Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Walmart With Toddler, in Pictures

I knew it was going to be a rough day when Abigail got ahold of my shopping list and immediately stuck it into her mouth, tore off a piece, chewed it up, and spit it onto the floor. All this happened in a matter of moments while I grabbed a bag of bagels for the four (yes, 4!) teenage girls that will be staying with us for the next three weeks.
Since when are her arms long enough to grab things out of the cart while she's strapped into her seat?

So, I'm walking by the candy aisle when I start thinking I'm smelling puke. No, wait, that's not quite it, but it's bringing up olfactory memories of having the flu. I literally stop and look all around me, trying to figure out what it is. I pinpoint the scent-reference: It's Pepto-Bismol. But there is none of the pink stuff in the candy aisle. It's really bugging me that I can't figure this out, so I literally walk slowly down the aisle smelling for the culprit. (If anyone was watching me leaning into the shelves to sniff the packages, I'm sure they thought I was nuts.)
Lo and behold, I found the impostor: Wint-o-green Life Savers. I will never be able to eat them again. (Not that I ever did in the first place, but NOW - ugh, queasy just thinking about it.) Don't believe me? Go get some and smell for yourself. I'm tellin' ya Pepto smell = Wint-o-green smell.

Obviously, the shopping list was not the only victim of Abigail's rampant teething tirade. Poor box-o-Eggos got snagged while I was reaching into the freezer for some juice concentrate.

When baby gets fussy, I start acting like the cart is some kind of carnival ride. Wheeeeee! We're driving like a race car! Wheeeeee! Mommy's standing on the bottom rack and rolling with you! Wheeeee! (Yeah, strangers are really starting to look at me now - but at least it keeps Abigail from screaming like a banshee because She. Wants. OUT. NOW! Notice that in this picture there are no hands on the handle of the cart. Abigail is rolling freely down the aisle, with physical control of the cart completely relinquished to the forces of gravity, momentum, and the crazy wheel that won't go straight. This is the height of fun, people. She could cruise like that for hours. Her big smile is so cute, it almost made me forget that shopping with a toddler is work. Almost... But alas, we must go check out. And just when we were having so much fun.

Checking out is pretty much always a nightmare, because Abigail despises being still for more than two seconds at a time. Sitting still is bad enough. But sitting still in a cart that's not moving - torture! Being the genius mother that I am, I decide to let her play with the first item that I scan - give her something to keep her busy while I scan and bag the week's rations, you know?

(Yes, I'm a self-checkout junkie. Nobody packs my groceries the way I like them except for ME. I pack those babies full. Why is it that every time a cashier bags my stuff I end up with, like, 6 bags for 5 products. C'mon people - A plastic bag can hold more than three cans of juice! Anyway, back to the saga...)

So I scan a 64 oz. bottle of juice and set it in the cart next to her. I'm thinking - it's plastic, she can chew on it but can't get it open, it's perfect. Silly Mommy obviously didn't think that one through. Plastic bottles don't break like glass when they hit the floor, but they still bust open. That's about 20-some ounces of Welch's White Grape Cherry juice all over the floor. Oh joy!

We survive the check-out, but Abigail hasn't had enough fun yet. We have to stop and say hello to Barney. I don't feed the monster quarters, I just let her climb up on the seat. She has no idea that this thing moves if you put money in it - she just likes to sit there and turn the steering wheel. If I have anything to say about it, she'll never see Barney in action, and therefore I will never have to hear her beg me for a quarter to ride.

We make it to the car and I'm putting groceries in the trunk when I realize that when the juice-incident took place, I never found the lid for the bottle. Now I have an opened, 2/3-full bottle of juice with a busted spout. But by golly, I bought the juice so I'm taking it home. Improvisation is a required skill for motherhood. I managed to get the juice home without spilling a drop or staining my pants (or should I say, without staining my pants more...there's that nice peanut butter spot on my thigh.) Back home in the driveway, I did manage to spill the juice onto the roof of the car when I set it there to get Abigail out of her carseat. But it was a little spill, and it only dripped onto the seat a couple times.

Tomorrow, we tackle Costco.


  1. Man, I remember those days. They may be the main reason we stopped at 2...

    I'm with you on the Pepto/Winter Green. I can't tell you how many packs of gum I've tossed b/c the smell/taste was too close to the pink stuff of death.

  2. You are one brave, brave soul! I can't wait to see with the next 2 or 3 kids!

    Great post and just what I needed this a.m. for a laugh to get me going!

  3. Sarah, I'm amazed that you had time & energy to take pictures through it all! When my daughter was young, I tried to avoid taking her with me...but if I had to, I was on a mission to get out of there as fast as I could.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  4. I'm glad you all could have a laugh at my expense. No really, I mean it - that's why I took pictures. As Abigail was devouring my shopping list I decided that I could either get frustrated and bitter, OR I could whip out my camera phone and blog about it later. Good thing I started snapping right away, because if I had gotten to the spilled juice without photos, I would have been kicking myself.

  5. That was just too funny. When my kids were that age I would go to Wal-Mart at 10pm - I think that was a between feeding time for my son? - but I tell you it was complete bliss to shop on my own. I did care if I did have to climb the re-stocking carts shoved in the middle of the isle. I was alone, and it was a get away time. What was funny is that I would run into other mommies from my church - at midnight at wal-mart! I think it is a common practice of young mommies...but you, dear Sarah, are the BRAVE ONE!

  6. That brings back memories. Now I remember why I always got my mom to come over when I went grocery shopping. :) Your girl is too cute for words! My daughter once ate a page out of my bible. Gives new meaning to eating up God's word! :D

  7. Hey Sarah, loved reading your account of Walmart - sounds like quite an adventure! I love your positive attitude and ability to keep it all in perspective - no use crying over spilled, um, juice. I, too, take Taylor with me when I shop. Some days it is a bit of a challenge, other days it works quite well. My favorite trick? Goldfish! It keeps Taylor occupied and entertained for at least a little bit. Good luck next week! :-)

  8. Oh no!!!

    the adventures of motherhood

  9. Looks a lot like our adventures. My youngest is 14 months and teething. She popped open a yogurt container at the grocery store the other day. That was a huge mess!

  10. Golly. If I got comments like this on every blog... Makes me want to advertise. Kidding.

    I really don't have much to say except, very funny and enjoyable! I don't have any crazy stories to tell you, but if I did... I'd be posting right alongside all these other mommies!