Friday, February 06, 2015

Grocery Shopping with a Toddler

I have a funny story to tell you about my husband.

Michael did the grocery shopping for me the other weekend, since my nearly 10-month pregnant belly makes doing ordinary things impossible.  And it took him THREE HOURS.

He took Liam with him so that I could rest, since the night before (as like most nights) I had gotten very little sleep.  (I'm up every 1-2 hours to pee, though I can't understand where all this hydration is coming from!)

Anyway, I never got in bed because I found a handful of other things to do around the house (bad, I know); and, when we hit the 1.5-hour mark, I was surprised that they were not home yet.

Then again, grocery shopping usually takes me 1.5 to 2 hours to complete, since I have to walk slowly with this belly and since my little shopping companion (who uses his own child-sized grocery cart) tends to wonder off if I'm not carefully watching.

There he goes...
So I keep one eye on him and the other on price comparisons and ingredient lists.  One hand is on my shopping cart, the other is sorting my coupons, and my third arm (oh wait, I'm still trying to grow that) is pulling Liam back to be closer to me (and returning to the shelf random things that he has taken off).

The whole experience is exhausting, really, and although I've complained, Michael always tells me, "Just relax and enjoy it!  Grocery shopping is easy and fun!"  But of course, he's at work when we have this conversation, so part of me kept thinking, "HE HAS NO IDEA."

Well, back to last weekend.

At the 1.5 hour mark, Michael comes rushing in, his face flushed, his arms carrying only four bags of food, with Liam trailing behind him, clutching two new toys, still encased in plastic.

I forget what Michael said when he entered, but it was some sort of Declaration, a firm Ultimatum that essentially boiled down to, "Never, ever, ever again."

"I have to leave him here," he then said, "because I barely got anything from your shopping list."  And with a few deep breaths, he went back out into the cold, a husband still on a mission to complete the task I had given him, but this time -- sans toddler.

Liam was tugging at my sweater now, asking if I could please help him open the new toys he was double-fisting.  And I giggled inside, realizing that Daddy had totally caved and probably used these toys as bribery.  Ah, if only I could use such bribery each time we grocery shopped!  But then Liam would have even more toys than he already has!

Another 1.5 hours passed, and then Michael finally walked in the door.  Actually, he walked in like 16 different times, unloading a car full of groceries that must have contained enough food to last us for the whole month.  (Actually, I'm kidding.  All this would really just get us through one week.)

As he wiped the sweat from his brow (OK, I'm kidding), he handed me the 3-foot long receipt (I'm serious), and I smiled when I noticed that he completely forgot to use the stack of coupons I gave him.  (But I'll ask about that later.)

As I helped him unpack and load our refrigerator and cupboard, my eyes delighted in what he brought home for us -- and yet I found some of his purchases to be unique and surprising.

Like the expensive, rare German cookies.  Really?

"Interesting!" I remarked, thinking that Michael was perhaps going down memory lane from when he lived in Germany.

"Do you KNOW how long it took me to find those?!" he snapped, and I wondered if he had been searching since he moved back to the United States many years ago.  But why wasn't he joyful?

Finally, we figured it out.  He thought I wanted them; I couldn't imagine how.  Then we looked at the shopping list (which is actually a little book, where I've organized everything by aisle).

And there you have it!  See the last item written on my list?  I had wanted a box of biscotti to dunk in my hot tea, and he had searched around for a brand name of something (anything!) that seemed to match my handwriting.  Not bad, Michael!  I didn't even know that such a thing existed!

Thank you for being a wonderful husband and father, for making me smile, and for validating that grocery shopping with a toddler is really hard work!  :)