Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Blueberry Incident

Right behind cleaning the bathroom, and doing laundry, my least favorite thing to do is go grocery shopping. I'm not really sure why this is, maybe it's the process of trying to keep a rolling total of what I'm buying (including 3 gallons of milk that won't last a week) in order to keep my family on a budget. Worse than grocery shopping, is trying to shop with the kids. Something that would take me an hour by myself, takes two when anyone else comes along, including my husband. My trick to avoiding this dilemma is to try to shop online and have my groceries delivered (this is absolutely the best idea that ANYONE has come up with). Problem with online shopping, you're not physically there to make sure you get exactly what you want. I once ordered laundry detergent, but when it showed up, it was so tiny I could hold it in the palm of my hand. Everything looks bigger in pictures, especially when you don't read the fine print about how many ounces something is. I also found a great deal on online frozen dinners. I could get 4 for ten dollars. My husband was the one who greeted the delivery guy. Shawn poked his head in the door and said, "Wow. You ordered a lot of frozen dinners." I replied yes I had, they were on sale. What I didn't pay attention to was the fact that the 'quantity' space beside the item I ordered online was pre-loaded with 4 (since you could get 4 for $10). I now had 40 frozen dinners.

Anyway, I digress. On one of those rare days, when I couldn't avoid going to the grocery store, I also happen to be stuck with dragging along Kaiden, who was about 3 at the time. I put him in the cart seat and strapped him in. I start trudging down the aisles. I put a few items in the cart (which is the one with the funky wheel that quits turning every once and again and everyone knows where you are because it squeaks every rotation) and I find myself in the produce section. I stopped next to the fruit stand to double check my list to see what I needed. Kaiden spied one of those weak plastic containers full of blueberries. "That mommy," he points with a stubby little finger, "please? Can I please have that?" This is exactly why shopping takes two hours instead of one. "Honey, no. We don't need blueberries." "PLEEEAASSE, mommy!" I looked up, and they were actually a decent price, and what the hay, they were healthy. "Okay, this once." I picked up a small carton and put it in the cart with the green beans and box of cereal. "Mommy, I want to hold it."
"No, sweetheart, you'll spill them."
"PLEEEASSE mommy! I won't spill them, I promise!" Rather than waste any more time trying to concentrate on the list in my hand and get mad because I was only one aisle into my glorious shopping experience, I caved. Number one mommy rule that everyone knows you shouldn't break. Stand your ground! Don't give in. Especially when your gut feeling is whispering in your ear, 'don't do it or you'll be sooorrrry.'  I handed him the (in hindsight) flimsy, poorly sealed plastic container.

I start pushing the cart. I maybe went five feet. I maybe turned my back for 2 seconds. I heard the crash and I saw the blueberries rolling past my feet. Your first instinct is to look around and try to gauge  your getaway possibility (which is something like number of feet divided by the number of people within that area multiplied by how many are actually looking at you.) My percentage happened to be slim to none. I think I literally slumped my shoulders, closed my eyes, looked upward and groaned. Kaiden looked at me wide-eyed. "It was ackident. I didn't mean too!" I hitch my purse up higher on my shoulder, scoop up the half-empty container and started doing what any decent person would do. I put the container in the cart and started picking up blueberries, one by one by one. Every handful I got I would walk over to the garbage can, the kind with the floppy lid that continues to swing back and forth and back and forth after you throw something away, and deposited the berries. Kaiden had his head on the cart's push bar crying, saying, "I"m sorry, I'm sorry. I'm bad." Yeah, how does that look? I didn't even stop to really comfort him, because all I could think of was how much time this was taking. Every handful, I clenched my jaw tighter and tighter (this was taking forever!) and not because I was mad at Kaiden, but because I was so STUPID in ignoring that gut-voice. What was I thinking? I KNEW he would drop it.

After squatting down and walking like a duck, trying to find every last one of those dang berries (because everyone was STILL watching), I stood up to take my final handful over to the garbage. I shoved my hand through the swinging lid and turned back toward the cart, except, the lid swung back and trapped my hand. That along with the turning motion, pulled the garbage can over...and every single one of those damn blueberries spilled back out on to the floor! URRRGHHH. (I think I actually said that out loud.) I started grumbling under my breath, loud enough that people were looking at me a little more strangely. And don't think I didn't see all of you trying to hide those smirks behind polite hands, acting like you were itching your nose or something. Dang it! I was close to steaming. Again, I hitched my purse up and bent over to start the whole tedious process over. As I did, my purse slipped. I had forgotten to snap it shut. Now along with all the blueberries, every item (personal and non, safe and embarrassing) lay scattered amongst those little balls of blue from hell.

I now began to clean the contents of my purse up first, still mumbling, slightly louder. One mom was standing with her approximately 8 year old daughter and gently prodded her (probably by whispering something like, "Go help that crazy lady.") into coming over and helping me (bless her heart - you're a good mom-example). We finally did get those berries back in the garbage, my son stopped crying and the only reminder that was left (besides some very hilarious security video that may still end up on the Internet) was the half empty carton of opened berries, sitting next to the box of Cheerios...which I quietly slipped back on a shelf in the spice aisle (since that aisle is usually empty) when no one else was looking.


  1. I wish more than anything to be able to have groceries delivered! Your blueberry story is amazing.... I would have done the exact same thing and felt the same way.... Were your hands blue too?!

  2. I can't STAND grocery shopping. As we speak, Hubby is at the store. I used to find it relaxing until I realized that I'd have to do it for the rest of my life. And I had the blueberry incident at home last week. I can't imagine having it in the middle of the grocery. UGH!

  3. Ugh. Grocery shopping is TORTURE with kids. There are so many things that can go so terribly, terribly wrong.

  4. I so want to grocery shop with you. I hate it as well but maybe, just maybe as a team, we could be leave there feeling victorious. Strength in numbers...

  5. One of THE BEST things about having my youngest kid finally start preschool was getting to go to the grocery store alone. Now I get to smile with compassion at the moms who have to bring their kids to the store and say something like "Oh, I remember those days!" when I really mean, "Hahahaha I don't have to do that anymore hahahhaha!!"

  6. When I send the hubby, I end up with boxes of Ho-Ho's, frozen pizza rolls, ice cream (you get the picture.)

  7. Haha! Oh dear lord. this would so happen to me.

    I REFUSE to take my kids shopping with me. I'm a couponer and I go to four stores and I do it alone. There's no way my sanity would remain intact if I didn't.

    I haven't attempted the having the groceries delivered thing yet, but I may. Interesting to hear that you love it!

  8. This story made me laugh out loud. Great details - the flimsy box, the swinging lid trash can, the unlatched purse - hilarious! I am going to show this to C.J. to explain why every week I make him watch Liam while I go to the grocery store alone!