During the day, I make decisions on the spot that can be good or bad.  Do I grant my children’s request to have popcorn for breakfast or do I force feed them something well balanced and nutritious – like Lucky Charms?  Do I allow them to dress themselves and chance an encounter with an ex – boss or friend while they are dressed in a yellow striped shirt and lime green polka dot shorts with pink cowboy boots?  Do I allow them to sit in front of the TV and watch the same episode of Tom and Jerry for the 8th time or do I make them go outside and show each other what they have learned? 

All of these dilemmas are generally trumped by the all daring decision of whether to take them in public.  Now a park or a play place is ok.  They are expected to be crazy little heathens there.  Even a mall or movie theatre during kids hours are good.  No one looks at you funny because they are all too busy trying to keep their kids from being “that kid”. 

The grocery store, however, is a toughie.  There are moms who relish this weekly trip as their only break from their kids, ladies who are calculating and sorting coupons and need to really focus and guys that are deer in headlights speed dialing their wives for the twelfth time asking what exactly she meant by “chicken breasts”.  All of these people deserve a quiet and non chaotic trip to the store.  Grocery shopping is serious business after all.  No room for mistakes!

So today, while contemplating how long it would be ok for me to leave my daughter in her last diaper, I decide that I only have about three pees left and face the realization that I must go to the store.  I have to, for my sanity, ignore the little voice in my head that says “YOU ARE INSANE – WRAP HER IN PAPER TOWELS!!!”,  and load up my three tired, cranky, hungry little girls and just do it. I have not done this in a while, saving my shopping for really late at night or when I have help at home, but today I need things and so I convince myself that it will be ok!  Plus I think I was still a little drunk from ping pong night with my husband yesterday. 

I should have known that I made a huge mistake before I even left the house.  Katie and Sarah were fighting, Megan was screaming and everyone was in one stage of dress or another.  No one, including me, was totally ready to go.  Despite the yelling – by me, the one hour prep time and the protests of all involved, I forged forward.  Determined that I would at least come home with milk and diapers…  necessities that go hand in hand, if you will.

With bribery food in tow – Happy Meals – I tell myself the lie that all mothers do, that it will not be that bad, and load the kids into the grocery cart.  After making a very intelligent decision – and to hush them up – I let the two older girls push their own kid carts.  To be proactive, I wrote a blank check and left it with the manager. 

 All I can tell you is that I am an idiot!

OH MY GOSH!!  What the holy living hell was I thinking?  Where were my friends to stop me from making one bad decision after another today?  Probably in the comfort of their home with their kids properly caged like good mothers!

Besides the peanut butter display that was knocked clean over,  the fruit that was thrown across the store because “Look Mommy, a ball!” and the lady that got a nice kid basket square on the back of her legs.  Again… I am so, so very sorry.  We entertained the masses with the kids slamming their baskets into each other and simultaneously crying “Mooooom – insert name – hit meeeee!”, Megan twisting herself out of her seat belt and dangling from the cart ala Blanket Jackson and me screaming at my children so loud that I think…  I can’t be sure, but I think I heard “Shot of vodka requested on Aisle 12” over the PA system. 

Onlookers had mixed reactions to the circus coming to Kroger today.  I got the usual “they are so cutes” and “you sure have your hands full” mixed with raised eyebrows, deep breaths and mutterings that I would have heard were I not yelling for the 865th time “We do not need that!  Put it down!!”

After the cashier checked me out at warp speed, the manager gave me a look of pity while handing my check back, and other shoppers clearing the exit for me, I surmised that this was not that bad of a trip after all.

Because, despite the fact that I had a major headache, a hankering for a massive dose of sedatives, and now a reputation at Kroger, I did get what I needed and managed not to lose any children.

In the course of my day – that is considered a heroing success!