Friday, February 13, 2009

Shopping is a DADDY job

This, ladies and gentlemen, is no ordinary post. This is the....100th post! This is significant somehow. In honor of this momentous occasion, let me tell you another story about my children. How unusual, yes?

Paul (yes, I know he is not my child, stay with me) is back into training mode, meaning he has one night a week where he can drink wine or beer without it biting him the next day via a training run. That night is Friday night. Thus, I got it into my head that I would make him a special dinner, and we would have a date night at home after the boys went to sleep. That would be tonight. By having our Valentine's day meal on Friday the 13th, I wouldn't be drinking alone....again. It says something about us that I, the breastfeeding mother, is the lush of the pair.

Anyway, after dithering about the menu for several days, I realized this morning that if I planned on cooking Paul dinner, it would probably help to have some ingredients. Additionally, Paul is painting the living room a very cool pewter (which will look so awesome, squeeeeeeeee!), and needed me to Get. Owen. Out. Of. The. House. Right. Freaking. Now.

So, I loaded the boys up with my list in hand. First we went to the gym, which was good, as always. One of the women that works in the gym's day care is pregnant, and she had told me a few weeks back that she would be soooooo disappointed if it turned out she "had to have a boy." Naturally, she's having a boy. She doesn't seem to terribly impressed when I tell her that boys are great. I hope she'll come around, and I restrained myself from saying, "Look on the bright side. He might be really, really gay."

After the gym, we went to Safeway. I figured Joel was old enough that he could now sit in the front seat (with the germ cover cloth-thingy on, of course) of the cart, leaving Owen to drive the car attachment on the front of the same cart. Normally, Owen insists on "driving" when we go to the grocery store, so I didn't think the addition of Joel in the cart (as opposed to the Baby Bjorn) would be an issue. Apparently, I've learned nothing from Owen's toddlerhood. Nothing.

"No, no Baby Joel. Don't. Do. That." Owen says in a stern voice that sounds vaguely familiar. "That is not nice." I have no idea what heinous sin Joel is committing, but Owen is on the job, ready to correct his six month old brother for any and all misdeeds. Although I remind Owen that bossy people often end up Alone, Dejected, and With NO FRIENDS, he continues to tell his brother that sucking on his stuffed dinosaur and smiling at strangers, is rude. "Baby Joel, that's ENOUGH!"

No, Owen, that is enough. After a time out by the in-store Starbucks, it finally comes out that 1) Owen is used to grocery shopping with his father---it's their special time. I am not even close to acceptable. 2) Baby Joel is not allowed to sit in OWEN's cart. Again, not acceptable.

I was able to explain to Owen that Big Boys get to drive the car, that Baby Joel is too little to do that, and isn't that special and amazing? He wasn't quite sold on the idea, but it got us out of the store.

Anyway, we made it out of Safeway, only to do Round Two: Nick's of Calvert. For those outside of Calvert County, Nick's is a neat Italian market/butcher shop/liquor store. I needed to buy steaks, red wine, and beer. I put Joel in the front of the cart again, because Owen wasn't going to win this round. This time, however, there was no freaking car for Owen to drive. Fists clenched, he announced, "Baby Joel needs to get out of the cart. It's MINE." Wrong. We were at an impasse. Time stopped. What was I going to do? I just wanted to buy my meat and my booze so I could connect with this boy's father, damnit.

So, I did a lazy, bad mothering thing. I let him ride in the cart itself, even though I know Paul wouldn't have done it. Paul would have told me that it was dangerous to let him ride there, and that was that. I was just done fighting, so I let him ride, and I placed the alcohol and raw meat around him.

On the way home, I asked Owen if he had fun shopping with Mommy. His response: "Shopping is a DADDY job."

Works for me.

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