I'd like you to live the experience through my eyes. Shall we?
We walk through the automatic doors and suddenly his eyes brighten. Space! Running! Bines (bananas)! I lift all 27 pounds of him into the cart and he does the splits. Nothing good ever comes out of a toddler doing the splits when placed into a grocery cart. He's not having it. He screams and I place him down so as not to attract more attention to ourselves. Blast, why did I choose today to not change out of my dress/leggings combo that I threw on with old, nasty uggs because I was too lazy to wear my heeled boots? Everyone stares. This enthuses him and ticks his energy meter up a few notches.
First, he plots his attack on the bananas. I place my hand over them to stop him from chucking a bunch onto the ground. He ditches me for the loose bell peppers that have "throw me" written all over them. I scoop him up before he can use the peppers for a rousing game of dodge ball, but just as my hands adjust in his arm pits, out comes a blood curdling scream you would think has come straight from Hades itself. My glasses have now been flung off my face for the third time (of course, the one day out of 365 that I choose glasses over non fling-able contacts).
Simultaneously, as if they can sense a meltdown in progress, two moms with perfectly quiet shopping carts prance through the arena. Their toddlers are strapped silently into the carts' grasps and I feel envious. I've been you! Don't get too comfortable! And don't *&^%%^ judge me!
Finally, against all odds, and partially thanks to Carter's narcissistic phase, I coerce him into the cart with a bine-apple pouch and a video of himself talking on the phone.
As we pass by perfect mom #1, I notice her formerly quiet children are now screaming for free samples and stomping their feet. I feel a little better.
After what feels like a mile-long maze race through the store we make it to the checkout. Hallelujah, refuge is near! But...no. We get the obviously childless (it is apparent by her slowness during my dire state) cashier. I also have to remove Carter from the cart thanks to their we-awkwardly-take-your-shopping-cart-behind-the-register policy. It takes her a 40 year walk through the dessert to bag my groceries. I want to yell. I want to hold her by the shoulders and tell her that I will not care about a broken egg. I'll gladly take a crate-ful of broken eggs over my current appearance: juggling a screaming toddler on my hip and stabbing myself in the side with a fistful of keys, all while trying not to lose my debit card in the mayhem. Give me my grocery bags, or give me death! *Oh, and Trader Joe's kind of has this thing where they expect you to bag your own groceries. Halfway through I got "the look" and I wanted to shout from the register-tops, ONE word: BAGGERS!
I fight through the wind and scurry up to the car with hair in my teeth, holding carter (who wouldn't return to the cart), trying to ensure the cart doesn't smash into the car thanks to the howling wind. I load the three pristinely double bagged groceries into the car (which promptly fall over in my haste to get out of the public eye). I buckle Carter into his seat faster than you can say train wreck and bulldoze out of the place. I, Amy, solemnly swear to never attempt to grocery shop on a skipped-nap day as long as I shall live.