Naps are an important part of any parent’s day.
(Sleep, of every variety, could be traded on any financial market to a parent)
When you have two children, the window of having them both nap, becomes paramount to your existence on some days.
When both the older one, and the younger one protested long enough, I decided it best to buy my wife much needed nap time, by taking them for a short trip to the grocery store.
Insane, you may state. And while I would fully agree that this is never the right moment to enter a busy environment with two sleep deprived children, the thought of them both penned in our little house is a much worse fate.
I never go to the store, at any point, without some sort of quick route planned, and this trip to the store was no different.
Why do we have to go to the store? The older one wined as we got into the van.
We need to get a couple things for supper, and milk.
But it’ll take too long…(this is a favorite five-year-old excuse for everything)
No, it won’t. I promise. Besides, do you have other plans?
We quickly got to the store, and my internal dad timer started to tick as soon as the van parked and the doors opened.
:30 sec in: We managed to get across the parking lot. There was some debate as to whether we should get an enormous racecar shopping cart, but I soon put those rumors to rest explaining it would be faster to navigate without pushing the 6’ long, 250lb monstrosity through the isles.
:45 sec in: The younger one, perched on my shoulders, made a sudden play for a balloon hanging on a sign. I felt the entirety of my spine rip through the muscle surrounding it. He was quickly given the right to walk with his brother.
1:00 min in: Somehow, both boys decided we should get broccoli. They informed me, as well as the staff working in the produce department, by grabbing a head and chewing on it.
1:20 min in: The younger one began the process of realizing he was sleepy by refusing to walk with us, or follow us. I quickly grabbed him in my arms long enough to make it to the pasta isle.
1:30 min in: In the time it took me to select a sauce that wasn’t solely based on the fact it had garlic in it, the older one swept a section of pasta in boxes off the shelf down the isle. This soon drew the full attention of the younger one, who then proceeded to try to replicate the motion.
2:00 min in: Being the good husband, I decided (partially based in proximity, party based on this experience) that we should have some wine with dinner. While selecting a bottle, the younger one came around the corner carrying a beer.
2:30 min in: after convincing him to let the beer go, I then had to figure out which 6 pack it came from. (It was a display of about 350 six packs celebrating the luck of the Irish) fortunately, we we’re close enough to the meat case for the chicken.
2:45 min in: The older one examined and carefully selected a pack of chicken by poking several packages with his fingers. By the time I had him with his hands in his pockets, the younger one decided it was now time to lie down for that nap.
3:00 min in: Since it was going to be a fast trip, I neglected to grab any sort of basket, leaving me with an arm load of groceries on my left, and carrying the younger one like a suitcase in my right.
3:24 min in: A short debate about Spiderman shampoo down the isle I stupidly chose as our way to the checkout. This was loudly resolved with a demonstration of what and whom I was holding.
3:35 min in: The crying fully engaged, we limped our way to the self checkout stations as the lines for the real people were at minimum 4 people deep.
4:00 min in: After starting the scanning process and angrily telling the machine I didn’t bring my own bag, I saw both boys back in the store pulling sunglasses off of two rapidly spinning towers.
4:05 min in: With both boys dragged closer, the younger one made a dash back for the sunglasses. The older one, now sensing his opportunity to help, solved the situation by making a diving tackle. Both boys were now in a heap. In the middle of the main isle.
4:35 min in: I found the item look up code for broccoli and turned to see a man in a beret looking at my children in a heap on the floor. The younger one was face down. The older one was on his back making a snow angel.
4:45 min in: I dashed over and apologizing, scooped both up, and was reminded of the work the younger one did to my spine. The man rolled his eyes. (I bid him a wonderful afternoon.)
4:55 min in: The woman overseeing the self-checkout had my bag ready to go for me. This was out of pure customer service, for the other customers who had now stopped their shopping to watch how this would play out.
5:00 min in: I swiped my debit card so fast, it snapped in two. I put both halves into my wallet and gave it over to the younger one in my arms as he was screaming for it. The older one was next to the door, full force punching the buttons for the lotto machine as hard as he could. We made a brisk exit.
5:15 min out: I like going to the store. The older one stated as he sleepily rubbed his eyes.
That’s good. I replied, lost in a fog.
That didn’t take so long. He said in tired wonder.
6:00 min out: I turn to look at them both fast asleep. The younger one clutching my wallet, its contents were removed and spread about the back.
9:00 min out: I pulled in front of the house. Finalizing the damage to my back I carried them both inside and put them in their beds. I unloaded the bag of groceries…
…And realized that I had forgotten the milk.