Are those my kids?
Just a quick note about our trip to the supermarket — after church, I decided to go for it, even though it was a risk given the behavior at church, but we really needed food.
I split up the list and assigned items to the Bigs, with one of them assigned to be the buddy to the youngest.
I maneuvered the mothership around the store while the kids ventured forth on their missions (or the rest room) and returned with their items. Some of them needed to be returned and re-chosen (to ensure the best value — much to the boys’ excitement, sometimes a brand name item was a better value than the store brand), but for the most part this method worked. If one of the Bigs couldn’t find something, we went as a team to scout for it.
It was only necessary to issue a few warnings about being “unrewarded” for “inappropriate supermarket behavior.” I agreed to buy them some fruit snacks (this would be the reward) and ultimately let them each shoose a Sponge Bob cartoon book, since they are on sale for $1.25 each.
When we got to the checkout line, I sent them through with their books first and pointed to a bench next to the newspaper stand, as I checked out with our $165 worth of groceries (I am sure I could save on my grocery bill if I grew and canned my own food and didn’t have to buy lunchbox items, but the fact of the matter is I would not save enough to afford me to quit my full time job and homeschool the kids so I didn’t have to pack lunch).
As I was wheeling the mothership out of the checkout lane, I saw a couple of friends from church choosing a newspaper. They didn’t recognize my children, who were sitting still on the bench in order of youngest to oldest (yes, they organize themselves that way), with their books opened on their laps. I almost didn’t recognize them!
It is times like that when I feel like I have it all together, that I am the luckiest mom in the world — as opposed to wondering “how did I get here?” which is something I ask sometimes when I find myself sitting at soccer practice in a station wagon, or in one of my sons’ classrooms surrounded by 23 of his classmates and him, or even at church on a pew taken up by my entire family.