I took all four kids to the grocery store again. Yes, exactly. Nightmare. I don’t think I’ve taken everyone shopping since the infamous stroller-tipping-over-in-Walmart-and-spilling-my-chai-while-endangering-the-lives-of-two-of-my-small children incident. But, you know, I’m a glutton for punishment and also I hadn’t written a blog post in almost a week, so …
Kidding. I took them because I have been trying really hard to add fresher, less processed foods, like, oh, I don’t know, vegetables, to our diet and I read somewhere that if you get kids involved in shopping for and preparing foods they are more likely to try them. I know. All parents should stop reading until their kids are approximately thirty. Also, watching the news. Thinking can be detrimental as well.
For the record, MEAN, ANNOYING, OLD LADY WHOM I AM ABOUT TO MEET AT THE GROCERY STORE, my kids like broccoli (with cheese sauce). In fact, my kids like just about any vegetable (with cheese sauce) and we eat a lot of vegetables (with cheese sauce). I had just gotten into a frozen-peas-filled rut and I was trying to be creative and break out. My bad.
I know that my kids and I are a bit of a scene at the best of times. If a woman with a preschool-worth of toddlers sauntered into my quiet Monday afternoon grocery shopping trip, I’d notice too. They all talk at once. They have no volume control. They periodically throw fits that make you think demon possession might not be a myth. I get why people look at us/notice us/overhear what we are saying. Who could miss us? But, for the one billioneneth seventyten millionth time, you can not, under any circumstances, know what kind of mother a woman is by observing her for two minutes at the grocery store with all of her children.
Come on. That’s like saying we know what kind of person you are by eavesdropping on the second hour of a conversation with your mother. You’re not at your best.
I had assigned them each a vegetable to find at the grocery store. I had written them each a card with their vegetable word and a picture of their vegetable on it. Because I rock the vegetable thing.
Are you following me, MEAN, ANNOYING, OLD LADY WHOM I AM ABOUT TO MEET AT THE GROCERY STORE? Assigned vegetables? Printed cards? It’s like I’m Mother Theresa or the Madonna. Or a mother who feeds her children vegetables (with cheese sauce) and uses grocery shopping as a fun-filled teaching tool.
My kids regularly run through an annoying game wherein they ask me about every food they have ever eaten and whether it is good for their bodies. Bananas are good for our bodies, are bananas good for our bodies, mommy? Bagels are good for our bodies, are bagels good for our bodies, mommy? Lollipops aren’t good for our bodies, treats are just special, they aren’t good for our bodies, mommy? Broccoli is good for our bodies, is broccoli good for our bodies, mommy?
Because, ANNOYING, MEAN LADY, we talk about whether or not the SHIT they eat is good for their bodies. OKAY?
Quinn had broccoli. On his card. Stick with me here. So, we were making our loud, obvious way through produce and Quinn had broccoli on his card and then we got to the broccoli and the broccoli was yucky. Like, black on the top of the little tree things yucky. Because I’m brilliant and because I was somewhat terrified that he was going to throw a massive fit when I didn’t want to buy any yucky broccoli and because I never ever miss a teaching moment, ANNOYING, MEAN, OLD LADY WHO IS NOW WATCHING ME IN THE PRODUCE AISLE, I made a big show of looking at the broccoli.
“Ew,” I exclaimed, “Quinn, look at this broccoli, it’s yucky on top, see how it’s black there, see how it smells funny (I pulled an “it smells funny” face), this is not nice broccoli. We are going to leave this broccoli here and find some nice, green broccoli at another grocery store.”
That’s what I said. I swear it to you.
This is what my children heard: “EW. WAHWAHWAHWAH THIS BROCCOLI WAHWAHWAHWAH IS YUCKY WAHWAHWAHWAH.”
They thought that was the most hilarious thing in the history of broccoli purchasing and they proceeded to repeat it over and over at the top of their lungs as we plodded out of the produce aisle, laughing hilariously after each pronouncement because my kids crack themselves up.
Saige: EW THIS BROCOLLI IS YUCKY.
Garrett: EW THIS BROCOLLI IS YUCKY BLECH YUCK!!!
Quinn: EW. BWOCLI IS YUCKY!!! EWWWWWWW!!!
I encouraged them a little. It was funny. And, the broccoli was yucky. And, also, excuse me, notice how Quinn was not popping and frying like bacon in a pan, lying on the floor screaming about his “BWOCOLI.” Parenting triumph, MEAN, ANNOYING, OLD LADY WHO IS WATCHING US AND APPARENTLY NEEDS TO TURN HER HEARING AID UP LOUDER SO THAT SHE CAN HEAR ALL OF THE CONVERSATION AROUND HER AND NOT JUST SNIPPETS.
We made our way forward, out of produce and towards cream cheese and as we walked away, the mean, annoying old lady behind us announced to all the people in produce, with a judgmental shake of her blue-tinged hair, “And then they wonder why kids don’t like broccoli.”
Which just goes to show that you should never, ever judge people in grocery stores, because, GAH. Cards. Vegetables. Effort. Four children. Yucky broccoli.
I shall take this away: Even when you think you have the whole picture, you may only be perceiving half the story.
But, this is my blog, and so I get to say this to mean, judgmental, old ladies everywhere: YOU’RE MEAN. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. MY KIDS LIKE BROCCOLI (with cheese sauce.)