Tuesday, March 22, 2011


kroger.  you and i have a love/hate relationship.  some days...you provide me with a week's worth of suppers, snacks, and maybe even a balloon for a birthday happy.  other days...i want to burn you to the ground.  remember this?  yeah...most of the time, it's like that.  yesterday was one such time.

in the car riding down the road, wes asks, "where are we going?"
me:  "kroger."

reed mistakes that for "cracker."  everybody anywhere knows not to get this boy started on food. 
reed: "crack-cuh!!"
me:  "no, reed.  KROGER.  not cracker."
reed: "crack-cuh! crack-cuh!!  CRACK! CUH!"

wes:  "mama, reed wants a cracker."
me:  "hush, wes.  does it look like i have any crackers?"  as if i can't hear the kid screaming at me.

me: "wes, do you need to tee tee?"
wes: "um...let me see."
me: "get your hands out of your pants.  you don't have to assess yourself to see if you need to tee tee."

god gave me 3 boys for a reason.  i'm still trying to figure it out.  

wes: "i don't have to go."
me: "i'm not taking you in that bathroom.  are you sure?"
after a confident, head nod that he indeed does not need to go to the bathroom, i do my deep breathing exercises to prepare myself. 

we haven't even parked yet, and i'm already losing my mind.

me: "dear lord, please let there be one of those nasty, germ infested car carts available today.  or just let lightning strike me.  amen."

i hop out and put shoes on reed before i unbuckle him.  who knows why?  i should know better than to try and keep anything on his feet by now.  the two little people hold hands and walk towards the door like they are all sweet.  as soon as we get near the door, they take off like maniacs looking for the "car?  car?  car!!! CAR!!!"

some random girl: "would you like to donate some money for ****?"
me: "um, not now.  i have to find my kids."
random girl: "it's for christ.  and taking kids hunting for christ."
me:  "awesome.  but christ is not going to be very happy with me if i lose 2 of the 3 kids he gave me.  get out of my way."

god wasn't in the mood to toss lightning bolts out of the sky today, apparently, because waiting on us just inside the door was the red car.  extra germy.

they crawled in in record time and were waiting on me when i walked in the door.  and off we go.  thankfully wes has a steering wheel to play with today while i tell the deli guy what i want.  just last week, i turned around to find him having himself a little feast at the olive bar while i was ordering turkey.  a mouth full of olives with a look on his face like, "what? is this a no-no?"  and there's my reason to avoid the olive bar from now on.

stop one.  the deli.  what is it about me that makes people want to talk to me?  i'm talking totally random people wanting to dish it out.  it's absurd.  chase finds it amazing that everywhere we go, i'll know the life stories of 10 different people by the time we leave.

me:  "can i get a 1/2 pound of...."
deli dude: "i think i have a blood clot in my foot."
me:  "um, ok.  the boar's head, ovengold..."
deli dude: "i was walking up the stairs, carrying clothes, and i fell down a few months ago."
me: "i'm sorry.  i hope it gets to feeling better.  can you make it thin but not shaved."
deli dude:  "i'll take care of you.  but then i have to get out of here and go to the doctor so they can check my blood clot."
me: "sounds like a plan.  i want some ham, too.  wes, where's reed?"

why can't they make a car cart with straps that actually work?

wes: "he went to get some strawberries."

thank goodness he's not tall enough, but he was sure enough standing there in produce trying to get him some strawberries.  barefooted.  on the kroger floor.  in the time it took him to walk from the deli to the strawberries, he has developed a serious case of wal-mart feet.  i'm now one of those people whose children run around the grocery store barefooted with wal-mart feet.  lord help me.

get reed back in the cart, stop at the bananas....and reed's out.  back in, stop at the bread....and reed's out.  barefooted.  what is happening to my life?  back in, and we circle back to the deli to pick up my turkey and ham.

deli dude:  "you have an injury too." he's eyeing the brace on my arm.  "do you have a blood clot?"
me:  "reed...sit!!!  no, i'm just old, and thought i could still play basketball."
deli dude:  "well, i'm about to go see about my clot."
me:  "hope that goes ok.  thanks."

in all fairness, i really like this particular deli dude...just not the day for small talk.  about blood clots.

we turn, and i aim the cart towards the pharmacy so i can cut through the baby aisle and get some diapers.  reed is half hanging out dragging his hand on the ground.  and while i'm hollering at him to get up so he doesn't have wal-mart hands to match his wal-mart feet, wes is steady dragging his hand along the shelf knocking off feminine pad after feminine pad.  i stop to pick up the always, depends, and carefree packages while reed bolts out of the car and heads across to the mouthwash.  he has he mouth wrapped around it before i can get there.  "dwink! dwink!"

i've done something.  i'm being punished.  what other explanation is there???

back in the cart he goes.  one octogenarian is giving me the evil eye because i can't control my kids.  and they didn't even have these crazy car carts back in her day, but she could still manage to bring all 8 of her kids to the grocery store.  and they minded their manners. and they carried her bags to the car.  and they cooked supper when they got home.  and they wore shoes.  i have a gift for reading people's minds.

near the salad dressing, wes pipes up, "i need to tee tee."
me:  "tough.  hold it."
wes:  "buuuuuut....i have to tee tee!"
he must have seen the flames coming out of my ears because he dropped that topic quickly.  and i guess you can blame me for any kidney infections later in life.

aside from having to put reed back in the car EVERY. TIME. I. STOPPED., we got through the rest of the store without major incident.  until we reached the chip aisle.

