Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm Not As Smart as I'd Like You To Believe I Am

This morning started out so well. I had the kids enraptured in a new activity. Just when I thought my brain had been sucked dry of any original ideas, one just dumped itself in my lap. I bought a newspaper yesterday for the ads and the coupons, and my 3 kids decided they were going to go through and cut out all the coupons of things they want. That's okay with me because I am constantly buying things like Go-Gurt or Fruit Gushers or hot dogs anyway. If the kids can get me 50 cents off, I'm pretty pumped.

So, for like 30 minutes, the 3 older kids sat with scissors in hand, poised over a giant pile of coupon fliers. Clip, clip, snip, snip. After they were done, I told them, "Now you need to write everything down on a grocery list." Another 20 minutes with barely any peeps from the Peanut gallery. I was all "Oh I am so going to blog about what a great idea this was!"

Then, of course, it was time to put the plan into action. Time to actually go grocery shopping. With 4 children. Getting close to nap time. Well... here goes nothin'

When we get to Tom Thumb Grocery store, I grab my eco-friendly bags and tell the kids to get their coupons and come inside. Once inside I tell them, "Now, you have to remember to get all the coupons out of your pouch for the items we pick up." Easier said than done. We are barely into the produce section when they start asking, "Where's the Gatorade? It's on sale! And the Fruit Gushers? And the Pop-Tarts?" I nearly lost it right there in front of the empty bin that was supposed to hold ears of corn, 5/$1. Guess I'll have to go back for that before Tuesday when the sale ad turns over.

Before we even make it to the deli department, I tell everyone, "Look, we are going to get as much stuff as we can that's on our list. But if you are not staying with me, or being loud or obnoxious, or whining, then we're leaving. Without Fruit Gushers, or Gatorade, or hot dogs. Got it?"

I warned them about two more times until we finally left, with only about half of the items on our list. Oh, but it's not over. I still had to check out the items we DID get a chance to put in the cart. And find the matching coupons for those items. And get out my shopper card. And deal with a baby who was overdue for her nap, screaming, "DOOOWWWWNNNN!!!!! DOOOOWWWWNNNNN!" and two boys who were both trying to give each other noogies.

Once I'd paid and walked out to the car, I get the motor going so that the A/C can start cooling the car. And do you know what the kids do? No, they don't help me load the bags into the car. No they don't offer to take the cart to the cart corral. They immediately jump in and start fighting about who is sitting in the front, and start yelling, "MOOOMMMM, CAN I HAVE A GATORADE NOW???"

Oh sweet Jesus, I have never laid into them so badly. I gave them the whole 9 yards about "If you want something nice, then you have to be nice first! Don't expect me to shower you with desserts and take you to special expensive places if you are going to act like wild animals when I need you to behave!!!" They kinda hung their heads and sulked. I only felt a little bit bad. I never said YOU ARE HORRIBLE or I HATE THIS but I did make sure they understood how hard it was for me and that, really, like 75% of the groceries I bought were specifically for THEM!

And, it's not like this is the first time I've taken them all to the grocery store with me. You'd think I'd know better by now. I guess I have no one to blame but myself.

Okay, so, moral of the story: if you are going to take my little "idea" for clipping coupons, then probably just use them for pretend play with groceries from your pantry. Unless, of course, you like having a panic attack in front of the Fruity Pebbles. Then you're on your own.

18 comments:

Emily said...

I always think it'll be a great idea to take my crew with me to the grocery store...you know, it's entertainment and they can "help". Then I go and it's always disastrous. When will I ever learn!? ;)

Aleta said...

As I was reading, I thought, "OH, she's going to do a pretend grocery store activity." But when you said you were taking them all to the store, woah. BRAVE WOMAN!

McVal said...

Wow! You're brave! Taking my kids to the store when they were that age, would double or triple the time I was in the store normally. Nowadays it's easier... I can send them after something.
One of my friends told me that if her kids asked for something, she'd sadly shake her head and said she didn't have a coupon for it. So they were led to believe you couldn't buy anything good without a coupon!
I'm so disorganized, I'd never have the coupons with me when I went shopping or they'd all be outdated... Or I'd never find the right one. I've pretty much given it up until I get my act together. I shop a lot at Sams and the Dollar Store...

Buggys said...

Lol...sorry about the turnout to your day that had such a hopeful beginning. It was a great idea in the early stages back there. Worse than babies is taking a bunch of teenagers to the grocery store! It's been a few years since I have done that but I just got shivers at the memories running through my mind.
Motherhood...ain't it grand?

Jennifer said...

This totally could have worked. You need to make a game out of it. Like split up the coupons and see who could find all of their stuff first and the person that does it the quietest gets a special treat and then buy them all m&m's or something at the checkout... unless they were really, really bad.

Mommymel said...

I had a similar day... I woke up refreshed after baby slept from 7 to 5 am (a rare event) and decided to take the gang to the local Botanical Gardens per their request. After frantically trying to feed breakfast, pack up lunches, dress and sunscreen them, and after skipping my youngest's morning nap (ugh), we left, only to experience no less than 5 tantrums during the 2 hour trip, and ending with one child being dragged screaming from the car to the house. They got a LOOOONG talk about how inconsiderate it is to behave so badly on a trip Mommy worked so hard for them for. In one ear and out the other...

Jen said...

Well it did sound like a fabulous idea. Too bad the reality was a little off.

Bridgett said...

This summer was the first time MAeve had ever been to a grocery store since she was able-bodied, pretty much (she is almost 5). I just refused to do it and always went when she was at preschool or in bed with Mike at home. But I had to this summer. And it was just like how you've described (and she's only one kid!!)

Anna See said...

my kids get spoiled into NOT going to the grocery store w/ me b/c i try to schedule it when i'm on my own. you gave your kids a more realistic look at life. hello? life stinks and you have to get groceries. i remember endless errands w/ my mom over the years. now i just leave my son at home.

Vicki said...

Just keep repeating "one day I'm gonna miss this, one day I'm gonna miss this, one day I'm gonna miss this!"

anymommy said...

grocery shopping with kids is just wrong!

April said...

I love when the kids are in school and I don't have to take them with me LOL :D

Wendy said...

Now that I have gotten a taste of going to the store alone, there's no going back. No way. I took my kids & their 5-year-old cousin and kept them all behaving & occupied all through the store and it was awesome. It took 25 minutes and was completely EXHAUSTING.

Your various posts have me thinking: this is one thing you seriously need to negotiate with hubby: shopping alone.

Whew!

As for me, no more shopping until school starts and I can go alone.

Stacie's Madness said...

ha, i had my two in the store yesterday getting school supplies...holy hell...what is with kids and stores? It's a free for all. (at least with mine)

Sturgmom said...

I feel your pain and I've only got 3. I always wonder if I'm the only mother who can't take her kids ANYWHERE without the endless wrestling, jumping, pulling, can't-keep-their-hands-off-one-another behavior that makes me want to go ballistic.

June Freaking Cleaver said...

I gave you an award! Check my 8/17 post! Thanks!

shortmama said...

I cant even imagine doing it with 4 kids, I have 2 and they make me insane at the store! As often as possible I try to stick them with the hubs so I can do it in peace

stephanie (bad mom) said...

You are smarter than I think you think I think.

And you said all the right things without resorting to the mean things (a difficult task when you're hot & pregnant & tired & disappointed).

Good Lord, did you at least grab some wine?? ;D