Why it takes half an hour to put groceries away
“And then by the time I put the groceries away, it was already 8:30…”
“It took you half an hour to put groceries away?” my friend asked, incredulous, and no doubt wondering why it had taken me so long to return the call. As it was, I was shouldering the phone, doing the dishes while I dialed back, since mom always said, “don’t return calls after 9:00 p.m.”
“Well, yeah…” The 30 or so minutes had flown by with a flurry of activity. First of all, the shopping trip was much needed as I had put it off due to a snow day and a weather delay day, which in their very nature offer more times for kids to be eating and inviting their friends over to eat, which means additional depletion of the pantry. So truthfully, I had much more to put away than usual.
The timing of the trip was another factor. My younger two and I had dropped off my oldest after extended day at about 6:00 p.m. He didn’t want to come with us, even though we were going out to eat first (“Can you just bring me back a hamburger?” “Okay, honey.”). After dinner out and shopping, by the time we got home it was nearly 8:00 p.m. and the first time all day that my younger two had been home. Aside from all the bags of food for which I had to enforce carrying-in assistance, the kids were schlepping in their backpacks and accessories from their long day at school (which wasn’t as long as usual, since they’d had a two hour delay).
Basically what occurred during the subsequent 30 minutes was tripping over numerous bags, backpacks, coats, and boots as I tried to explain how to microwave a hamburger and fries as well as sort out the food and put the frozen stuff away first, all the while enforcing showers, since (thankfully) bedtime would “be here before you know it,” then shooing the two who weren’t in the shower away from the bags, since they were pawing through them to see if I got any cookies or ice cream; either picking up discarded towels and dirty clothes or chasing after the culprit to do it himself; unpacking the lunch boxes while making a mental note of who ate what and whether anyone would even qualify or cookie or ice cream; confirming that everyone did their homework at extended day and then snooping through their agenda books and folders anyway, since my middle son alluded that he “might” have a chorus concert the very next night and surely that couldn’t be the first he’d heard of it. Finally, all the food was in its proper place, treats doled out, lunch boxes lined up on the counter for morning repacking, water bottles and plastic containers added to the sink full of dishes (since our dishwasher is still broken), laundry in a pile by the basement door, kids upstairs with their respective cookies and ice cream, my fingers crossed that they didn’t spill anything on my bed, since surely that was where they were watching TV.
I finished the dishes and told my friend I had to go. I needed to tuck everyone in (before they fell asleep in my bed and I had to carry them, which is not even possible in some cases anymore, and) before starting a load of laundry and ensuring that the coats, hoodies, mittens, hats, and boots were where everyone could find them in the morning.