This daring feat was made possible by the fact that I had babysitting-aged, responsible e-learners home, aka Mini and Curly (my apologies to Tank and Reg who are both fine if I'm absent for 10 minutes, but let's not push it).
The kids were giddy with 'it's almost Christmas break' happiness. Which made it a good time to slip out and not have people ticked at me. Or, so I thought. They each kept entering the kitchen to make me aware of the number of hours, or homework assignments, or Zooms they had left till break.(I kept nodding at each countdown as I baked cookies for the families I babysit for to go along with the homemade photo collage ornaments we made late last night, prompting Mini to ask the pressing question: WHY DO WE ALWAYS WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO MAKE THESE?)
I also had a car. Temporarily. Tank would be taking it to his job when the half day of e-learning wrapped up.
The clock was ticking.
The twins were my only charges today. They were napping. Should I have bolted the minute I laid them down and done the cookies later? These are the unknowns my mind grapples with daily.
I never said it was easy being me.
Curly was e-learning in the kitchen and she agreed to listen for the twins and get them if they woke up. I hoped not to be gone long.
I never said I wasn't delusional and silly.
Curly turns 13 on Saturday. She invited a few friends over to bake cookies. I'm crossing my fingers that it'll be fine. She hangs with them outside of school pretty regularly, so they're in our bubble. I guess.
My mission at the grocery store was to load up on baking supplies. And liters of pop. And some other stuff. Well, lots of other stuff. I overdid it. An older woman gasped loudly when passing me: OH, YOUR CART!
I considered sharing a true story with her: after we quarantined for 2 weeks I came to the grocery store just before Thanksgiving and pushed two carts to the tune of $700. But the clock was ticking and the store was crowded.
I decided to grab a few bags of frozen hash brown potatoes in case I decided to make a breakfast casserole for Christmas. The isle was crowded, so I left my cart at the end of the isle and grabbed the spuds. I darted to the chip isle next to stock up on salsa. **Lord, thank you for making chicken tacos possible in the crockpot, and thanks for reminding me that I struggle to keep the salsa in my pantry while I was still at the store and not just after I'd gotten home.**
I grabbed salsa and loaded it into my cart . . . um, but the cart WAS NOT MINE. This mystery shopper also bought butter, and yogurt, and Christmas tissue paper but WHAT THE HELL WAS ALL THIS OTHER CRAP?
I've NEVER done this. To be clear, I'm not sure if I took her cart of if she took mine. I've decided this fun sawp-o-rama could only happen if we were buying a few similar items and if we had our carts filled with about the same quantity. With all those boxes checked, it now lead to a fun adventure which caused me a bit of a panic. I didn't have time to retrace my steps. This was a covert operation.
I raced back to the frozen isle. A woman was wandering around with a few items in her hands looking somewhat confused - I could read her expression despite her mask.
Me: Are you looking for your cart? I think I took yours (OR she took mine, but I wasn't about to point fingers and since she was without a cart, I'm going to admit fault. People around us laughed).
Tank called me. He wanted to know when I'd be home. Both babies were awake. I told him to have Mini warm up bottles. I was on my way to checkout.
My total was $400. So much for a quick run.
On my way home, I called to make sure the babies were now drinking their bottles.
Me: I want all of you on the driveway ready to unload.
One of the 9 mo old twins refused her bottle. She likes me to feed her, even then - crapshoot. After hauling in enough to feed a small army, we discovered that we had no room in the
Inn fridges. Ms. Fussy Pants was crying. The kitchen was covered in groceries. The twins needed lunch. My teenagers were hollering at me for taking so long. I needed a do-over button. Or a Mike's Hard Lemonade.
Me: (to my teens) Zip it. You seem to like to eat food. You're welcome. You don't want big loans for college, right? Well, my babysitting fund is your tuition ticket. You're welcome, again. Pitch in and help, it won't kill you.
(to the twins) You're fine. I'm-a-coming with the lunch food. Chill. (tosses a handful of Cheerios on their trays while unloading a grocery bag with my free hand).
(to Reg, who I heard did little to help while I was gone) Don't leave this room until all the cold stuff is put away (cringes as he grabs milk gallons to bring down to the basement).
While the girls ate their finger food, I organized the main fridge. Coach came home and was like: DID I FORGET TO TAKE THAT GARBAGE CAN OUT? HOW DID WE FILL AN ENTIRE GARBAGE CAN TODAY?
Me: That was stuff from when I cleaned out the fridge. The kids like to ask me to buy more cream cheese, but they don't throw away the empty containers. (insert 18 other examples). HEY FAMILY, YOU'RE WELCOME!
Another person who should show me some gratitude: the woman in the grocery store whose cart I briefly hijacked. Bet she didn't even KNOW that she wanted two 30 oz bags of frozen hash browns. Since my two bags never made it to my freezer, I assume I left them in her cart. You're welcome!
Also: In my rush to race to the store, I failed to take inventory. Oops. We are currently storing 10 dozen eggs and one dozen hard boiled eggs. You're welcome, breakfast lovers.
What do you overbuy? Do you live with people who don't toss empty containers? Or people who open ANOTHER identical, giant salad dressing?