Shopping with Kids: Post-it Note #78

Have you ever been shopping with kids?  A trip to the grocery store turns into something akin to running a marathon with water flippers on.  There’s no experience like it.  It will show you what kind of metal you’re made of.

When I shop with kids, I always end up spending more than I planned.  I have a list that doesn’t include Twinkies but somehow they end up in my cart anyway.  I like to read labels.  We attempt to eat clean.  But when a kid is doing cartwheels off your buggy (as we say in the South) you get a little distracted and just grab one.  When you get home you realize it’s made of poison but feed it to your kids anyway because that’s what you paid for.

I always come home with things I didn’t mean to get and leave things at the store that I need to have.  And then there’s that littlest child of mine who looks at me with her cobalt blue eyes and says, “Mommy, can we get a wittle treat?”  She puts her thumb and index finger together to show how small and says, “just a wittle one?”  Shoot, I used to be stronger than this.  They’ve worn me down I tell ya.  Worn. Me. Down!

Because my older kids are in school I usually only have 1  or 2 kids with me.  My baby girl, Bria and sometimes Haven – who is rightly named because she is the SWEETEST kid on the planet.  A true Haven.  But she’s my shopping nightmare.  She is distracted by EVERY. SINGLE. THING! and wants to stop every 2 seconds.  Or because her heart is so big she wants to buy everything for everyone she knows!

But now it’s summer.  Which means 3, 4 or 5 kids at the store.  No.  Not 5.  I absolutely refuse.  We’ll eat tree leaves before that happens.  But sometimes I take all the girls, including my daughter with autism.  She’s 11 but looks 17 and is already 5’8″.  She’s a tank with only one speed at the store……….wide open.  When she goes to the store my prayer life is stellar.  “Lord, please don’t let her run over some unsuspecting Grandma.  I really don’t want to sell one of these kids to pay for her hip replacement.  Lord, If you’ll just get me out of this store, I promise, I’ll go to the ends of the earth for you.”  I can handle her by herself or handle the littles by themselves or the middle one with any combination, but you put all those girls together and here’s what one friend says to me, “Connie, don’t take this the wrong way, but how are you not on drugs by now?”

Ok – so it’s SUMMER!  That means all kids at home, eating groceries like crazy, so a trip to the store is inevitable.  What’s a mom to do?  Well, she hits Wal-mart at 6:00am while every kid is sleeping and hubby hasn’t gone to work yet.  She sneaks out of the house like a teenager, quiet as a church mouse.  Is it worth the loss of sleep?  You bet your bottom dollar it is!

When you go to Wal-mart at 6:00am you find there’s nobody doing cartwheels off your cart.  You can read labels.  There’s no distractions.  You leave with what you came for.  You can take care of business peacefully.  Sigh.

You know, the shopping experience is not a lot different from most of our lives in every other area.  At work you have people demanding your attention.  You have to deal with outburst or shenanigans.  At home there’s constant demand.  In your neighborhood there are people you need to serve.  At church you are needed.  You desire to serve.  But sometimes you’re asked to do things and there’s always that one person (like my baby girl) who can get you to say “yes” to what they are asking, even when you know you should say “no”.

Maybe we need to get up early and sneak off to a quiet place and spend some time with our Creator and the Lover of Our Soul so that we can take care of business in peace.  I find that when I can get a handle on some basic things early in the day without distraction it causes the rest of the day to go smoother.  First on our list….the most basic of things….should be spending time with God.  I hope you can make that a priority and enjoy the blessings that come from it.  You can bet your bottom dollar it will be worth it.