Friday, June 18, 2010

Mutiny On the Bounty Aisle

The balance of the universe has been upset.

Leaders overthrown.


Can you feel it? Has everything been a little askew for you since last weekend?

Me, too.

Here's what happened:

I was sick last weekend.

We needed food.

My husband went to the grocery store and took the kids with him.

Now, my husband does not get to the grocery store very often at all and almost never with the kids. He was like a babe in the woods . . . a babe in the woods escorted by two sharks.

A few years ago, when my children were preschool age and in the middle of a raging sibling rivalry, I established some ground rules for grocery store conduct.

1.  No one pushes the cart, but me.

2.  No one rides on the cart. (My daughter can't stay on, and my son is so tall I can't see past him.)

3.  No one grabs anything off the shelf, but me.

4.  No one puts anything in the cart unless I expressly ask them to. (Grabbing things out of my hand while offering to put them in the cart is not helpful and not appreciated, because it only provokes the other one to grab more quickly next time resulting in my virtual mugging every time I pick an item off the shelf.)

And 5.  My daughter (as the chief offender) must walk slightly behind my son. (This method makes racing impossible and reduces cut-offs drastically.)

These rules may sound harsh, but they are not as harsh as my tone of voice and mood upon exiting the grocery store before said rules were invoked. Harmony for all, that's my motto.

So my poor, innocent, naive husband returned from the grocery store, the kids sheepishly following behind him. Once I confirmed that he did, indeed, get my juice and cough drops, I remarked on the notable tension in the room.

My husband choked out, through gritted teeth, "These two were just terrible. They drove me nuts the entire time."

I looked at them.  They averted my gaze.

I looked back at my husband.  "You didn't let them push the cart, did you?"

"Well, yeah, why?"

Why? Why???

All the things I have worked so hard for . . . the peace, the harmony, the order . . . all down the drain . . .

My son pushed the cart.

My daughter "helped" by putting things in the cart.

My son began "correcting" the order of things in the cart.

My daughter resented said correction.




Toes run over.



Mayhem.  Just may.hem.

All rules thrown over.

Power has shifted back to the sharks.

All in one innocent trip to the grocery store.


Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Don't you worry, Mama! The first trip back with you, and order will be restored. You will give them "that look" and they will sigh and realize, that their "fling" is over.

If you are worth your salt, that is! As a Mama who has and will set Rules. ,-) And I am confident you are.

If not, tell 'em you have an "Auntie Amelia" who'll be glad to come by and........ Show them again.... -hehhhhhhhhhh-


sophie said...

I'm not allowed in the grocery store at 4 legs would just get in the way and cause so much strife for the guys...oh well!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

LOL! You are a hoot! Hope chaos will be put at bay soon, unless we get some more good stories from it. ;-)


Sheila :-)

Viki said...

Oh oh, looks like you'll have to whip them back into shape lol.

John Gray said...

great are mad as a box of frfogs

Gail said...

Writing down those rules now.... whilst my kids are a bit younger... they sound like they are made of the same stuff as yours!

Another rule: NO poking the eyes of the fish with your fingers.

KeLLy aNN said...

chompa chomp chomp....Shark Week starts in August.

bad penny said...

oh how funny - did your husband look shell shocked ? ! I used to ban from riding on the trolley & pushing it - used to drive me nuts ( they are older now ) Now they just add chocolate chocolate chocolate !

I saw a friend's husband doing the same with three small children - then I noticed smallest child sitting on a small step ...the naughty step ?

Rose said...

Hope you are feeling much, much better, Lemony Renee'!

The story is funny. I can picture their excitement as they realized they were going to the store with dad!! LOL

I'm sure they know better than to try that with you but will probably try!!

I used to struggle with my 3 kids at the grocery store until one day I'd had enough. I left the cart nearly full of groceries at the meat counter and walked out of the store! I did explain and apologize to a cashier as I was leaving! My kids followed in line behind me, never saying a word. We came home and they all went straight to the rooms! I didn't go back to the grocery store for 2 days! By that time, they claimed they were 'starving'!! LOL But, it was the end of their nonsense and bickering so the lesson was worth my time and embarrassment!

A Write Life said...

Great post. Had to laugh. I've so been there.

Aunt Snow said...

You can't allow one backslide to erode the entire training!! Time to reinforce the lessons!!!

Aunt Snow said...

BTW - when my husband goes to the store, we end up with a surplus of exotic pickles.

So... just remember, it could be worse.

tea said...

Haha! You'll have them back in line next time. I like your rules, those are good mom rules.

Hope you're feeling better! :)

Jabacue said...

I'm with you on this one! Kids need limits especially in grocery stores! I think you should publish your 'rules' for kids and have them at the cashier/magazine stands.

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