Shopping road rules: stick to the left lane and follow the flow of the traffic at all times. Simple, easy, of course that’s a no brainer – you would think. Sadly, it is not to be.
High up on my to-do list today was the grocery shop. With so many mouths to feed in this house, the grocery shop is majorly important. It’s essential to ensuring that the household runs smoothly. It’s neither a weekly shop nor a set day shop. It’s done whenever possible, as regularly as required and by anyone who can fit it in. It just so happened that today the task came across my desk.. Lucky. Me.
Bubba and I had a busy morning out and about running errands. Yes we may have squeezed in just enough time to indulge in a little coffee break from time to time and yes we had a meander through the park, taking the time to enjoy a lovely sunny morning. But that’s not to say we weren’t busy. As the morning drew to a close, I started to check my watch just a little more frequently. One of the most crucial factors to my day is that I must always follow the clock. If one thing goes wrong, the entire day could snow ball and then suddenly kids don’t get picked up (anyone who’s had to endure the disapproving looks from judgemental teachers stuck on pick up duty will understand this predicament), dinner doesn’t get made, homework gets forgotten about etc etc and suddenly you’re feeling like the worst nanny ever. Added to my increasing sense of urgency was that Bubba had wanted an early mid morning feed, something I hadn’t planned for considering she’d only been fed not too much earlier.
Well that was mistake #1 for the day – failing to prepare for the unexpected.
From that point on, all bets were off. It was a ‘hit the ground running and hope for the best’ mode of attack. As Bubba and I entered the grocery store I calculated that we had roughly 25 minutes to dash around the aisles, meticulously crossing the items from the list and desperately filling the insides of a very wonky, wobbly trolley. I figured that this was a very realistic goal. Bubba usually loves being carried around strapped to my chest in the baby bjorn. She gets to see the world and be warm at the same time. Who wouldn’t be happy with that!
Except for today it seems. Today it wasn’t to be. I could tell by the little grizzles coming out of her and the ever escalating levels of sighs that I was going to lose a good chunk of my time, my 25 minutes was going to be cut short. I re-calculated and estimated that I probably had 10 minutes less than I would have liked to race around the shops before she turned into a crying, screaming baby complete with balled up fists of rage. Yep, that’s what hunger does to you it seems. Although I should be used to it, from my experience it seems as though that behaviour pretty much remains the same over all the ages from little kids to big kids (adults).
I upped the anti and turned my shopping trolley into a personal body guard, pushing my way through the throngs of lycra clad ladies strolling absentmindedly down the toiletries aisle, weaving in and out of the old men dutifully following behind their counter parts along the frozen food section and selfishly pushing other trolleys slightly to the side so that I could jump up and grab the giant bottle of juice that of course just had to be up on the top shelf and slightly out of reach.
What I didn’t factor into my time limit allocation was the delay we would incur as Every. Single. Woman. (no matter the age) felt the absolute need to stop and glance and coo and gahh over little bubba.
“Yes, she is just adorable isn’t she.”
“Yes, that pink little jump suit is perfect for her, so cute.”
“Ohhh, ahhh, yes she is so very little, such an angel. I do love her yes.”
“Yes, I am very young”…. thank you so much for pointing out even though I clearly don’t need your judgement.
“Yes, she is a little bit grizzly isn’t she.”
(Gee I wonder why that is. It couldn’t possibly be because she’s hungry and I can’t seem to make my way through the shops without being stopped by every nosy so-and-so, regardless of the fact that I clearly am conducting my errands with a sense of urgency!!!)
Whilst it really is lovely to see the joy in the other people’s faces when they sneak a peak at cute little babies, there really is a time and a place. Out in the park whilst we’re having a leisurely stroll, sure. Be my guest. Let’s make small talk and pass the time away. At the local coffee shop as we’re waiting in line for our coffees, sure thing. Fire away, go all gooey eyed until your heart’s content.
But at the supermarket. When I’m in a hurry. When I have a shopping list the size of the 7th Harry Potter book. When I have a baby who’s becoming increasingly vocal and can’t seem to soothe despite the very fact that the connection from my body warmth should be doing just that. When I’m losing the fight with a trolley who has a mind of it’s own and seems insistent upon rolling off the left as though it needs a new wheel alignment. When my phone is ringing and I can’t find it in my handbag, not to mention my keys and my purse to pay for all of the goods and as the cashier glares at me for holding up the queue. No. It is not ok. Not ok to stop and chat. Smile and offer a glimmer of knowing and understanding, sure. Keep to the left and control your own trolley, sure. Jump in front of me at the queue when you’ve only got two items, sure. I won’t mind.
But be warned: the next time I find myself boxed in on all sides by shopping trolleys and people absentmindedly staring off into space as I politely say “excusez-moi”, you all better watch out! This trolley most certainly can and will be used as a weapon and I sure know how to use it. Your ankles will get a good beating and your toes will get run over. You will be rammed out of the way as though we’re playing dodgem cars.
Don’t even think that I won’t, you just try me!
Secondly, if I’m late for the 3pm pick-up – it’s on you.