The grocery shopping was way past due and the need to the task to be performed imminent.
I have recently taken an intense dislike to this particular assignment, and occasionally send the Grumpy One off to do various shopping-type snippets of the grocery kind. I could have done so today, but last time he went he came home (again) with 17 tins of flavoured salmon and a couple of the flavoured tuna variety. I’m unsure of the numerical equivalent of “a fucking lot” which is the number of times I have advised him that the reason these particular items are on sale and “a bargain” are because they taste like shit and no one buys them.
Except suckers whose wives have sent them up to do the shopping, it seems.
I could have got him to go during today, so he may be elsewhere as I attended to my To Do List. But someone needed to fold the washing.
Besides, Chippie was due to finish kinder at 1.30, so it was sit at home and attempt to entertain him and get it all wrong, and do the backward, forward, backward, forward driving thing, or head to the supermarket to kill that two hours between kinder and school finishing times.
I opted for this option. He is usually very good when shopping. Very good.
Today, however, I “parked in the wrong spot” which set off a flurry of tears and mild yelling. He’s ok by the time we hit the bottom of the ramp, and he asks if we need a trolley. I grab one, because yes, yes we do need one. I have a heap to purchase, so the big trolley it is.
We don’t make it into the actual store before he is screaming. I refuse to let him sit in the trolley. I have too much stuff to get and there will be no room for him. I have also witnessed far too many trolley tip with kids of his age in them and it freaks me out! I totally own the fact that I don’t like it and it freaks me out! So, it’s a no from me.
I also contemplate having strong words to his dad, who allows him to do this. Partly because he rarely ever does the size shop I do. And Chippie is pretty good and sits happily in the trolley, significantly reducing the potential for trolley tippage. After more screaming, I contemplate stabbing his dad, repeatedly, emphasising each knife plunge with reminders about why he is not to let Chippie sit in the trolley when shopping; that is, because I then get the fucking screaming tantrumming pre-schooler when it is my turn.
“Soooo,” I ask casually, as he stands there screaming at me. “Is this getting you what you want? ”
“YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” he screams at me.
“I don’t actually know what that word is, so I’m gonna go shopping. You wanna join me or you wanna scream at me some more and see if that works for you? Hmmmm?”
“AARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH!” he replies.
I slowly walk away. He eventually makes his way to me when he loses site of me and someone else speaks to him.
Three aisles later, he has calmed down and I am a train. The trolley is getting fuller and fuller and I am beginning to stress a little less, knowing I’ll have school lunches easily covered for at least another week.
(Of course, I can wing it from there … )
We hit the last aisle, which is when he decides me suggestion of forty five minutes earlier was the most brilliant idea he’d ever heard and wants to sit in the seat bit. By this stage, of course, it is held firmly in place with a month’s worth of ingredients for spaghetti bolognaise, and several tooth brushes, and won’t budge.
He screams at me again.
I wonder if I can stuff him in a cereal packet and put it back on the shelf without anyone noticing and head to the checkout. There is a possibility that I now have no bread for sandwiches for school lunches. This is less of an issue.
He flips a switch again as I distract him from his futile tirade and get him to help put stuff on the conveyer belt; he likes this because he can be a train.
Unfortunately, he is not screaming-tantrummy when I am confronted by yet another charity, bailing me up outside the supermarket wanting me to sign up to some thing or another. Fucker.
He hooks his hands into the back of my pants as we cross the carpark. I’m in two minds about this; I like that I know where he is and he is relatively safe, not running around and likely to be clonked by a car.
The flipside is my knickers are on display, and he has stood on the backs of my shoes, so I’m flapping along trying not to lose my grip on the carpark, the trolley or my mind …
I open the boot to discover it has been repacked, post family day, by having shit tossed in any which way. I heave a tin-laden bag out of the trolley with one hand, and thunk it in the back as best I can. Inevitably, it tips, and I am stopping the trolley with almost shoeless foot as I leap across to prevent the bag or its contents from topping out of the car. The trolley wriggles itself out of my tenuous grasp and makes its way, at speed, towards a car across the carpark.
I race after it, feet flapping about in insecure foot coverage.
Chippie, meanwhile, is bouncing about beside the car, issuing instructions; “put dat one dere, no not dere, DERE!” and “yep, put dat one one, good, mummy” and “no, don’t do dat to the trolley – DON’T LET IT RUN AWAY!” and “ugh, mum, I said ‘don’t let the trolley run AWAY!”
I finish the task, and have no idea how I’m going to distinguish between the bags with shopping in them, the bag with wet bathers in it, and the randomly strewn bags with more bags in side them. Contemplate a bag cull which I know will never happen.
We make it to school to collect Godzilla, who then goes missing because “we need to leave, there is shopping in the car and I need to get home as soon as possible!”
We leave school half an hour after it lets out.
Chippie, I discover, has utilised this time to walk through every puddle he can find. Not just any puddle, oh no. Only the muddiest of muddy puddles available.
Upon arrival home, he has a screaming tantrum because someone else gets in the door before him. I attempt to remove his shoes and pants before he walks the mud into the carpet. He screams in my ear, so I leave him on the back step, knickers on and trackies around his knees. When he realises I’m not putting up with it, he capitulates. Not before I’ve started running a bath with a good dose of lavender oil, however.
Bags dumped in the middle of the kitchen, and Chippie gets out, dries himself and gets himself dressed.
“Unpack your kinder bag, please,” I tell him.
He brings me his lunchbox and tells me “This is you lunch.”
I find this unusual, as he usually eats everything. I open it. It is full of sandwich crusts, and nothing else.
“S’ok,” I say. “Tip it in the bin, and put it on the sink.”
Wrong thing. Am screamed at some more about how it is my lunch and I “has to eat it!”
He gets the picture he did at kinder and holds it so he cannot take his lunch box from me. He tells me I have to put it on the wall.
I tell him I will as soon as he takes his lunchbox to the kitchen and disposes of the scraps.
He knows I am not giving up.
He drops his picture.
He takes his lunchbox, glaring at me the whole time.
He plonks himself on the floor, looks me in the eyes and says “I’m going to eat this! Ok? I’m going to eat it and then you won’t be happy!”
I think it was about then that my brain exploded.
“Go ahead,” I say … somewhat confused …