Friday, June 29, 2012

Supermarket Sweep


We never get halfway down the produce aisle before my daughter starts to squirm. The quiet child eating a freshly peeled banana passes us in her mother's shopping cart as mine claws her way out. Another parent pushes by with her kids in the car attachment. They pretend to beep and drive, taking occasional sips from a recently opened Capri Sun. Entertained for the complete duration of the shopping experience. My mother was notorious for opening bags of food as we shopped in the grocery store. "Mom we are stealing!!!" I'd say. A small child, learning right from wrong, I'd quickly look around waiting to get scolded. She would assure me we would pay for it, though I felt like a fugitive eating a slice of bologna. Sometimes I would refuse to particpate in this crime altogether. Spending the rest of the trip salivating and fidgeting as she'd push me along and snack.

After a few family shopping trips that ended in sweat dripping down my back and only five things off my list, I realized my mother was right. I now consider the supermarket a warehouse of endless food distractions to keep my kid in her place.

Upon entering we immediately hit the snack aisle and bust open a bag of veggie sticks. I'll admit I feel a little bad ass, dipping my hand into the bag. Wishing the final price were determined by weight. When that doesn't work I reach for the 100 calorie bags of anything. My daughter is eating and excited for the first part of the trip as I curse the cart manufacturer who didn't install a sippy cup holder. Despite her small buffet, by the time we hit the frozen food section she wants out. Fortunately I've gotten fifty percent of what is on my list and can continue shopping while my husband chases her around.

As we approach the check out we have open bags of pretzels, half eaten apples, bruised tomatoes, and a few things in the cart she decided we need like carrots with the long greens and a travel size hair oil. Its a game of quick reflexes as one of us puts back the box of herbel tea, while my daughter replaces it with Tupperware. We unravel cheesesticks and tell her to look at the letters on the tabloids as we remove more items. Bailing out the unneccessary financial weight.

She insists the bags of groceries are garbage and desperately wants to carry the gallon of milk as we pack the car. I open a box of Cheerios, sprinkle a few into her cup holder and wrestle her into her seat. Then, like a jerk, I leave the empty cart in the parking spot next to me. On the way home I consider what we still need for the next few weeks and am thankful for the glorious gift that is Fresh Direct.

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