Wednesday, March 25, 2009

a glimpse

I don't even know how to communicate this scene properly
but I want to write it down, no matter how bad, while it's still fresh on my mind.

GROCERY SHOPPING
with four toddlers.

11:30am arrive.  park by cart return. unbuckle the twins. unload everyone. at this point I am talking constantly and it sounds exactly like this every time:

come on, let's go, we're here, let's get out, yes, we're ready Nora, everyone touch the car, no, not the tire, just stand against the car please, ok, now let's walk, stay right by mommy, NORA!!! get over here, stay by mommy, SAMANTHA!!! please hurry up, stay with us, you're too far behind, NORA!! GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW!!! there are cars and you're going to get an ouchie if you don't stay by us, ok, don't cross, wait for cars, do you see any cars? do you hear any cars? good. ok. let's cross.  Samantha, come on!  hurry up, good job (and I say good job meaning, "I can't believe we just made it across that parking lot and we are all still alive).

11:37am we are finally in the store.

two carts.  one twin in each seat. major protesting.  Lydia and Samantha want to ride, Nora and Sophie want to walk but mommy says we have to start this way and then we'll take turns later.
and Nora and Sophie need this repeated about every 2 min. until it's their turn to 'walk'

11:40am start shopping.

Lydia is extremely helpful and for the most part great to shop with....unless she's tired.

Samantha just wants to know when we will be purchasing make-up (chapstick) and will ask at 30 sec. intervals for two hours straight.  She pees in her panties, just a squirt, every single time and it's...well, it's maddening.

Nora and Sophie, after sitting in the baby seats for 15 min just can't take it anymore and switch with their big sisters.
Two weeks ago this was fine, it was crazy but they stayed with us.
NOT THE LAST TWO TIMES.
It's like they took toddler cat-nip or something and wrestling, tickling, giggling, screeching, running, etc....that is all the sudden appropriate grocery store behavior???
They both get 'hidden spankings' for running away from us (and I'm talking a distance of about 20-30 feet away, behind isle's, etc... to me that warrants a spanking - less traumatizing than a kidnapping, right?)
and they get put back in the cart for the rest of the trip, which equals loud obnoxious whining type of crying.

I'm cool with my kids crying when they are hurt or sad, but whining....yeah, I have NO tolerance.  
So, 'no tolerance' mommy enters the scene and we (me and Nora today, somedays it's Sophie) have a stare down and good talkin' to until she quits whining.

some where around 1/2 way through the trip we hit the restrooms.
it's bad.
we have a 'stand against the wall' rule if you aren't engaged in any of the bathroom activities so I find myself saying 'stand against the wall' about 1,000 times.
OH! you should see the "you're Hilter" looks I get!!!!
we need FOUR stalls people.
have you ever seen a public restroom with four clean stalls?
let alone four consecutive clean stalls?
Samantha, Nora and Sophie all still need help (without step stools and with scary self flushing toilets mama is a necessity...don't get me started)
I look ridiculous going in and out of three stalls each about three times.
1x to put them on
2x to wipe/get dressed/tell them where to flush
3x to tell them to get out and go stand against a wall.
most bathrooms Lydia can wash her own hands, but not all
so, I lift and wash 6-8 hands per trip and then thoroughly scrub my own (that's a lot of doors to touch and bottoms wiped!)
forget me needing to pee - I just hold it.

back to shopping we go...if you have to go again while we're out. tough luck...

it's now around
12:47pm 
I have put back about 10 items that mysteriously entered the cart, told everyone NO a thousand times to different requests and administered a years worth of discipline in one short hour.

and checking out.
I don't know if I even have the energy to convey what the check out process is like.
Nora and Sophie are always toast and whining at this point.
NO MATTER WHAT I DO.
Lydia and Samantha are squeezing in every ounce of effort to get me to buy just one more thing mommy!!!!!????
the checker is always one of two things: frustrated with me, the opposite of helpful or wants to know my birthing stories for each kid.  UGH.
the check out process always takes about 30 min.  
that's a long time in line and I usually turn away about 5 people letting them know we take a long time and I am so sorry but you'd get out of here faster if you switched lanes.
they are always grateful. ;-)

from the checkout to the car kinda goes like from the car to the carts.
just repeat all I said.

