About two weeks ago, I needed groceries. We'd only been in CT about a week and had eaten out long enough, so it was time to stock the pantry. Andrew was underway - which meant my little buddy was going with me.
In all honesty, I don't mind running errands with Jack. And if given the opportunity to go somewhere by myself because Andrew is around to watch him, I'd rather go to Target or Starbucks. Not the grocery store. So there's that.
But back to impending grocery store trip. Getting out with a three-month-old takes preparation, amen? You have to time it just right so he's full and sleepy and will hopefully nap while you're out. Make sure your list is written efficiently, so you're not backtracking inside the store - get in and get out. Make sure you have everything that comes with babies: pacifier, burp rag, extra diaper (just in case), the Ergo, hat, Mr. Giraffe. And then?
Maybe it's just my kid, but the moment we put him in the car seat? Game over. He screams, screams and screams some more until the car is in motion and then he conks out. But in the meantime, I have to bundle him up, snap him in, grab my stuff, lock the door, put him in the car and go. All while he's hysterical. So by that point, I'm ready for a nap. But that's neither here nor there, because we haven't even gotten to the store yet.
Then we get to the store. I like to think of myself as a courteous mom-of-an-infant. I know it can be annoying to wait for someone to take 17 minutes to get everything out of the car, while you just want to get in your car and go home. Or park and go inside. I get that. So I usually park far enough away that there are empty parking spots all around me. That way, no one is waiting on me and I have room to stand and get Jack out of the car seat. Because you know it's just not a grab-and-go situation.
Take off my coat.
Snap the first buckle of the Ergo carrier.
Get the baby out.
Hold the baby, put on strap 1 of the Ergo.
Readjust the baby, put on strap 2 of the Ergo.
Readjust the baby, contort to snap the second buckle of the Ergo.
Tighten all the straps.
And he's not all calm and collected during this scene. He's usually squirmy and fussy. So then I have to dig out the pacifier, put on his hat, put my coat back on, grab my bag, lock the door and go.
All of that to say, anyone waiting for a parking spot or wanting to get to their car beside me would be waiting for a while. So I go to No Man's Land. Everybody wins.
On this day, Mr. Man on a Mission in a Prius decided that he, too, needed to park far away. But of the SEVEN empty parking spots surrounding my car, he wanted the one right beside me. And he was impatient about it! I'm standing there, with the door open, half of Jack in the carrier and the other half flailing about in protest and I have no choice but the get back in the car and wait for this man to park and be on his way. And he even gave me the stink eye! Like I had ruined his day or something. Don't mind the crazy lady with the crying baby, sir. You just be on your merry way.
That was just the parking lot. We're finally ready to go in and even though it was 27 degrees outside, I'd already broken a sweat. Time to get this show on the road. My list wasn't very long, so it shouldn't take long. Not long at all.
As long as every woman in a 10-foot radius doesn't stop to try and touch my baby.
Don't get me wrong, I love that I have a cute kid. And I can't help it if everyone wants to comment on that fact. It's nice, really. But what is it about some women who just lose their mind a little bit when they see a baby? I feel like I need to strap a sign on him that says PLEASE DON'T TOUCH. For the love of all things sanitary, isn't that like the universal rule when seeing a baby? You don't touch them? Not to mention the fact that he's ON MY CHEST which constitutes a major violation of personal space. You may be a grandmother, but you're not his! So you don't have some free pass giving you the right to touch all the children. The colds! The viruses! The germs!
An hour or so later, we were finally out of the grocery store and mommy brain set in. I saw a Jeep that looked like ours, but there were parking stickers on them that I didn't recognize. Andrew put them on before he left, but I didn't know that. So I assumed that it wasn't our car. Which meant I couldn't find ours. Which meant I stood in the middle of the parking lot, in the cold, with a baby strapped to me and a cart full of groceries, wondering where my car went. And playing out the next few minutes of our lives should we not find the car. But then I saw the silhouette of Jack's car seat through the window. Crisis averted.
Once we were loaded up, I went through the drive-through at McDonald's (rebel) and got myself an ice cold Coke. I sure did. And I drank it all before we even got home. That's right. I'm a stress drinker.
So to answer the original question of this post. How do I get groceries? I'll tell you how I get groceries.