Monday, December 20, 2010

Why I avoided Kroger for 6 months

Oh my goodness, I can't believe I'm posting this!

I have come to a point in my life that I feel the need to purge my soul of some utterly embarrassing, humiliating, less than *Mother-of-the-Year* moments. Because, well, they're funny.

I have so enjoyed snickering at my past, I thought others should get a good laugh as well. AND, I'm also trying to teach my daughter that those horrible junior high moments, ya know the ones that you just want to crawl under a rock and die, well, they just continue on into adulthood. So she might as well get used to it...I mean, if everyone else is laughing at you, you might as well laugh too.

Sydney and Colton are almost 16 months apart. You can imagine how devastated I was when I found out I was pregnant again, and Colton was only 6 months old. I had barely recovered from the life changing routine of having a third child, then out popped Sydney.

And Colton was a handful, God love his heart. He was NOT an easy baby, I loved him just the same but recognized very quickly that this was "The One". Any woman who has "one of those" type of kids, knows exactly what I'm talking about. Demanding (from day one), busy, never settled, relentless kind of child. I *had* an easy baby, and I was an experienced mom, I *knew* Colton was not easy! And subsequently, I was a a scatter-brained, frazzled sleep-deprived wreck!

I tell you all of this so that you will begin to feel pity on me. Is it working?

When Sydney was two weeks old I took my first outing to the grocery store with all my kids in tow. I'm sure my grandmother or mom would have been happy to keep the kids for me, but I had resolved in my mind that I MUST get used to this. I had to figure out how to operate functionally with four little ones under my feet. And the grocery store was one of my regular stomping grounds, so I had to make it work.

I had a short list and a sleeping baby, so I felt confident that I could get in and out quickly. I grabbed 2 carts, one I would push with Colton in the kiddie seat, and one Summer would push with Sydney sleeping in her carrier. I moved quickly and efficiently through the store, knowing that I had a limited amount of time before Sydney woke and wanted "bo-bo", or Colton had a toddler meltdown. I purposefully avoided the cookie aisle and decided to do self-checkout to avoid the candy tantrum that JD and Colton would have when I told them "No candy".

I can't believe I'm admitting to this.

I paid for my groceries, turned to do a quick head count then smiling and feeling very confident of my motherly capabilities, I headed for the door. I had a skip in my step, and a haughty attitude. Look out Michelle I come. You ain't got nothin' on me!

I walked out the first and second double doors, past the sidewalk garden section, and looked both ways as I crossed the crosswalk chatting with JD and Summer who were close at my side. I bent over and gave Colton a kiss on his forehead and complimented him for being such a good boy in the grocery store, fully expecting my 16 month old to rave about what a loving and organized mother I was.

Just then I heard a voice...

Young Kroger employee: "Ma'am?"

(I turn around with a pleasant expression on my face, one that reflects my confidence and self-assurance)

Me: "Yes?"

Young Kroger Employee: "Um, I know this is a strange question, but...uh, um...did you leave a baby in the store?"

Me: "Oh, $#*+!" (Insert a very loud 4 letter word... in front of my children and a parking lot full of strangers, may I add!)

It seems that as we walked out of the self-check out area, I failed to make sure someone was pushing the cart with Sydney in it. Don't worry, the Kroger employees were very understanding (to my face, anyway) and after showing them my fake ID and bribing them all with $20 bills, they agreed not to call social services.

As I think back on that incident, I wonder... had the sweet little Kroger employee not chased me out the door, who would be raising Sydney today?

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