1:30pm.
we're home.
and it's nap time.
and they are being very testy.
and they are.....being bad.

everyone take your shoes off and put them in the basket, go potty, wash your hands really really really good, Samantha go put new panties on, Nora and Sophie I said to put your shoes away and go potty, stop playing and obey, RIGHT NOW!!!  Samantha, I will get _____ for you later, right now its' nap time (she always NEEDS something), Nora and Sophie, if you don't obey right now, you will get in trouble, Samantha, NOW....and repeat until everyone has gotten in trouble at least two times and finally goes potty, washes their hands and puts their shoes next to the basket, not in, just next to. (you enforce this after all that we just did :-) all while Lydia, because she's four and just being adorable right now, has obeyed and is waiting in her room for my assistance with nap time activities for her.

it's now
2:00pm
everyone is in their room, has had a reminder about how you're supposed to act in a store and a reminder that screaming at mommy is unacceptable but I love you and we will do better next time, right?, Samantha has what she asked for 1/2 a second after we walked in the door and Lydia has been assisted and all are drifting off.
time to bring in and put away groceries.
perfect timing too because at this point I feel:
tired, defeated, and listless

but by golly we will survive now because we have food.
because we went to the store, no matter how ridiculous it is for us.
we went.
and we will go again.
and it will be better next time, right girls????????

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, Holly! My goodness, even if you may not think/feel so, your reserves of patience are amazing. What an adventure it all is. I do have one tip for the scary autoflush toilets -- sticking post-its on the sensors keep the toilets from flushing and freaking out the kids. It's probably something you've heard before, but just in case ... it's a total lifesaver. I really hate those autoflush toilets. Ugh! Nothing like a LOUD noise and a gratuitous toilet-water-on-your-bum experience to brighten your day, huh?

Anyway ... hang in there.
You are awesome!!

- from your sort-of-anonymous fellow Omaha mom

Anonymous said...

oh Holly! Been there done That! I don't miss those ages and the public restrooms!! Colette used to be sooo scared of those. I always told people I left the triplets at home when I got those questions if all four were mine. Good seeing you Sunday! Colette now has strep throat. talk to you soon!
Kim

Missy said...

I'm traumatized just reading that...cripey! It will probably always be hard in some capacity, well, just because, that's motherhood. If it's not one thing it's another when you're a mom, if they're not in one stage, they're in another. BUT, that's what also makes YOU great. Balancing the dynamics, and embracing your chaos.
Let it 'make ya' not 'break ya'.
(next time call me and I'll tag along to chase the girls-for real)

Tera said...

HEE HEE HEE!! Sorry I couldn't resist! I am reajusting to having an infant carrier in the grocery basket, because I can't see over it if it is put in the kid basket, and feeding 7 of us, I still have to pile groceries around the baby and each riding toddler. I have two boys in one cart, a girl in the other cart, and Emily and Katelyn holding on to the rear cart, while I push and pull along every aisle. Have learned a few things, WE DON'T PEE IN PUBLIC RESTROOMS, they go right before and then we turbo shop, or they hold it! Mom has learned to ignore the looks when we make train, car, or beeping noises while we shop. And my all time favorite is forgetting to take WIDE turns and knocking over a few floor displays. Sometimes I try to fix it, but mostly I just walk away MORTIFIED!! It does get better, it will get easier, and SERIOUSLY LOOK HOW FAR YOU HAVE COME!! You venture out alone with 4 kids, you are woman hear you ROAR! Best of luck, and thanks for the great visuals, I have been there, wait I am still there! HEE HEE HEE! Have a great day!

Courtney said...

wow, holly. i don't know what else to say. you'll like that you documented that one day!

Anonymous said...

You are superwoman. You not only survived you still had enough brain cells left to document it. I am proud of your adventurer mindset and I love you.

mamaw

KB said...

I am laughing....I know what a nightmare it is taking my 3 so I'm sorry....that's all I can say...I'm sorry....I was totally laughing though about how you feel like all you do is talk...and repeat...me too sista, me too. Sorry about the urgent care trip, we were in the ER last night for 7 hours....more on that later.

waukeelittles said...

You deserve MOM of the Year!

smithfive said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacy said...

see...i don't think it gets any easier...I really don't. I have started paying the $5 fee to have someone shop for me and then I drive to the store...push the button...and they wheel it out and put it in my car. For this time in my life...SO worth it.

My kids are good for the most part in public...and I do get compliments...but when it comes to grocery shopping....it's like ...you're right...catnip...they get all stirred up and they think it's ok to all of a sudden run around - slide on their bellies - litterally run in circles with their heads back laughing and screaming.

where am I in all of this??? Trying to quickly put things in the cart and keep them moving!!!

Erika Cargle said...

It probably won't make you feel any better - but I vividly remember Drew & I getting a spanking after every trip to the grocery store for about a year. We were bad everytime. I guess there is something about that place that makes kids go crazy! Good luck on your next adventure!

Tisha said...

Hehehe

Amber Trejo said...

I remember getting lots of spankings after or during grocery trips, too. I thought grocery day was a blast but thinking back, it was probably a horrible day for my mom!

Marc, Jaimee, Ben and Liam said...

first of all, i love that you call them "ouchies" and secondly, please write a book someday :)