I don’t particularly enjoy grocery shopping. The best relationships, though, are ones where one partner makes up for the weaknesses in the other. With this in mind, I am fortunate to have a wife who, at the very least, doesn’t mind grocery shopping.
That’s not to say I don’t pull myself up by the bootstraps occasionally and venture forth into that untamed land of foodstuffs. Such was the case today, as I had a day off for President’s Day and humbly offered to carry the load. Given that my day already had a packed itinerary, with a 10 AM movie and….a 1:00 PM movie, I decided to take care of the shopping after I picked Miles up from daycare in the afternoon.
Miles is no stranger to the local Aldi. He typically goes with Jaclyn every week on her usual shopping trips. He knows where the crackers are, where the cottage cheese is, and — to my eternal woe — where the squeezable fruit packs are.
I’ve heard tell of Miles’s unreasonable shopping demands. When being wheeled past the baby food aisle, he’ll suddenly cry out, “Food!” and a color, “Yellow!” for instance. His expectation is that you, the parent, will then pluck a yellow-capped pack of goop off the shelf and let him go to town. Jaclyn regularly comes back from the store and says, “Miles went through three fruit packs while we were shopping.” The cashiers know at this point to double-check the bottom of the cart for any empty packs.
I viewed this as a challenge. Traversing the aisle of baby food was unavoidable, but once Miles had a food pack in his hand, could I then complete my shopping before he finished, thereby minimizing the financial impact of Miles’s unchecked consumption?*
Once he called out for the yellow-capped pack, the race was on. I zipped around the store, desperately looking for every item on Jaclyn’s list while the apple, banana, and carrot-flavored sands in Miles’s metaphorical hourglass dwindled more and more. Did I make it? HELL NO. Man, I don’t know where anything in this store is! I already told you I don’t do this very much.
Still, I was able to finish up by the time Miles finished his second pack. I have faith that, next time, I’ll beat the baby.**