Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The Crazy Lady
Today, as I have done many times in the past, I went grocery shopping. To be honest, this has become a chore I dread. It seems every can, box, and bag is calling, "Micah touch me!" "Matthias, knock me on the floor!" "Shirley, tell Mama you want to take me home!" Being somewhat of a drill sergeant mom I always expect that my kids should be perfectly quiet and walk next to the cart without ever letting go. God often reminds me that He didn't make me a robot and neither are my kids! Today, I had a daunting task ahead of me. . .a new budget. Now combine this with the noticeable rise in grocery prices, and I felt I was on an impossible mission. In the van on the way to the store I prayed for good deals and good kids. Now the good deals I knew God could do. The kids on the other hand I wasn't so sure ;-) since we had already been to an eye doctor appointment at the mall. Before we went into the store I had a talk with the kids, and again I prayed that this time that I would be patient with them. Often in Superstore I have received comments from people about how brave I am to go grocery shopping with three little kids. I have also received knowing looks from moms who are in the same boat. More often I have received stares of disgust from the many people in our society who think children are just supposed to go to school and stay home and never emerge into the adult world. My kids are kids. Today I discovered something though. A little patience, planning, and prayer goes a long way with little kids, little money and lots of groceries . In between those "That lady is crazy" looks I enlisted the kids in helping me get the groceries, which more or less got rid of their "grabbiness". They stepped out in front of a cart or two (always in front of the ones with that "crazy lady" look on there face!), but they did well. The shopping took a little longer as I would compare prices and enter things into the calculator on my phone. Micah was getting into the spirit of it and would call out the prices to me from the shelf. After they put in the last cans of fruit ("In juice, Mom", Micah said, as I checked the labels to make sure they weren't canned in syrup. He's always so proud when his reading skills are helpful to me.), we had another talk. The kids love to help bag, but it usually ends up being a fight over who's going to put what into the bags. This time I decided I needed a strategy for the whole bagging thing. I told Micah and Matthias exactly where to stand and to stop pushing the advance button when I say stop. Then, we headed for the checkout. The lady in front of me gave me that "crazy lady" look as she put the divider down between our groceries. The boys dutifully stood at the end of the belt, with bags in hand, ready for those groceries. Micah will put anything together in any bag, which was driving Matthias crazy because he is all about things being categorised. But the groceries were getting into bags and into the cart without much fuss from the boys, so I was thankful. The cashier, who was at the end of her shift, was not at all amused by my most helpful sons (who I happened to be very proud of at the moment!). When she told me the total, I was happily surprised (I had a relative idea--just wasn't sure how much the taxes would be and I was afraid it would put me over.). When I said, "Oh, that's great! I was trying to hit (X amount)." She didn't share in my glee. One more crazy lady look for the day. On the way home, we had a granola bar and Shirley had a nap. I'm so thankful that God helped this "crazy lady" while I was shopping today. He helped my kids to do an awesome job, and He helped me stay $0.81 under my budget! You may think I'm a "crazy lady" for posting this, but oh well!