Grocery Store Woes

This blog entry was actually written almost two weeks ago.  I know that this may be surprising, but I haven’t had a chance to post it until this evening. :)

Dear Mark,

I’d like to tell you about your very first trip to the grocery store. Up until this point, your mommy and daddy had been living off of meals that Grandma froze during her visit, meals at Gramps and Nannie’s house, and meals provided by generous neighbors. Your dad made numerous trips to the grocery store after work to purchase essentials, and I had even gone to Wal-Mart twice when your dad or Nannie stayed with you during a nap.

However, since your birth I had not attempted to cook anything of significance or go to the grocery store with you. The morning before you were 5 weeks, I decided that it was about time. I was feeling confident and woke up that morning ready for battle.

Since your dad was at work, I had mapped out the whole extravaganza in my head. I would rush through our morning routine so that I could attempt to make myself look presentable to the world while you were in a good mood. I managed to shower, put on make up, and something other than yoga pants. I dressed you in a clean diaper and weather-appropriate outfit.

At this point I looked out the window. Rain. Lots of rain. Not allowing the weather to defeat me, I continued my preparations.

I picked out a simple crockpot recipe that would require only five ingredients from the store and very little prep time. The game plan was to go to the grocery store across the street from our neighborhood. I would keep you in the car seat and put it in the shopping cart. Since I only needed to find five ingredients, I figured that I could get in and out quickly. I timed the whole trip around your morning nap so that you would sleep through the entire ordeal. It would give me just enough time get to the grocery store and back and to throw the food into the crockpot so that it would be done in time for dinner. Easy.

Things began to go terribly downhill as we were getting ready to leave. After feeding and burping you, I put you in the car seat and dug for my wallet and keys. That is when I heard it – the sound of spit up. I rushed to your car seat to find a small amount of spit up on your onesie and just a bit on the strap. This was salvageable. I could still do this. Making dinner for tonight was going to happen. No amount of rain or spit up would stop me. I was determined to prevail.

And then you and I locked eyes. You gave me that look that every mother knows. That look that says, “I am sorry mom, but I am about to spit up a very large quantity of milk all over my new never-before-worn adorable onesie and my very clean car seat.” Before I could react, the second wave hit. Mount Vesuvius erupted all over the car seat. You managed to get spit up in places I didn’t even know existed in the seat. For an instant, I remained confident. Your stubborn mom was determined to go the grocery store and buy five items for dinner.

Yet, somewhere between unhooking milk-covered car seat straps and carrying a screaming, dripping newborn upstairs to be changed, my resolve dwindled. Perhaps it was the trail of spit up on the floor or the milk-covered car seat, but by the time I had put you in clean clothes, I was plotting which frozen meal I would be defrosting for dinner. Maybe a more experienced mom would have overcome the spit up and strapped her newborn into a newly scrubbed car seat and gone to the grocery store, but I am just not that mom. Not yet.

Upon returning downstairs, I spent twenty minutes scouring the nooks and crannies of your car seat while rocking you in the Rock n’ Play with my foot. You soon decided that you were hungry again since your breakfast was being scrubbed out of the car seat.

By then it was well past lunchtime. There was no way a crock-pot meal would be done in time for dinner, even if I left for the grocery store that instant. After feeding you and getting you settled for your nap, I officially admitted defeat, at least for the day. I put my yoga pants on, made frozen waffles (since in the busyness of the morning, I had yet to eat), covered them in tons of maple syrup, put my feet up, and turned on Netflix. The dirty diaper sitting on the coffee table, mound of poop-and-spit-up-covered laundry, and unmade bed could all wait. A frozen grandma-prepared meal sat defrosting on the counter. I was sure that when your dad got home and saw the car seat by the sink, keys and wallet by the door, and mess around the house, he would know better than to ask too many questions. After all, he does value his life.

So my attempt to bring you to the grocery store for the first time to buy five things didn’t actually happen. If there is one thing that I have learned as your mom, it is that sometimes you just have to let go. It is essential to let go of expectations of being supermom and having a hot homemade dinner on the table each evening. Sometimes you have to rely on other people and just pull out a dinner from the stockpile left for you in the freezer.

God is teaching me the art of giving up control through being your mother. It is certainly something with which I could use some practice, and I am certain that there will be more lessons to come. For now, I am going to keep my feet up and appreciate these early weeks with you, since they seem to be flying by quickly. Before long, I will be chasing you around the house praying that you didn’t swallow the penny that you found on the floor.

I love you with my whole heart. You are totally worth dealing with all the spit up.

Love,

Your Mom

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