D vs. Trader Joe's vs. My Sanity

At 5 weeks old, my newest addition had been to two children's parties, one engagement dinner, storytime, several park dates and 2 brief trips to the motherland known as Target.

He braved all with very little fuss and even fewer tears.

So this morning when he had an easy going temperament I thought, "Today is the day I graduate to grocery shopping with two kids!"

I was excited and imagined strangers coming up to me complimenting my adorable baby and well behaved toddler.  I planned it out, having both the Ergo and stroller at hand depending on the baby's sleeping situation when we arrived. I even decided Trader Joe's would be the ideal location since it's small, more intimate and had less selection, allowing for a quick trip.

I was ready.

Baby, apparently, was not. As I eased out of the driveway, my mild mannered baby lost it.

It's ok, I thought, he'll be asleep by the time we get there.

As I parked the car, I thought,  it's ok,  if I put him in the Ergo he'll  be asleep in minutes.

A few things to consider as I continue the story:

He never fell asleep.

He never stopped screaming.

But you probably already figured that part out.

As I hastily shopped, shhhhhing and patting his butt, strangers smiled pity smiles, employees approached me and asked what I needed and a few strangers even cracked jokes:

"Get used to it, kid, sometimes you just don't want to grocery shop."

"Kid doesn't like Trader Joe's doesn't he?"

"Buck up, baby."

I was the side show of the store. The small, intimate, store lead to a soundtrack of baby wales for each shopper. Instead of a pleasant and unnoticed Kenny G rendition of that 90's R&B classic, each shopper was painfully treated to my infant's developing vocal chords. 

I sped through the isles, not entirely sure of what I was grabbing. I may have purchased 3 different varieties of cookies? (No regrets there...)

After a mere 14 minutes spent shopping, with a basket full of questionable groceries, I approached the long check out line. A manager saw me, clearly frazzled, and pulled me over to a closed checkout to speed me along.

Apparently, screaming baby equals priority service. Score?

As I checked out, the staff continued to cater to me. No less than 3 employees helped load the bags and cart. Another employee handed me tulips "to brighten my day."

Then suddenly...

"Mommy what's this?"

Oh crap, I do have a toddler with me.

"Those are chocolate bars, babe. You can choose one, you've been really great during this trip!"

My little negotiator chose the 3 pack of chocolate bars...

Whatever, that's fine, let's go.

"Do you need help to the car?"

A normal question often asked at any grocery store...

...But this time it made me burst into tears.

"I'll help her out," and without hesitation we were escorted out and loaded into our car.

Thank you, Trader Joe's staff. I mean it, your kindness got me through a new milestone in my parenting life. You know, that milestone when you feel completely outnumbered by your adorable offspring. So you know, I'll be shopping with you more often, so you might as well have the tulips on standby...

As we drove home tears still in my eyes (the baby instantaneously asleep upon acceleration), my 2 year shouted, "Mom!"

"Yes, babe?"

"You want my chocolate?" She handed me a half eaten bar of chocolate. 

"You don't want it?"

"No, I have my own."

"Thank you, R."

"You're welcome, Mom!"

It should also be noted that while she gave half a bar of chocolate, she did manage to eat at least a bar and a half in the brief 7 minute car drive home. Overall, I think she got the best deal out of this venture.

At least the next time I grocery shop I can't get any worse, right? 



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