bailey in the Baby Bjorn. I was wearing her and holding Reagan's hand while walking in. Reagan decided she didn't want to hold my hand in the parking lot and threw herself on the ground. That forced me to pick her up while Bailey was falling forward and started crying. Reagan was on my hip pitching a fit and I was trying to keep her from hitting Bailey. I ended up putting her back down and picking her up in a football carry under my arm with her arms and legs flailing in protest. I should have just gone back to the car, but I carried on.
Once I finally got Reagan into the store, I was trying to get her into the cart. She again pitched a fit, this time because she wanted the Thomas the Train cart that plays cartoons while you shop. We had to cut her off on those carts several months ago because she figured out how to get out of them through the windshield then roams free in the store. I wasn't about to deal with that so I was trying to get her into the boring, standard cart. She was kicking and pushing back so that I couldn't get her legs in and in the meanwhile she was getting Bailey in the crossfire. Bailey started to cry so I put Reagan down to regroup my strategy on getting her in the cart. Fortunately, a lady took pity on me and picked Reagan up and endured the same kicks and protests and plucks her in as only a parent could do. She even got Reagan buckled in. I thanked her profusely. I should have just gone back to the car, but I carried on.
Reagan of course wanted a cookie and we couldn't get there fast enough for her. She got her free cookie from the bakery and we were set. She was quiet and I was shopping. Things started to go awry when I stopped to get cereal. Of course the cereal was on the bottom shelf so I had to kind of hold Bailey while I bent down to get it. I made the mistake of parking near the shelf so others could get by. While I was getting to the shelf on the bottom, Reagan cleared out a shelf of Cheerios at her level. About ten boxes came crashing on my head and on Bailey. She looks at me innocently and says, "Uh, oh! What happened?" Oh, don't get me started on what happened, kid. Bailey started crying and I kept trying to hold her to keep her head supported while picking up boxes off the floor. Again, another stranger took pity on me and helped me put the boxes back in order.
While I was busy doing that I hear, "Eeewww, it's yucky Mommy!" I look to see what Reagan is talking about. In all of the chaos, she reached behind her and got a hold of the pot roast I stuck in the cart. She was standing there with her thumb still stuck through the pot roast and the package ripped open. So off to produce I went to grab a bag to put the open pot roast in. I should have just abandoned ship at this point and headed to the car, but i didn't.
I had semi recovered from the fallen cheerios, had the open pot roast in a banana bag, and was headed for the dairy when Bailey's reflux came back to haunt us. Bailey had just eaten 30 minutes before that and had a five ounce bottle. The first three ounces sprayed straight ahead, right into Reagan's unsuspecting path. It hit Reagan directly as though a demonic spawn had taken possession of Bailey's body to exact revenge upon Reagan. Reagan looked in horror and then pointed to Bailey and shouted "made a mess! made a mess!" It was then the next two ounces came up and they went all down Bailey and all down me. Did I mention I left the diaper bag in the car to save room? Why would I need it for a quick little shopping run? I headed to the baby section and opened a pack of wipes and tossed about a dozen to Reagan to fend for herself while I cleaned myself up and the now very happy and smiley Bailey.
At that point I was finally ready to cut bait and head the heck out of there. I started to unload the groceries on the belt and at that time Reagan decided to remove her shoes. Off went the first one and she managed to give it a hefty toss that put it into the next checkout's magazine rack. Of course I didn't know that right away. I spent several minutes in that checkout line looking for the lost shoe and about the time I found it the other one came flying my way. The nice lady in line ahead of me seeing all three of us covered in puke and me close to tears hunting for shoes, helped me unload my cart. I think if the cashier could have given me my groceries for free without losing her job she would have, just to get me out of there. I must have looked like a beaten puppy because all kinds of baggers came to help bag the groceries and take us to the car.
I had two important things I needed to buy: milk and formula. The rest was incidental. I forgot the milk and I forgot the formula. We will make do without.
Well, count another store I'll never be able to step foot into again. I'm pretty sure if I ever step foot in that same Publix again I'll find a picture of me, covered in puke and cheerios, carrying my two screaming kids, with a caption that reads, "If you see this woman, promptly escort her out and lock the door. Her baby is capable of spewing up to six feet and the toddler is as destructive as termites to wood. Both are considered highly dangerous."