Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines (and fasten your seatbelts)!

If anyone likes to read about stressful, real life, keep reading. For those of you who will have an increased heart rate or a headache at the mere mention of the "s-word", click on the red X at the top right corner of your screen and read someone else's blog. . .

Since this is Thanksgiving week, also known as Grocery Store Madness, I decided that I needed to get all my shopping done yesterday. I took Alec to school, Ava to my mom's house, and Benji with me. My goal was: return to Carter's, local health food store, grocery store, fabric store, my weekly stop at the Goodwill, a craft store, and the BMV to get my driver's license renewed. All by noon-ish so I could rush back home and get Ava down for her nap. Hm mm, sounds a little impossible, huh! Hey, "Dream Big!", right?

Ok, here we go. . .

Part One:

First stop, BMV. Pull in and realize that they only accept checks or cash and I have neither. Drive to nearest ATM and back to BMV. Overhear the next customer in line being told that they now do accept a credit card (OOOOOH, dang it! wasted gas and time), but it was an extra $6 charge (Whew! it was worth it...)

With new, ugly driver's license tucked safely in my wallet, make the 20 min. drive to the health food store. Purchase a 5lb, $11 bag of spelt flour, some vegan bakery goodies, organic lettuce, and various other checking account-draining items, get to the car and realize why I'm not feeling too great; it's almost lunch time.

Consume two, large, and very tasty cookies from my grocery bags and some coffee-flavored soy milk (ugh!) during the 20 min. drive back, and proceed to make my second attempt to return some clothing at the Carter's store (the first time I went, it was a Sunday morning and they weren't open yet). Back to the car in record time because their computer system had just crashed and they weren't able to do the return...third time's the charm? I think I'll wait a while till I try it again!

It's actually after 11:00 now...panic, call my mom to make sure Ava isn't climbing the blinds or hiding in the bathtub, speed through the parking lot to fabric store. Browse quickly, looking for simple, easily adaptable pattern for toddler jumper, more fabrics for Meeup, and buttons for another project. At the checkout, Benji is falling down on the floor, very loudly claiming that his legs are breaking. Not wanting to look like a mom in-a-hurry-who-knows-that-her-4 year old-is-just-being-dramatic, I carry him out of the store with a glazed over smile pasted on my face.

Realize that it is nearly noon. Panic again. Speed to mom's to pick up Ava, a simple task that took over 30 minutes. Arrive home around 1:30. Ava in bed for a nap, Benji on the couch for quiet time with a movie, I unload the van while trying to figure out how I"m going to make it to the grocery before Grocery Store Madness hits and I have to defend myself with hurled grapefruits as I fight for the last bag of cranberries.


Part Two: (anyone got a headache or a case of the jitters yet? go ahead and click on that red X if you need to, I promise I won't be mad!)

Thinkin' fast, I decide that if I pack snacks and dinner for the kids and I and we leave at 3:30, we can make it to the craft store, the grocery store, and Walmart and be back by 6:30 to get Alec ready for his Cub Scouts meeting.

Hm mm, it's like I've temporarily left my body and am not remembering all the nightmarish times I've tried to leave the house with all three kids after 4:00.

Plunging ahead into the deep, dark hole of temper tantrums I've dug for myself, I WAKE Ava UP FROM HER NAP (yes, people, I've actually gone crazy by this point) and load everyone, already protesting into the car.

At the craft store, I stuff Ava into the sling, and sprint down the isles with the boys trying to keep up. All is well until we get about 20 feet from the check out. Tantrum #1, not Ava (surprise!), but Alec, who is hoarding a new toy car from Benji. Upon me forcing him to give Benji the car until we get to the next stop, Alec launches into a monotone monologue about how it's not fair that Benji gets the car, and Benji always gets all the cool stuff (right, since Benji is our favorite child, after all!)

You know that Wah-wah-wah voice of the mom on the Peanuts cartoons? I listened to that as I loaded everyone back in to the van, drove to the next parking lot, unloaded everyone, stuffed Ava back into the sling, and headed into Walmart. Oh, no, wait...I listened to that all the way through Walmart and back into the parking lot while Ava threw tantrum #2, screaming in my ear and trying to flip herself backwards out of the sling.

