a day in my life...grocery shopping

I needed a few things at the grocery store this morning. Hannah and I head to the strip mall where our local grocery store is located. Now, I need to preface this story by saying that I loathe going to our grocery store. There are others, but I am forced out of necessity [read: laziness] to frequent this one because of its close proximity to our house. It is located in a strip mall that contains way too many stores crammed together, several banks, and more than a few restaurants. I am a HUGE fan of the strip mall in general, but this is like a major mall shoved into a grocery store space. Oh, and did I mention the movie theater that has also managed to squeeze itself into the already over-crowded area? There is never any place to park, and if you do get lucky enough to find a space, it takes about a 13-point turn to park my mid-sized SUV. I have several hundred dents in my car doors thanks to this spacious parking lot.

Yet we head in. Somewhere, some design genius, who has obviously never had children, thought it would be a brilliant idea to make mini-shopping carts for toddlers such as the one that shadows me. You know said genius did not have to battle a four-year-old child for steerage control just at the moment you pass the wine display, narrowly missing the precariously stacked tower of pino-something, that if broken would cost me a month's worth of groceries. I'm almost ready to crack one open and have a swig.

Once we've safely navigated ourselves to a safer aisle like, I don't know, cereal boxes and glass pickle jars, she immediately begins filling her little cart. I end up walking behind her for about three aisles putting items back that she is convinced we need. Things like pop tarts, gummy bears, princess coloring books, and extra-absorbent Depends (it has a pink wrapper with flowers - don't know what she thinks it is, but she wants it). When I do get the rare opportunity to add my own items to her cart, she will loudly exclaim things like, "Phew, good, NOW we have cocoa." Right, you've been waiting for cocoa for months, haven't you? Or my other favorite, the negotiation. Mom, we don't need eggs. Why do you want eggs? And I have to calmly explain to this CHILD why we need eggs and beg her permission to add them to the cart.

But my absolute favorite moment of the day comes when we are in the checkout line, waiting our turn. We put our groceries on the conveyor belt (all six items that took 45 minutes to get) and she goes to put her cart away. The customer in front of us is just collecting her receipt, but Hannah so ever delicately yells, "MOM, I CAN'T GO BECAUSE THIS LADY IS RIGHT IN MY WAY," just as she is about to ram the poor woman in her Achilles tendon. This, of course, draws the attention of everyone in the entire San Diego County. I am, once again, so proud to be a mother.

She is unfortunately rewarded with a plastic Hello Kitty ring by our favorite Hispanic bagger who makes her promise to "Listen to jour mudder for turdy-fie jears." With an angelic smile on her face, she promises.

I pray we don't run out of milk by tomorrow.