reed:  "chee-up!  chee-up!"
me:  "reed, sit down.  no chip."
wes:  "can we have these?"
me:  "no.  you don't like pig skins.  get back in the car."
wes:  "reed's not in the car.  i like these."
me:  "you do not.  get in the car."
wes: "i just want to walk.  can i have some popcorn then?"
me:  "no walking!!!!  we got this car so we could drive the car!!  now get in, and drive the blasted car!!"
reed:  holding a bag of fritos.  "chee-up!  mmmm!  mmmm!"
me:  "no chip.  get in the car!!"
reed:  "no!  mine!"  takes off down the aisle.  barefooted.

is it illegal to open a six pack right on aisle 14?  surely the store employees, the manager, the cops, my preacher would totally forgive me after they see what i'm dealing with.

off to checkout.  i purposefully put reed on the side of the car away from the candy.  to no avail.  he worms his way out while i'm unloading and wraps his paws around a milky way.  "mine!"
wes:  "i want one of those, mama!  if reed gets one...."
me:  "reed does not get one.  get that from him, and put it back."
an all out knock down, crazy wrestling match ensues for the coveted milky way.

homegirl hasn't even started checking me out yet because she is waiting on me to hand her my kroger card.  really?!?!?  i have one arm, i'm unloading enough crap to feed 4 armies with the other arm, two of my children are on top of each other screaming about a candy bar, one child is barefooted with wal-mart feet and you are wasting time by waiting on my kroger card????  after politely telling her that i'll give it to her in a minute, she begins checking me out.  when the cops and the store manager come to arrest me for opening a six pack while still in the store, and they are questioning me....i'll be sure to tell manager man to please incorporate asking for the kroger card at the END of the transaction into employee training protocols.  

finally.  groceries are paid for, and i can see daylight out the door.  reed will no longer have any part of riding in the car, so i'm carrying him while pushing the stupid thing out the door.

random girl comes running flailing a tupperware bowl in my face:  "do you want to donate to ****?"
me:  "really?  i have one arm.  i'm carrying 26 pounds of squirminess.  i'm pushing 4 years worth of food, a car and a 3 year old with my knee.  i have sweat dripping off every inch of me.  does it even remotely look like i have any extremity that could find some spare change right now?!?!  how about you offer to push this cart to my car for me?"

ok, i didn't say that.  but i could have.

where is the lightning??  i mean, really....complete and total sunshine outside.

after getting home and getting everything unloaded.  i spent the next 20 minutes trying to wash the wal-mart feet and hands off of my little one.  and then i spruced up the drawer where i keep our take-out menus.  because i'm not going back to that place with little people in tow.

at least...not unless it's cloudy with a chance of lightning outside.


Rebecca said...

Laura, that is too, too funny, and anyone with kids can totally relate! I usually go grocery shopping at night now...when the boys are in bed:)

Anonymous said...

This is my absolute favorite story ever. I can totally picture the whole thing. Why? Because I was at Kroger today too. They always want the car-cart, but they'll never stay in! Love, Holly

Edi McIlwain said...

I RUN past those stupid car shopping carts. Whoever decided those things are a good idea is a FOOL. Olivia never stays in it and she always wants her sissy to ride in there with her. Her Sissy can barely sit in the front without flipping...I could only imagine the CAR.

Kate said...

Laura, you are AWESOME. Sarcasm is my fav and this is a perfect way to describe a shopping trip. I think more stores should have the Sams size carts because you can fit two kids up top. Makes for *less* stressful trip. Lorelai likes grabbing everything in the cart. Or my billfold full of ECB and RR so that they scatter all over the floor. Fun. Adam and I about died laughing.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm not taking reed to the store when he is here unless g goes too.
You are too funny!!! Honey

Paige said...

You crack me up!! I would give anything to have been there. We are coming to visit in June and just for fun lets go grocery shopping with your 3 and my 2!!!

Jenny Ruth said...

Oh, what a great story. You have totally convinced me not try taking them to the grocery store anytime in the next 4 years =)
Thanks for the laugh...

Hooks Family said...

this was like reading my own Kroger experience every week!!!!!
so glad I am not the only mother who gets nasty looks from perfect mothers!!!!

Anne Flanagan said...

I love your Kroger adventures. Keep 'em coming! Hilarious.

Callie said...

Laura....how will I fit it all in the friggin car now please tell me?! 2 riding in the car and 2 infant carriers means I can buy exactly nothing. Well maybe I could slide some milk on the bottom. Our kroger spent even sell beer....how rude is that?! Ugh. I will never go in public with my children again once the twins get here. Ok maybe when they can all hold their tee-tee

Beth Miller said...

As a fellow Mom of 3 boys, I laughed till I cried while reading this...WHY? Cause I swear, I could have written it myself! Even down to the Kroger card!! HAHAHAHA! I have given many a checker the "evil eye" and a quick "LATER PLEASE" when asked that...I feel your pain sister! VERY good job! LOL! :-) Cheers to Moms everywhere! :-) Beth Miller-Brandon, MS

Thomas & Amber Ryan said...

grocery store toes!!!! ;-)

Lance and DK said...

i don't know how you do it, but i am glad you do. mama

Monica said...

This sounds EXACTLY like our trips to Kroger! I actually feel better about the mayhem we cause after reading this! Thank you for sharing!! p

Matt and Mandi said...

Laura...this is hilarious! I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes...I know the girls at work are probably thinking...what is Mandi working on that is so funny?

Nikki said...

OK, I was laughing so hard that I couldn't breathe & had tears rolling!! (I made my husband read your post just so he knows what he's missing.)

You have captured a Kroger trip perfectly! Have you been following us? J/K

Only, I'm the mean mom that says the reason that the car-carts are parked outside is because they are broken & are waiting to be fixed. :) It's great to know that other moms have simiar experiences.

All the best!