Last Monday night I took Matthew, Claire and Cate to Kroger. We needed groceries in a bad way and Jeremy was working, so I couldn't avoid the trip. So I ran through my prep list: Cate fed and content? check; M&C had dinner and are not hungry? check; list for making the trip more speedy? check; hats on, coats on, shoes on? check; Kroger cart with the car and steering wheels on the front for maximum twin entertainment? check. The twins were buckled into the front car on the cart, Cate was in her infant carrier on the top of the cart and we were ready to take on the Kroger along with all the strange and maybe even sympathetic? looks and comments we were about to get.
My usual M.O. in the grocery store is: walk fast, keep talking to the kids, grab things while keeping the cart moving and DON'T make eye-contact with anyone! Well, we made it through the entire shopping part of the store with minimal incidents. (There was one little squabble somewhere around the soap aisle, but it was cleared up quickly). As I approached the checkout lanes I did my usual quick scan of the "car" where the twins were sitting, checking for any items that they may have picked up while we were shopping. (As a sidenote, I have learned to do this quick check of the car because in the past we have "stolen" items from Kroger this way. I have had to return batteries, cookies and a box of instant potatoes because they had grabbed the items and put them in the car and I didn't notice until we got to the van. But, I digress).
So back to this particular trip. We were now up to the checkstands which all had lines that stretched down the aisles of the store so I chose to do the self-scan. What would make a Mother of 3 kids under the age of 2 ever, ever, ever choose the self-scan you ask? Well, I thought it would be quicker and they were behaving. So I begin to scan my items, we didn't have a full cart just some necessities. As soon as I start scanning, Cate starts crying (and for those of you that know Cate she never cries but when she does, LOOK OUT!) and Claire starts trying to take the grocery bags off the bag carousel. So, picture this: I'm frantically scanning with one hand, putting Cate's pacifier back in with the other hand and pushing the front of the cart away from the bag carousel with my foot. Whew. I can feel people watching me, but this is nothing new. After all, I have 3 kids under 2 in the grocery store by myself.
So most people that witnessing pandemonium such as this would just leave this
Lady: You have twins? Me: Yes.
Lady: And another one? Me: Yes.
Lady: How old? Me: Twins are 2, baby's 4 months.
Lady: Wow, what a handful! Me: Yes, it can be but I'm lucky to have all of them.
Now, she stops and looks at me and here comes the best part:
Lady: I have 2 daughters that are now in their twenties, I had them 15 months apart. That's harder than twins! At this point I stop frantically scanning and just stare at her. Now, normally I wouldn't say anything but I couldn't help it.
Me: "Really, you think that having 2 kids 15 months apart is harder than having 2 kids the exact same age and 1 kid 18 months younger than them?" She just laughs and walks away like she didn't hear me. (She was probably thinking: What a snot! but I didn't care!!!) Meanwhile, people at the other self scans are rolling on the floor. Laugh it up, people!!! Soooooooo, I finish my scanning, pay for things and load everyone and the groceries into the van and head home. And that is why grocery shopping is one of my hardest tasks!!!!
As another sidenote, Jeremy also ventures to the Kroger on occasion solo with all 3 during the day while I'm at work. People ask him where his wife is!!! Ha! Hey, it gives us funny stories to compare!