Sometimes, I think that grocery shopping with a couple of caffeinated monkeys would be easier than attempting to do it with my own two children. I mean, we start off all cute and collected. We’re this beautiful, put-together family, sporting our in-love-with-life smiles and natural curls. As we’re passing the egg nog and holiday flavored creamers, we’re a Hallmark commercial come to life. Shoppers pause to tell me how adorable we all are, and the kids – as if on cue – hug each other affectionately.
That first five minutes of grocery shopping in the dairy aisle is quite beautiful, actually.
Then we hit aisle fifteen.
You can track us down easily by the trail of cracker crumbs we’ve left throughout the store. Or simply follow my three year old’s screams.
By this point, we’ve brought the crazy. Both kids are tired of sitting (which apparently is an affliction to children under the age of four, although – if you ask me – being pushed around a supermarket for an hour while being handed snacks sounds a bit like a vacation). They’ve eaten their fill of crackers and are now demanding something a little more substantial. Like jelly beans or lollipops. They’re writhing their bodies in directions that no human was meant to twist into and emitting sounds that closely resemble the call of an injured moose.
Me? I’m just trying to calmly hold it all together, before Crazed Mom comes out to play. And while I’m trying my hardest to look composed, people can see it in my eyes. At this point, if I told the biker dude in front of me to drop and give me twenty, he’d bark back, “Yes, Ma’am!”
I really, really just need to survive this shopping trip. Then I will have six glorious days before I have to face this particular crisis again; and I can – instead – focus on the other beautiful, yet challenging, moments that fill up the life of a mother.
Just another item checked off my to-do list!
As moms, it’s SO easy to feel that the things we do are small (even though they’re everything to our family). Because let’s face it, grocery shopping with two children under four years old may feel a bit like trying to catch a tornado with a lasso. And cleaning up after that tornado every single day – which always seems to pull out the same mess of pom poms, playdough, cheerios, lego’s, and poop – is just as daunting…. and seemingly minuscule. But if we aren’t doing it, then whose feeding, clothing, and cleaning up after the ones we love the most? (Let’s face it, contrary to popular belief, there are no magical nannies that float around during the day to take care of the little – and big things – that need to get done).
Without my touch, the day would look something a little different. (And my husband assures me that he’s pretty sure he wouldn’t survive). I am blessed – yes, BLESSED – to have the opportunity to be so present in my children’s lives, even if it is really hard some days. To clean up those pom poms, and wipe that poop, and instruct when we’re swirling through a grocery store like a tumble-weed flying through a windstorm.
But a lot of days, while we’re enveloped by being the mom to little ones, it’s tempting to feel that as though any difference we make is confined to the walls of our homes. That God will once again use us once we have a little less crazy and a whole lot more classy in our lives.
But a few weeks ago, during a particularly rough shopping trip, I was reminded that God can use us in the midst of the crazy. Because of the crazy….
(to be continued…)