“Mommy! Mommy, can we get this?” Natalie lugged over the bottle. “It’s Snuggle. He keeps blankets fluffy.”
I shut my eyes for a second and took a deep breath. Calm down. It was okay. I could get through grocery shopping with a five-year-old.
“We don’t need that,” I explained.
“But it’s Snug-gle.” She stretched out the name and had a whine to her voice.
Man, I missed school. And Tom. I either would grocery shop when she was at school or would leave her with Tom. Now they were both gone.
“We don’t need Snuggle. Put him back.” Great. Now I was speaking as though the dang thing were alive.
Natalie reluctantly did—then perked up and grabbed another bottle. “Oxyclean! It leaves no residue!”
She was like a walking advertisement. And I swear, she doesn’t get to watch that much TV. I mean…okay, well, she DOES have a TV in her room. And she DOES wake up in the dead of night and will usually turn it on. But in my defense, she has a fantastic imagination. It’s not all television. Most of the time she's busy playing with her Barbies.
“We don’t need Oxyclean,” I told Natalie. I flipped through my coupons. “But we do need Tide.”
“Tide Pods!” Natalie said gleefully.
“Tide Pods are new! Just throw in any wash and they dissolve even in cold water,” Natalie recited.
“Mommy!” Natalie shrieked.
NOW what was she going to be a walking ad for?
“Can we get this? It’s green!” Natalie hugged a Gain bottle.
I’m surprised she didn’t know THAT commercial.
“No, we’re getting Tide.”
“Aw. But it’s not GREEN!”
I so wished for a babysitting service at the commissary. She was making my head ache. It was a good thing Tommy wasn’t with us. At ten, he’s allowed to stay home alone for up to two hours per base rules. I’ve left him a couple of times and all he does is play video games.
I know all the parenting magazines suggest giving kids their own list so they can shop with you. But that just seemed like a huge pain in the butt. Couldn’t she just walk calmly and quietly beside me? (Ha, wishful thinking.)
I distracted Natalie by giving her Zoo Pals plates (“oink oink zoo pals, zoo pals makes eating..fun!” Natalie sang.)
Then it was a big production when it came time to pick out a cereal. You’d think I asked Natalie to do some important task. She stood in front of the row, tapped her chin, and was like, “What do I want?”
“Preferably something on sale,” I suggested. Why did they want nearly 4 bucks for a box of Froot Loops?
“I want…” Natalie began. “I want…”
Oh man, why couldn’t I be rich and have a nanny? Why? I wouldn’t use her ALL the time. Just for like a couple of hours a day. So I could shop in peace.
“Maybe Cheerios. But…maybe Cookie Crisp? Cocoa puffs comes with a BENDY STRAW!”
“We have bendy straws at home,” I cut in, mainly because Cocoa Puffs were also nearly 4 bucks a box. (Seriously!)
“I’ll take this,” Natalie said primly, handing me Fruity Pebbles. Not really on sale, but cheaper than the others. And it would mean I’d have to vacuum whenever she ate some because Fruity Pebbles wind up everywhere in the house. But no matter, because it meant we could LEAVE…well to the next aisle, at least.
Natalie is at least pretty good about staying by the cart. She’ll wave at other customers and go, “Hello people I don’t know.” I told her that she could just say HELLO and leave it at that.
“Who-Nu! Now delicious is nutritious too!” Natalie sang, holding up some cookies.
An elderly lady walked past and chuckled. “She knows her commercials.”
No, we didn’t buy the cookies because I heard if you eat too many, you, erm, poop a lot.
“ICE CREAM!” Natalie suddenly bellowed, because we were now in the frozen aisle.
“You can pick out Breyers. It’s on sale and I have a coupon,” I said.
Flashback to cereal aisle. Natalie stood there FOREVER. She finally went with Neapolitan because she liked how it had 3 flavors.
And then it was time to check out.
Why did it feel like I had just run a marathon by the time it was all over?
Not that I've ever RUN a marathon but I'm assuming if I ever do, I'd feel pretty much like that.