Confession: I rarely go shopping with all three of my kids. My theory is that being a mom of little ones is hard enough, and if I can avoid circumstances that are particularly insanity-inducing for me, so much the better.
Ben works from home, so I frequently slip out on a quick errand while Brennan is napping. David has recently opted to stay home and work on quiet projects rather than trail behind me through the grocery store (I wonder why?!). That often leaves shopping to be a “Mommy and Me” activity for Elanor, which is kind of fun. I also tend to shop when one of the older kids is at a class or extracurricular activity. Or my favorite option—shop in the evening or on weekends when Ben can watch all the kids and I go alone. Actually, my very favorite option—Amazon Prime. Forget shopping at all.
I think the last time I took all three kids shopping was this summer when I made an ambitious Costco run with Brennan in the front carrier, which worked fine, albeit a bit awkwardly, until I got to the part where I wanted to purchase a huge watermelon. How to get it in the cart with baby in the front pack? I’ll admit I looked around hoping someone would notice my plight and offer to put the watermelon in the cart for me. No one did. Any tips, baby-carrying super moms? How do you wrestle watermelons?
Anyway, this morning I decided to take all three kids on an outing to Target to buy new sneakers for Elanor and to have a treat at Starbucks as an award for their being good. Brennan is big enough to ride in the cart now, so in theory this was going to be an easy, fun adventure for everyone.
The number of comments I got—“Wow, you have (carefully counting) 1, 2, 3!” or “The troops are out in force today!”—was a little surprising to me. Is three really that much more than two? Yes. Yes, it is.
I also hadn’t realized what a spectacle we would be. I may as well have been leading my own menagerie around Target. Elanor’s outfit of choice for today was a striped hoodie, floral shorts, and bright chunky snowboots which she stomped with gusto. Her three-year-old enthusiasm for everything was overwhelming—“Whoa! Check this out!”
The kids were particularly delighted to discover that Starbucks was actually inside Target. They were exclaiming about this (at loud volume) for several minutes while we waited in line. “A Starbucks inside Target! Isn’t that strange? Starbucks is right here! Like ten steps from the checkout! It’s like Starbucks and Target are—mixed!”
It doesn’t take much to entertain them. The funniest exchange was this one:
Elanor: “Ooo, look, bras!”
Me: “We’ll think about those when you get older, Elanor.”
David: “What are those?”
Me (suddenly aware of other customers listening in): “Well, um, those are … women wear them …”
Elanor: “To keep the milk from spilling!”
I drove home wondering if I could have bought shoes for Elanor with Amazon Prime.