Initially, I was a little concerned that my 3 kids plus 2 more might be more trouble than I could handle. By the end of the trip, I was so very grateful that they came along. I, of course, expressed my gratitude the only way I am good at- with food. I made a huge homemade sub sandwich and gave everyone a chunk.
The trip up town went well, except that when I stopped at city hall to pay my water bill, it was closed for a funeral. Yes, my town is small enough that when there is a funeral for someone 'important' they shut down businesses: http://www.hodgenvillekentucky.org/gallery.asp . In fact, if I might digress. One of the things I am very proud of about my town is that when a local soldier was tragically killed, they shut down the town and emptied all the schools and businesses to line the streets, flags waving, for his funeral procession. I didn't know him, but my children and I stood beside the road and I bawled. http://www.laruecountyherald.com/sites/www.laruecountyherald.com/files/imagecache/slide-600/row%20of%20flags.jpg You give up a lot of convenience in a small town, but you gain a lot in community. Anyway...
I decided to try to pay the bill on my return trip and we continued for another half mile to the IGA. I bought the kids some soda and treats from a Children's Miracle Network bake sale and stationed them at a picnic table to wait for me while I hurriedly grabbed some food.
Even with the snacks, I knew I only had a very short window before they started to get restless. In fact, I was in the store about 10 minutes before they started sending one kid at a time in to ask 'What is taking so long?'
I finished in record time- 20 minutes. I spent $140 and even managed to use $34 in coupons. After much careful packing of the carts we use to transport our groceries home, we set off.
We made it about 150 yards. A tire on the big cart popped off while we were crossing a parking lot (very convenient). After much searching of the ground, we found all the parts we needed to put the cart back together.
Off we go...20 more feet. The wheel pops off again. We are still in the middle of a parking lot. Realizing that maybe the case of water I bought was too heavy for my 'heavy-duty' cart, we had to unload the entire thing so we could remove the water from the bottom. Then we had to repair the wheel (again) and then repack the cart. My oldest daughter volunteered to carry the water. Other children already had bags to carry or carts to push. I was carrying a big box of laundry detergent that conveniently did NOT have a carrying handle.
We made it to edge of the parking lot, where we needed to cross a main road, and I waited until traffic had cleared and sent the kids across the road. The big cart, with all of it's problems was just as likely to fall apart in the middle of the road as make it, so I wanted the kids across first, so no one got caught in traffic with me.
I made it across! Whew!! Then we gathered ourselves and walked 5 yards. Oops! There goes the cussing wheel!! AGAIN!! By now, I am hot (because naturally the sun had to come out full force to bubble my skin) red faced, winded and really, really getting pissed. I put the wheel back together. This time, however, I took the faulty parts that kept coming loose and I bent them and twisted them and basically they will never fall off again without snapping in half first.
I traded the detergent for the case of water. All went well until we had to cross another main road and the case fell apart and bottles of water rolled all over, including in the road. Grrr!! We put bottles of water in other bags and pockets and on top of the carts. Anywhere, since the case is kablooey. Onward.
In case you wonder why a self-professed eco-conscious greenie like me is buying bottled water (THE SIN!), it is because my local water company has this nasty habit of having violations a couple times a year. Nothing like a little coliform or fertilizer in your water to make you go 'Yum!'
We make it halfway home and we have one giganto hill to climb before we are back at city hall. I foolishly think that we just might make it home in one piece. One of the neighbor girls is pushing the big cart and feeling pretty proud of herself. In fact, she says, "I got the hang of this now", and immediately catches the front wheel in a sidewalk groove and the cart stops dead, flips over and she goes with it. Groceries went everywhere and the poor thing busted her skinny little shins.
All the children felt so bad for her- NOT. The monsters are still mimicking her- 'I got this!' and flopping on the ground. Horrible upbringing. Oh, wait...that is on me.
Back to the epic that is grocery gettin'.
I help her up. Repack the cart and decide to hold the front and lift it over every crack and bump the rest of the way home. Incidentally, my right arm is now 1/2 inch longer and feels like overcooked spaghetti.
We get a running start (well, my version of morbidly obese, Forest Gump with braces, style of running) and attempt the hill. Once our momentum was going we couldn't stop, which lead to the neighbor girl screeching at everyone to move out of our way.
At the top of the hill, my son, God bless him, was trying to tell another one of his Asperger's long winded and pointless (to us) stories. When he looked at me expectantly (had he asked a question? Dear Jesus, I didn't know because my brain was bubbling, a heart valve was shutting down and the only voice I could hear was the foul-mouthed internal one that likes the F-word. A lot.), I said, " Mommy, brain, hurt. Shut up."
Luckily, he doesn't take notice of terrible social gaffes. I made it over to city hall, where all of the kids began to bicker over who got to go inside to pee first and who had to stay outside to guard the carts. Silly, I know. Any dumbass that stole the big cart would have abandoned it in about 10 feet.
I didn't feel the need to fight for a spot in the bathroom queue. I am pretty sure I wet myself coming up the hill. It could all be sweat, but in such copious amounts, it is just as disgusting.
I paid my water bill, grabbed a fistful of Dum Dum suckers for the kids and limped back outside. There was a tense moment when two of the kids foolishly thought they were going to argue over flavors, but I reminded everyone how close to homicide I was and they sullenly sucked their candy and continued on toward home.
Without any further catastrophes we made it home. Just as we were entering the neighborhood, my favorite neighbor drives by and yells, "Why didn't you ask to borrow the car?" Something small, but important, inside of me died quietly.
I didn't have the time, energy or brain power to tell her that I (foolishly) walked to 'get exercise, sunshine and fresh air'. I didn't mention that I like to pat myself on the back (oh..the hubris...) when I walk to 'help the environment'. I was too busy feeling major organs shut down either in self-loathing or plain physical defeat. Fat people really have no business being active. It is against nature.
Once home, I wept softly in the bathroom for the 15 seconds the kids left me alone and then I started slinging food. While slicing individual portions, I wondered, how much a human foot could throb before it burst like an overcooked sausage.
I took a small pile of pills and am waiting for the pain to abate or my liver to wave a white flag. Meanwhile, the kids are happily playing outside, none the worse for the ordeal. At least physically. I don't know how much psychological damage is caused by hearing your mother pray for a good 'smiting' from the Lord 'just to get it over with- ALREADY!'
Aidan practicing his technique.
Justin Beiber's biggest fan.
Gotcha! She kept trying to cover her face. Silly, pretty girl.
Neighbor kids, also not wanting their picture taken. I got some, but since they aren't my kids, I won't publish them.