It was one of those days where the kids had really taxed me. I was just so very tired of everyone needing my help and attention, all at once. I would hear: “Mom! Mom! Mooooooom!” And then, almost simultaneously, “Mommy!!! Come here!!” Kids in all different parts of the house seemed to need me. When one crisis was narrowly averted, another seemed to present itself right away.
I won’t say for certain, but at one point I may or may not have been found somewhere in the pantry, covering my ears, locked in the fetal position.
After several hours of this, I made the horrible mistake of taking my younger two grocery shopping. What can I say? When you need groceries, you need groceries.
Taking little kids to the grocery store is getting really old. I have always balked at those grocery delivery services because of the cost, but those new services that let you pull up and pay at the curb after someone else has gathered and bagged the groceries for you are getting more appealing every day. My sanity might be worth the $4.
Much of the details of this particular shopping trip are now fuzzy in my memory, because I have tried to suppress them. I do remember the kids fighting over what side of the cart they should get to hold on to, and one child crying over whether the other child (now in the cart) should be able to hold the raspberry yogurt, because in her mind that was her raspberry yogurt. I remember the two-year-old running away, and finally locating him fingering sweet potatoes. I remember thinking, “At least he wasn’t lobbing them across the aisle! Thank goodness.”
I also remember me, haphazardly tossing items into the cart, frantically trying to finish shopping so I could put the whole nightmare behind me. As I raced to the register, I prayed that no one in the store recognized me, because I was so embarrassed by how bad my kids were acting.
And then, while standing in line to pay at the register, my two-year-old snaps out of his Mr. Hyde portrayal and suddenly turns into Dr. Jekyll. He says, sweetly, “Wow, we have lots of food in that cart.”
There is a silver lining in everything, I guess. We do have enough food to eat; that is true.
I had planned to attend a local bible study that evening but, to be honest, the only thing I wanted to do, after my awful day, was get the dishes done and curl up in bed with a book, or Netflix, or something else that would be quiet, predictable, and not ask for anything in return.
My husband took two kids to the bible study, I put one kid to bed, and my oldest daughter stayed home.
As I scrubbed dishes and tried to unwind in the [finally] quiet kitchen, my ten-year-old daughter brought in a book someone had given her: Where the Sidewalk Ends, poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein. She was laughing and said, “Mom, you’ve gotta listen to some of these poems.”
My daughter read on and on (there were a lot of dishes in the sink) and we laughed and laughed and laughed. Our favorites were Smart, True Story, and Boa Constrictor. If you need some levity in your life, look them up on the internet. Right now. They are funny!
Or, better yet, find a really cute and sweet ten-year-old girl, whom you love, to read them aloud to you. It just might be the medicine you need at the end of your day.
Kids…the highs are really high and sometimes the lows are very low, but you know you ultimately wouldn’t want it any other way.
Photo Credit: Photo by Amy Koons.