I'm sure we looked like a circus on wheels. . .

By this time it was 6:00, and I just gave up on beating Grocery Store Madness. I headed home, defeated, and put Ava and Benji to bed while Marvin and Alec went to Cub Scouts. After staying up till after midnight watching The Phantom of the Opera at a friends house, I finally crashed at around 1:00 am.


Part Three: (need directions to that red X yet?)

For some reason I made the brilliant decision to attempt that grocery store run this morning. Pooh-poohing the fact that I was helping a friend with something around 10:00, and another friend at around 4:00, I raced to get everyone ready and out the door before school. After dropping Alec and two friends off at school late, I dashed over to Kroger for 5 items.

It'll be quick, I told myself. The kids will be fine, I'll just let them ride in one of the car-carts and inform them ahead of time that there will be no pinching, biting or hitting (must have forgotten that they are 4 and 2). Within 30 seconds of entering the store, Ava was in full-blown tantrum mode. Shunning the very unwieldy car-cart for something a little easier to maneuver with one hand, I tucked my flailing toddler under my arm, pasted an I've-got-this-under-control smile on my face and prayed fervently that she would not kick anybody.


I will not bore you with the tedium of the rest of the day. I will say, however, that I am beyond exhausted. The past two weeks have been much like the past two days, and I'm in desperate need of a break. I actually (very very very briefly) entertained the thought this afternoon of palming my red-hot stove burner so that my 2nd degree burns would give me a legitimate reason to sign out for a while!

Strangely, though, I'm not at all depressed. Despite the busyness, I crave the cozy closeness that we create here during the holiday season. This is my favorite time of year.


If anyone laughed out loud or got a headache while reading this, please leave a comment! Or, of course, any of you who would like to boast that they have never ever had a day like this and that their kids most definitely do not throw tantrums in public places, you all can feel free to comment, also!

8 readers took time to leave a thought:

Sara Kay November 25, 2008 at 10:10 PM  

I didn't laugh at all until I read the thing about getting a 2nd degree burn, then I laughed, because I have so many times had passing thoughts like that. :) Our past couple weeks have felt similar. Not sure what the deal is, hope it ends soon!

4 Little Men and Twins November 25, 2008 at 10:33 PM  

Man you have a crazy life... my life is SO easy and in control! HA! I love ya girl! We'll both be back soon enough right?!

I love the holidays too... except all the stress.

goodwill tomorrow maybe?


Irene Joy November 25, 2008 at 11:37 PM  

Oh Shelly, I'm gonna tell ya I haven't ever in my life had a day like this and my kids NEVER hit or bite or kick each other in the car carts and I ALWAYS manage to get everything on my errand list done.


replace "haven't ever" with "have had many"

and switch the "NEVER" and the "ALWAYS" and you'll get the accurate comment. :)

Loved this. Good laugh. Have a happy happy Thanksgiving and try not to think about the "s" word. :)

My2Gs November 26, 2008 at 7:01 AM  

Oh wow Shelly! Bless your heart. I pray that you have a wonderfully relaxed Thanksgiving day full of awesome food, friends, and family :)
~ Lacie

Kelli November 26, 2008 at 9:03 AM  

I gasped at waking Ava from her nap because that was very brave of you. It would be the same for me with Jamison! Have a comforting and relaxing Thanksgiving.

Faith Hope Love Mama November 26, 2008 at 9:05 AM  

OK been there done that-as they say. I'm sorry but I did laugh out loud because I've suffered the same try to get things done while children fight me tooth and nail many times. I really hope that you have a blessed time with your family for Thanksgiving. You have been such a wonderful blessing to me!!

Kate November 26, 2008 at 9:14 AM  

I'm gonna read that again. The stress of that just might send me into labor. ;)

Love, kate

Lucky November 26, 2008 at 7:13 PM  

Thank you! After having just washed the swing cover, my shirt, my HUSBAND's shirt, about 2 million burp cloths, and returning the bouncy seat cover after washing it YESTERDAY all due to the pleasure that is the infant "blowout" I am so happy to know other people are leading crazy lives too!
Ooooh. Total sidebar, I MISS Kroger.
Have a happy(relaxing?)Thanksgiving!

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