There have been lots of blog posts and articles lately about being in the moment with your children. About keeping your patience when it's really, *really* hard because these days "won't last forever". To treasure the moments, even the hard ones because they all pass too quickly.
And it's all true, every word of it.
I have seen a few things lately that make me roll my eyes so hard I can see my brain. Like this:
While I can assure you I will miss small feet, and sloppy kisses, and omigoshtoomanythingstomention... There are two things, I can assure you, I will go to my grave NOT missing and those are:
2) Grocery shopping with small children
Like two weeks ago when we went to the grocery store and our feet had barely hit the pedestrian crossing, yellow-striped blacktop in front of the sliding doors before our younger daughter piped up, "I have to go potty". Followed by our oldest, "Yeah, me too!"
Before we can even look at a single apple or bunch of grapes, there we are in the public restroom. My number one arch nemesis. You will never know how many nasty things there are to touch/sit on/get your mouth on until you try and traverse a public restroom with a small child. Even better if there are more than one and you have no stroller to strap them into since you can't micromanage them all at once.
After a fight over who will make sure the potty is wiped down, and a lot of "No! I do's it!!", I turn around just in time for our youngest to dump the entire contents of the stall trash can out on the floor. If you have been in a women's restroom you know those stall trashcans are about as nasty as a men's bathroom urinal. I seriously thought about going and telling a staff member that "someone" had dumped the trash out in the bathroom (definitely not us though, nope) and if I could borrow a dustpan and broom.
But for the sake of saving time, since we'd already been in the bathroom for what felt like half an hour, I just got a huge wad of toilet paper and picked it all up while gagging and keeping the youngest pinned against the wall with my butt. I'd love for him to not touch the walls either, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
I finally get my youngest daughter all set and we go to wash hands. As I lift her up to the sink, her sandal falls off her foot. I don't think much of it because we'll be done in just a few more seconds and we'll get it back on then.
Except almost instantaneously my oldest starts screaming "No! Owen! No!"
And I knew. His penchant for throwing any and everything he can into the nearest body of water reared it's ugly head. And as I whip around the corner, there is her pink sandal IN THE PUBLIC RESTROOM TOILET. Unfortunately there are no latex gloves in public restrooms for such occasions, so with the help of some paper towels, I fish it out without dripping and wash it in hot soapy water, spray it down with hand sanitizer, then run it under the hot air hand dryer.
Then, we started grocery shopping.
Or this story, which just highlights the disheveled-ness that is me trying to navigate the grocery store, which by the way really is like trying to shop while keeping a small heard of goats under control.
I am desperately trying to get out the door, finally, and all I need is a bra. All I have clean however is an old, too small, push-up bra that is on it's last leg. You know, the kind from Victoria's Secret that have the gel push-up pads built into it? I had on a big sweatshirt so I wasn't too concerned, I just needed something to put on. So on it went, and so did we.
When we arrive at the grocery store, I notice this weird wet looking spot on my son's leg. "What is that??" I think, but upon the tried and true "mom smell test" I determine it to be mysterious, but benign and in we go.
We live in a small town, and even though we drive to a town 20 minutes away to shop, there is still no doubt I will run into at least 2 people I know on any given day. On this particular day it was probably five, plus a short conversation I stopped and had with a guy that knows my husband from high school who works there about his new baby.
We finish out, and as I'm waiting to swipe my debit card I notice the spot on my son's grey pants looks even bigger.
"Where is this coming from??"
We go home, I unload groceries, I cook, I pick up, I finally take a 2 minute break to the bathroom and as I turn in the mirror... I see this:
That old push-up bra that I should have thrown away ages ago? Yeah, it popped. Probably while trying to wrestle the baby out the door and into the car. I walked around, talked to people, and paraded all around the store aisles like this.
Now, I know. I am incredibly thankful that I live in a country where I can just walk into a building and have my pick from fresh vegetables and fruits and meats and milk and anything else you can think of year round. I am so thankful and grateful to have the money to pay for those groceries, to have a car and gas and top of the line safety seats to get me and my little ducklings there.
But like something else I read on pinterest said, 'saying you can't be upset because someone else has it worse is like saying you can't be happy because someone else has it better'.
Sometimes, grocery shopping just sucks, and you can make the prettiest little memes you want with all the colors and little owls, but I know I will never miss grocery shopping with multiple small children.
And if you've ever been at the store and thought "Why does this only happen to me?" "Why is this is so hard for me and not others?" or "Oh my god I'm so embarrassed, I just walked around the whole store with chocolate on my butt that looks like poop!" (I've had that happen before, too!!) Just know you're not alone.
And one day, 20 years from now, we'll see that young mom struggling with her children and we'll smile and say "It's ok! That used to be me, I totally understand, don't worry. Enjoy it now, they're only young for so long. It goes so fast", like everyone else tells me at the grocery store. And then we'll consult our perfectly scratched off list, take 10 minutes to read labels, and 15 more just to pick out a bottle of wine. Yes, we'll simply stand there for 15 whole minutes in front of all that glass without a care in the world, and it will be glorious.