Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mama Trauma at the Grocery Store

Today I accidently made the mistake of thinking I could go grocery shopping. What?! Now, I've been at the store, pre-baby, minding my own beeswax but harmlessly noticing the panic stricken faces of moms trying to rein in screaming, red faced, frighteningly loud children & I've thought to myself in those instances one of three thoughts: 1) My children will never behave like that. I mean, really - I am one of 7 children and we never threw tantrums at the store. 2) Oh, that poor mom, she probably thinks we're all judging her. 3) This is definetely going to happen to me in the future.

So here's the thing, I thought crazy child ruckus in the grocery store started at like, age 2 +. Years. Not 2 + months. Hello future, welome to my life.

So after a three hour trip that yielded nothing more than 1/3 of the groceries on my list, 2 bags of pharmacudicals: twinkie style, and a sleep resistent baby I realize my experience is neither unique or especially high on the mommy stress level thermometer. I know this because I was sharing the diaper aisle with aprox. 4 other moms who returned my look of "Dear God, Help Me" with bored yawns. I guess the whole grocery shopping / baby crying / lots of stress outing is nothing new in a typical mom day but forgive me, I'm new, naive, and neurotic.

Baby J is almost 3 months old and up until last week, he happily dozed away in his car seat as it snugly sat atop the cart, while I took my time examining apples for the slightest bruise, contemplated frozen pizza selections, and made really important decisions regarding which magazine to buy: US Weekly, In Touch, or STAR (good pics but their stories ring false about 97% of the time in comparison to 48% of the time in the higher calibur celeb-trash options). Apparently my leisurely trips to the local Freddy's filled with day dreaming, aisle cruising, cell phone talking freedom is over with a capital O baby stop screaming.

Instead of leaving with my grocery list checked off, I left with this list:

-Crying baby due to hatred of car seat placement on grocery cart (all I have to say is: not all carts are made alike, clearly) If baby could talk, his point would be something like "It's not at the right ANGLE mom." CHECK.

-Fed baby horrible 'ready made' (ie: extra gross) formula out of cheapest bottle available, both of which had to be purchased about 7 minutes after entering the store. CHECK.

-Sat in depressing store cafeteria ready to launch into my, "Well, actually I am breastfeeding, TYVM, but I have all sorts of circumstances going on that make it necessary for me to feed my teenie tiny baby this chemical juice every once in awhile so back off" speech in case any Portland type moms approached me with a lecture on the benefits of breastfeeding. (I'm sorry but I left my nipple shield at home, hate nursing in public, baby cluster feeds so I've already had him at the boob for hour and a half before failed grocery outing, hence its formula or nothing, the list goes on...) CHECK.

-Recieved un-asked-for advice by other well meaning moms that I secretly found helpful but had to give them resentful, tepid thank yous because news flash: I actually don't want to engage with you for 10 minutes about my baby screaming WHILE MY BABY IS SCREAMING. CHECK.

-Mental note made, yes it is a good idea to drape blanket over car seat so baby is not blinded by supermarket lights. Other moms: 1 point. CHECK

-Fed baby J a second time. (1st time did not seem to calm screaming) This time in the more comfortable environment of the furniture section, fearfully feeding in a faux leather armchair, ready to defend my crisis in case I was yelled at for dripping formula. CHECK

-Attempted to fix 'angle issue' by placing car seat & baby in the actual cart thus having no room for groceries, subsequently piling bread, meat, and emergency junk food in baby's lap. Fear of judgment ensued, avoided making eye contact with other shoppers. CHECK

-Rehearsed sad story in my head to tell husband in detail about The time I tried to Grocery Shop (I knew I shouldn't have attempted to leave the house! Sob!) while he was off superbowling it up on the other side of the state, leaving me to imagine I am a single mom and very put upon for a whole Saturday and half of Sunday. CHECK

-Frantically started throwing crap off the shelves into the dwindling spaces tucked here and there in my shopping cart for fear I would never be able to return and hey, screw the list of meat loaf fixins, mama's gonna need a bottle of wine. CHECK


  1. Okay. I'm gonna try this again. So. As a tried and true Mom of two boys, I've had my share of "grocery experiences" with my beloved boys. And, as an older Mom, I do look at younger Moms with babies and toddlers in the grocery store with a mix of, "Dear God, I've been there", and, "Oh God, I'm so glad I'm not there any more...heaven help them..."

    My "favorite" of many (let's not forget the Thanksgiving day run where I had pies in the oven and was accused, at the MLK Safeway of stealing a greeting card that was stuffed under the seat of the baby seat! - not mine! - but boy was I burned when I had to go talk to security as my pies were burning!!!!)

    Okay. I'm over that. I think. But my favorite was when Sage was a baby and Damina was maybe 5. I was on a budget and dealing with an unhappy baby and toddler as I checked prices and ounces per food weight. Damian was using all his best "tricks" (lying on the floor screaming) while Sage was using his "baby tricks" (sitting in his car seat screaming). Meantime an older woman was following us around the store telling me "All they need is love" to which I responded, "Do you actually HAVE children!".....

    It was good times for all at the Interstate Fred Meyer. I think it was the same one Jean got shot at when I sent her on another Thanksgiving run......

    Oh the times we've had!!!

    Grocery stores and children = .......:-)

  2. Bekah, you crack me up! You are such a great 'lighthearted' mom!
    Love you!


Thank you for your comment!