Sometimes I fear that those of you who read this blog, but that don't know me or my family personally, might be under the impression that I lead a perfect life with perfect kids who do cute and hilarious things all day long.
Obviously, that's not true, but it does seem to be a common pitfall of the internet.
So, in an effort to dispel these myths, allow me to tell you about today's grocery shopping adventure.
Typically I don't take all the kids with me to the store anymore. Usually I take one child with me after Erik gets home from work, we all go, or Erik does bedtime and I go alone.
But these last few days have been filled with kids who are under the weather, and a husband with the stomach flu, and honestly leaving the house after everyone had gone to bed sounded pretty dreadful.
But last night I realized I couldn't prolong a trip any longer. We were out of milk. We were out of bread. And we were almost out of coffee.
I figured that I could go today or tonight, but tonight was going to be pretty busy, so I thought today would be better. And when I say that tonight was going to be busy, I mean that I wanted to stay home and watch the new Downton Abby after the kids were in bed.
So clearly, I had no choice, but to drag my five youngsters to Aldi on a cold Monday morning and stock up on some food.
The morning started off rough. These last two weeks we have been on Christmas break, and I've been pretty laid back about what the kids have been eating and the amount of television we have been watching, so today I was determined to get back into a normal routine.
Today instead of doughnuts for breakfast there would be cheerios. We would be eating at the table, not in front of the tv. There would also be math, spelling, and a new chapter book, and everyone was going to love it.
Oh, and we were going to Aldi. Sometimes, I'm a bit of an overachiever.
We finally left the house about 45 minutes after I was planning, but I was hopeful that everything would be all right since all the kids were eating a snack on the way there.
I even let Max take his little baggie of cheerios into the store, because I just wanted to do something nice for my little boy.
Almost as soon as we walked in, I realized what a mistake I had made.
"Why can't I have my cheerios?" Someone would whine.
"Can I ride in the cart too? My legs are sooo tired."
Reminders for being grateful for what we have and contentment were given, but I was a little bit distracted because my one year old was deciding that he wanted to stand up in the cart and not remain seated. And every time I'd sit him back down I'd be met with indignant sobs.
Meanwhile, Max was throwing his bag of cheerios on the floor of Aldi, and Lily was picking them up.... and eating them off the floor.
I took a deep breath, took the bag of cheerios back from Max, and put them in my purse, but unfortunately Luke saw them, so now he was crying not only because his mother was making him stay in his chair, but because he had seen food.
I tried feeding him some, but he kept screaming "No!"
He just likes to have food on his own terms, I suppose.
At this point I'm just ready to get what we need and get out of there as fast as I can. But it's crowded, and I'm lugging a screaming baby, a cart full of groceries, and herding my three older kids though the store, so it's not quite so simple.
And of course there's all the comments from strangers asking if all these kids are mine, whether or not my husband and I own a television, how I have my hands full, etc. etc.
I tried really hard to smile and just say,"Full of good things!" But I'm pretty sure my teeth were clenched, so I'm not sure how believable I was.
Then I hear Jack say, "Max! Stop!"
Sure enough Max is now throwing food out of the cart, and had just chucked a bottle of honey halfway across the aisle.
Thankfully he didn't throw the honey at anyone, but I was definitely at the end of my rope by this point, and we still had to make it through the checkout line and bag up the food.
With two crying boys.
Somehow we made it through, although the two little boys were not happy about the whole process.
But we made it. The house is now full of food and coffee, and we won't have to worry about grocery shopping for another week. I just hope Downton is worth it.
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