Why? Well it is, once again, one of those weeks. I have a school P&F meeting tomorrow night, which requires a little preparation on my part, as well as a contribution to the school newsletter to write (I write that weekly), not to mention a house to clean. So if I don't do the food shopping now, I'll be behind on everything for the rest of the week. And so I decided to be sensible. Responsible. And it sucks (as my boys would say).
If there is one chore I can't stand (even above the ironing, and that's really saying something) it's the weekly planning, shopping and cooking of the weekly meals. Even if someone gave me a list of meals and what I required to make them, that'd be half the battle fought. I just get so tired of doing it. Week in. Week out.
But as per usual, the 2yr old was excited about the weekly trip to Coles. For him, it's quite the excursion. (I'm obviously not exciting my poor child much these days. Hmm.) So excited in fact he wanted to share his love of shopping by taking his new Igglepiggle along. (Which is almost the same size as he is. Igglepiggle has become his best buddy since he was purchased yesterday with savings donated by Grandma & Grandpa. He slept with the 2yr old last night, carefully tucked in and with his own pillow. He woke up and watched Maisy with the 2yr old, then was pushed down to school in a stroller by the 2yr old. I'm starting to envy Igglepiggle's life.)
I tried to convince him this wasn't a great idea. I knew what would happen. I'd end up carrying Igglepiggle around the shops under my arm. But the 2yr old insisted. "I push him in my trolley, Mum." He was thinking about the kid size trolleys at the local Coles. "Ok," I reluctantly agreed, crossing my fingers that a kid size trolley would be available.
We arrive, getting a great parking spot. If there's one thing I've often been lucky with, it's getting a good parking space at the local shopping centre. (At least I've got something going for me, huh?) It doesn't always happen though. Like the time I indicated for a spot close to the entrance of a busy shopping centre only to have a more mature-aged woman steal it right out from under me. When she got out of her car, after parking in my car space, I pointed out what she had done. "Oh, I thought you were going straight ahead," she announced, waving her hand in dismissal as she did so. "So what was my indicator for?" I shot back with just an ounce of sarcasm. To which she replied. "You know, I'm an elderly lady. I'm 50 years old." What the...?
And that's when I lost it. Firstly, she was at least 60. Either that or she had a temporary brain meltdown, or had spent way too much time in the sun as a teenager. "Oh, no, no, no," I replied. "Don't play the 'I'm an old person' card. Just because you're older than what I am, doesn't give you the right to be rude and not consider others." She went on and on about 'you people' being the rude ones, to which I asked, "What do you mean: 'you people'?", etc, and in the end, getting nowhere, I ended up just driving away. My boys were in the back of the car at the time. "She was really dumb, wasn't she Mum?" one of them asked. "She certainly acted like it," I replied.
Anyway, this time there were no such parking dramas. But when we got to Coles, guess what? No kiddy shopping trolleys. Turns out (after consulting one of the Coles dudes) that the trolleys keep disappearing out the store. Parents take them, and they never make their way back. That annoys me. I have never taken one of those trolleys out of Coles before, because I just know I wouldn't want to spend the time returning it, but I wouldn't want to leave it down in the carpark either. There are opportunists out there everywhere, and something like that is too tempting for them. Despicable.
I looked at the 2yr old's face, waiting for the meltdown I assumed would follow after hearing the news, bracing myself in the process. But he was surprisingly stoic. "Ok Mum. I sit in your trolley, but not in the seat, because that's for baaaabies." Deal.
So in jumped the toddler and Igglepiggle. I had precisely one quarter of the trolley space left. This would be challenging.
And so, food was piled around both my son and his new buddy. Eventually, it became too hard to balance all the food in a couple of small areas, and so doing what all mothers do in a time of need, I bribed my son with food. I convinced the 2yr old to eat a packet of dried fruit flakes and share them with Igglepiggle, in the baby seat. And so, with the promise of food, he hopped in to the seat, with Igglepiggle squished in beside him. And there they stayed for the rest of the shop.
When I finally made my way to the checkout, and loaded on my chosen items, the 2yr old spied the Guide Dogs Association donation box, shaped just like a guide dog. He loves it. It's the same size as him (and Igglepiggle) and it's a weekly event to put money in the dog's head. (When we first got our dog, I was concerned the 2yr old would try to stick money in his head. So far, so good.) When I checked the purse I found I had precisely 5 cents to my name. Great. I knew the 2yr old would expect more (he usually asks, "Two dollars", meaning 2 coins of any amount). Once again, I braced myself for his response to my measly 5 cents, and...nothing. He was ok. Hmm. Maybe the terrible twos really are being left behind. Ooh quick. Touch wood.
With bags packed firmly in to the trolley, and Igglepiggle secure in the baby seat, we headed home. The 2yr old did his obligatory time in the driver's seat of the car whilst I loaded the car with our purchases, and then he did the same on our arrival home as I unpacked the car. Then he walked inside and asked for bed. Clearly exhausted from the morning's events. Well, there's a first.
So now as my little boy sleeps, with Igglepiggle securely tucked in beside him, and the shopping packed neatly away (kind of), I've decided today's shopping excursion wasn't that bad. Maybe next week I'll even look forward to it. Well, maybe not. But I see a promising future.
Until next time...