Growing up is hard to do.
The list of things that you are no longer able to do for no other reason than you are simply too big is growing around here every day.
Tonight we discovered another one to add to the list of restrictions for my 6-yr-old:
The grocery cart ride.
It went down like this: hubby is traveling (again) for work and it's just the girls, me, and Hank. Around 6:30 I remembered that this was my last night to gather the items Lauren needed to bring to school for a Thanksgiving food drive, so I was forced to load everyone up (NOT the dog) and head off to the closest grocery store, which just happens to be Kroger.
I am not a huge fan of Kroger for several reasons (not the least of which are the fruit flies who seem quite cozy in the produce department), but when you just need a couple items, it'll do in a pinch.
Kroger is my kids' favorite grocery store for one reason and one reason only.
The car grocery carts.
They LOVE these things. The novelty of "driving" a car with a steering wheel and a working horn is just more than they can pass up. And so, even though it was a quick in-and-out kind of errand, we of course had to get a car buggy and let the younger girls ride in style. I have often thought that this is probably how Bo and Luke from the Dukes of Hazard got their start. A little two seater with open windows to hop in and out of.
The problem with this is that that makes me either
(and you've got another thing comin' if you think THIS Mama's ever gonna showcase those Daisy Dukes
or, infinitely worse, is option B.)
Might as well be honest, we as mothers often play the part of the villain, don't we?
or...no less insulting, is option C:
Roscoe, the dim-witted and gullible policeman, which sadly pretty much describes me. Law enforcement and often totally confused as to what to do to lawbreakers in my home.
But I digress...
The youngest piled in. She did look awfully cute in that little car, I must admit. A big smile on her face and flexing her hands for the workout ahead. You see, put a 3-yr-old in a car riding low to the ground and she's perfectly positioned to grab anything and everything she can within arm's reach. She can quietly and stealthily collect items that appeal to her (or just that she can reach...what 3-yr-old likes canned artichokes?) and quickly tuck them away in her getaway car. Sometimes I worry that my kids are kleptomaniacs.
The problem occurred when the 6-yr-old began to get in the car buggy. One leg in, shoulder in, bending over to get her head under the car's roof....Hmm...this wasn't working like she remembered.
I suggested that perhaps she had outgrown the car and could just walk. This was about as popular a recommendation as the time I dared suggest that maybe milk did not necessarily HAVE to be chocolate in order to be consumed.
She continued to squeeze and smash and fold herself up in order to fit into that car and eventually stuffed herself in. Her poor little sister in the passenger seat was flopping over the other side, practically pushed out by her big sister lopping over into her space.
I was a little concerned that the car might have a breakdown, but nevertheless, we pressed on.
Stuffed like little sardines, they were surprisingly pleasant. Remember, it was near bedtime and that is pretty much always the best time of the day for sibling peace. They'll do ANYTHING to avoid early bedtime, even if it means being nice to each other.
We happily rolled up and down the aisles hunting for our needed items, and in the providence of God (I don't say this lightly...I seriously had been in a dilemma about this), we passed by this:
The thrill of the kindergarten class for the last three weeks. It was literally ALL I had heard about regarding my daughter's education in recent days. A friend had been bringing it to school for snack and Lauren would just be in heaven if only she could have some, too.
The trouble was, her description of the Pirate's Booty was slightly, shall we say, vague.
Mom, it's white stuff that looks like popcorn but it's not popcorn.
Did her mom make it or is it from a store?
I don't know. It looks like popcorn but it's not popcorn. And it's white.
Okay. Got it.
And so, when my eye just happened to spot a bag of the stuff, I slammed on the brakes of that car buggy (which was ok because the girls were wedged so tightly in there that they didn't move an inch) and happily picked up a bag.
This was one happy (and cramped) little girl.
Car buggies and Pirate's Booty. It's small pleasures like these that make growing up a little less painful.
"Oh, Roscoe, don't your tiny pea brain know nothin'?"
Pirate's Booty, folks. Now THIS is kindergarten cool.