Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sleeping and Shopping

I took Ben to the grocery store yesterday.

Actually, my initial target was this shiny new arts-and-crafts store that just opened up around the corner. I wanted to check it out, even if I'm not going to be arts-and-crafting any time soon, and wandered around the aisles checking out yarn and scrapbooking supplies. The second I got into the checkout queue, Ben started to wail.

It was a really long line. He cried a lot... and everyone was looking at us, frowning at my ineptitude, shaking their heads at my poor mothering skills, judging. I'm sure of it.

The items I'd intended to purchase suddenly seemed superfluous, so I put them down and bolted for the parking lot, wailing baby and all. I put him in the car -- crying. Loaded up the diaper bag -- still crying. Packed up the stroller -- still crying. Started the car -- silent. He'd fallen asleep.

Obviously we couldn't just go home because he'd wake up when I took him out of the car. So we drove on, letting slumber take hold, and as we approached the grocery store I pulled in simply because there was nowhere else to go.

Once inside the store, the mental grocery list I always keep vanished from my brain. Get a cart? I don't know how to attach the car seat. I'll use the stroller. Stop to get a basket? Nah, I'll just get a few things... And so it began. I raced up and down the aisles at breakneck speed, desperate to maintain baby sleep status quo. Ooh, oatmeal. I need that. Ooh, salad dressing. Oh, we need yogurt. Oh yeah, I wanted to buy some nuts.

Suddenly I found myself with an armful of groceries, a giant stroller, and a sleeping baby. I couldn't slow down. I was miles from the baskets. I pushed the stroller with one hand. I dropped the salad dressing, knocked over several 1-kg bottles of honey, banged into the bulk food bins. I rammed the ankles of at least three other shoppers. I was a menace.

Ben slept the whole time. All in all, a successful shopping trip!

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