We had a rainy Memorial Day weekend here in Colorado, but we were glad to have Charlton home after he gone with the Training Ground guys all week in Wyoming. All week long, Rylan would shout, "there's Daddy's red car" every time we saw any car in a shade even close to red. Needless to say, he was thrilled to see his dad again on Friday afternoon.
I had aspirations of being super productive while Charlton was gone, doing things like painting the back fence, but when I felt a cold coming on Sunday night, I decided to be more reasonable. I figured planning to just survive and maybe even have fun with the kids while by myself all week was a much more realistic goal. I took naps with the kids, and really enjoyed not having to cook! We did have fun, going to the park twice and even the zoo once. That was an adventure because our small zoo was super crowded with tons of kids on school field trips and we hit a record of 88 degrees that day. After our cold spring, that felt hot!
Thursday I tackled the grocery by myself with both kids. I plan our trips for when both kids are hopefully not too tired or hungry and then hope for the best. I never know exactly what could happen. About halfway through our trip, Caroline started to fuss, which she never does, so I knew this was a bad sign. Then I notice Rylan has devoured his cookie in record time and is now hanging halfway out of the racecar cart, swiping at interesting boxes on the shelves and planning his escape. We finally reach the only check-out lane that is open and of course, manned by my "favorite" bagger. Please know I mean no disrespect to the elderly, and I imagine this man really needs his job, but he is the slowest bagger I have ever known, and not just time-wise, if you know what I mean. He always asks me if I want plastic bags, even as I am handing him the reusable bags I toted in myself. Then he proceeds to put the cereals and canned goods in the insulated bags while my cold cuts and frozen vegetables go in the regular bags. By the time I reach the check-out lane I feel like my children are two ticking time bombs ready to explode, I am exhausted from wrangling Rylan, and I can't get out to my car fast enough. I buy some time with Rylan by letting him play with the vending machines up front where I can watch during check-out. He loves to ride the mechanical horse and I promise him a ride as soon as we are done, which ends up being about twenty minutes later because I have the tortoise as a bagger. They actually had to open up two additional lanes for check-out because the line backed up so far behind me. While I watched my scanned groceries fill up the holding area and back up on the conveyer belt I calculate I have just enough time to toss Rylan up on his horse for his promised ride. I rush over and at that moment, Rylan decides for the only time in his life that he definitely doesn't want to ride the horse today. Okay, no problem, I scoop him up and get ready to make our exit. Only, in typical two-year old fashion, he changes his mind in lightning speed and decides his heart will break forever if he can't ride the horse. But now it is too late, because the tortoise bagger has decided (totally unnecessarily) to load my groceries in two carts and is trying to push them both, complete with my precious baby girl out the door. Caroline apparently thinks she is being kidnapped, so she adds her wailing to the screaming of my toddler, "I want to ride the horse, I'll try again mom." Heads are turning now to watch our entourage of an old, frail man pushing two carts by himself, a mean mom that won't let her hysterical toddler ride the horse, and a crying infant in her car seat. All the while I am begging him to please let me at least push the cart with my precious cargo in it. I am not sure I trust his ability to maneuver both carts across a bumpy parking lot without some catastrophe. Oh the joys of life with children. Never a dull moment, and we all did survive even though my nerves were badly frayed. I will say that I really, really miss my Publix in Orlando, and I wonder when the tortoise bagger has his day off..? Would it be rude to ask...? :-)