Friday, August 9, 2013

Grocery Shopping with Vivian

We share this story because someday, when Vivian has children, we'll point to this as an example of how she earned all those special parenting moments.
Last week, Sarah took all three girls to the grocery. This is very normal - nothing most other human beings care about. Yes, we know. Lots of people take their children to the grocery everyday and don't think that if they all emerge alive they are heroes with superpowers (or at least as deserving of their own reality show as Survivorman. With a huge signing bonus, the Nielson ratings of The Bachelorette, and a four season contract. We may not be the Duggars, but Vivian probably can out-ornery three or four of them combined.) So this Mom's superpower: not melting into a puddle of bad public parenting.

And, finally, the story. Mom got everyone Baby Bjorned and two-seat cart buckled in. No fighting during the first five minutes of the outing and both big girls entertained the produce department with their "funny" rhymes about "Dora, Dora, Dora the Tomato". Which may or may not sound that cute, but it was. Mom is fantasizing that this may be a nice trip to the grocery! Maybe if she moves quickly enough, there will be no fighting, no screaming, no whining! If that's a possibility, Mommy can run through this store pushing a 3 ton cart...
But alas, those were dreams. After those first five blissful moments, Vivian got bored. And a bored Vivian strapped down in the grocery cart just has to find something to do. What to do? What to do? Hummmmm. How about pinching my sister, pulling her hair until she screams, screaming myself? Mom doesn't like any of those things? What to do next? Hummmmm. Empty Mom's purse? Poke a hole in the bread bag? Beg for cheese at the deli counter?

Yes, by the third aisle, Mommy was about to lose it. The Frito Lay restock man, who we see pretty regularly there, got to hear the "if you do not behave yourself right now we WILL leave this store immediately and you will be in BIG trouble when we get home and you are NOT watching anymore TV for the rest of the day and you won't get a story before naptime" threat. This temporarily calmed Elfie. Toddlers really don't get threats. She sang a song not too loudly for about one more aisle. And then a pinch to her sister and the evil eye from Mom...What to do? What to do? Soooooo bored....what to do?

Ah ha! She could unstock all the shelves! Yes! Let's throw things on the floor! So Mom started parking the cart in the middle of the aisles so Vivian couldn't touch anything on the shelves. A reasonable solution...but honestly this just made the trip that much more humiliating for Mom. (God might call us to be humble but this is NOT a fun virtue to cultivate.) Not only were her children loud and out of control, but now she was in everyone's way.
Miriam was playing the tortured soul and Felicity was getting tired. By the time we finally made it to the check out lanes, where Vivian threw two boxes of single serving peanuts and about twenty packages of batteries onto the floor, Mom was barely hanging on. Threats produced nothing but a three second blank stare before being forgotten. The word "no" had lost all meaning.

In the car, Mom (mostly) calmly explained to Vivian that she wasn't going to be allowed to visit the grocery again for a while. "Because I didn't eat all my food lastmorning?" Vivian asked. What? How does that even apply!?!? "No, because you....ahhhhhh, nevermind."
We love that Viv and her sisters and we will make it through these days, but don't think we won't smile just a little when she's calling us in 25 years about her own little Vivi-monster in the making.

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