I just got home from the grocery store with my two children. I know this is a blog and that I’m supposed to write about the minute details of taking small children grocery shopping because, oh the hilarity! But really? You already know, don’t you? You know that it was an experience that bordered on miserable, involved a race-car cart that the children decided they didn’t want to ride in seven minutes into the trip, and included lots of terse commands. No newsflashes here, let’s move along.
One of the tricks I pull out of my child wrangling bag of skills is to tell Carson and Ella that they have to stay behind me while I push the cart. Trust me when I say that when this works, it’s genius. The kids aren’t “helping” me push the cart, they aren’t standing beside or in front of the cart, I’m not running over them. Of course, I have to turn around every 3 seconds to be sure they haven’t been abducted, run away, or broken a jar of pickles, but otherwise, GENIUS.
“Stay behind me!” I said/chirped/yelled/blurted out/spoke through clenched teeth….about eleventy billion times.
There was one particular woman that I kept running into (not literally, but almost) in nearly every aisle I tried to navigate. We both happened to be shopping for the exact same items in the exact same aisles. I admit that I felt a tiny seed of irritation because she just always seemed to be where I wanted to be and I was already on edge (my children! were with me! while I was trying to grocery shop!). As I waited for her to choose her oatmeal so that I could choose my oatmeal, I didn’t huff or clear my throat or seem impatient at all. No, really! I was as kind and patient as one who was in my predicament could have been (my children! were with me! while I was trying to grocery shop!) I didn’t even let her beady, I’m-just-out-to-annoy you eyes affect me. Or maybe I just imagined her eyes to be mocking me, I tend to imagine that everyone is out to get me when I’m on heightened alert.
“Stay behind me!” I said for the eleventy billionth and one time, as I attempted to reign in the children. My eyebrows furrowed, my I mean business face firmly set, I made ever so slight eye contact with the woman.
“I’ll stay right here,” she said, looking slightly frightened.
It took me several minutes and aisles, free of my shopping buddy, to realize that she thought I was yelling at her to, “STAY BEHIND ME.” (In my defense, I’m not sure how she missed me saying this over and over to my kids.)
I panicked out of embarrassment. I raced the children up and down the aisles, looking for the woman just so I could yell at my children in front of her to “STAY BEHIND ME!” with an added, “I keep telling you two children (KEY WORDS right there, folks) to STAY BEHIND ME.”
Or I guess I could have just found her and explained the misunderstanding, but I’m only just now realizing that was even a possibility.
Please enjoy this completely unrelated photo!