Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Victory is ours

Grocery shopping. It's one of the most burdensome things for me to do with the kids. Since Trace and Alysse were born, I've only ventured out grocery shopping solo with Alena and Alivia in tow. I've also shopped on weekend afternoons during nap time and at 9 p.m. on Friday nights. Taking all four and going it alone has been too much to get my mind around.

How exactly can I get everything we need while keeping a watchful eye on Alena and Alivia while occupying Trace and Alysse? More importantly, where am I going with all the little bodies? Where am I going with all the groceries?

Two carts. Yes, except the pull one, push one method just doesn't work well in my store of choice, Jungle Jim's. Plus, the train-like effect would just draw more attention to our traveling circus which we don't need (two weeks ago a Jungle Jim's bread delivery man vowed to say a prayer for me that night).

In an attempt to become more grocery shopping liberated, I've been easing us into it. In the last four weeks or so, we've made a couple weekday mini grocery shopping trips with all under-four-foot shoppers tagging along. During these tests, we've used the double stroller for Trace and Alysse to ride in, with Alena and Alivia walking on their own.

This system worked in keeping everyone happy, but allowed me only about $50 in purchasing power with what would fit in the basket underneath the stroller seats. Using this method to do all our grocery shopping would require about four mini visits a week. Not happening.

So yesterday, gathering every ounce of courage and patience I could muster, we went it alone for a full-fledged refrigerator-filling, pantry-stocking visit. I approached the trip with the brave outlook that always gives me that added boost of confidence: We can always run for the car and head for home.

The whole trip took about two hours and we managed to select, pay for and load into the car $194 worth of groceries. The secret to our shopping success ... miracle shopping carts I could kiss Jungle Jim himself for offering.

Prior to the twins' arrival my mom had given us a shopping cart cover made for two (see photo below). Ingenious, I thought, already loving my single version. However, I've spent the last 14 months trying to find a cart to use it on. At one point, I even attempted to use it on a normal shopping cart thinking we could fit one pair of legs through each opening in the cart's seat area. Trust me, doesn't work.

Having given up hope of finding an actual, real-life cart to use this little baby on, Jason reported seeing a few of these double-seater carts at Jungle Jim's. If this sighting was true, my shopping prayers had been answered. And sure enough, Jungle Jim's came through, giving me yet another reason to love the place.

In addition to the double seater feature, the front of the cart has a plastic car section that Alena and Alivia can ride in. While the germaphobe in me hates this less-than-clean appearing car part, it does provide enough room for play that the girls were willing to ride the duration of our visit and therefore speed up our progress through the store. Plus, I've already located my travel-sized bottle of Chlorox Anywhere spray which, in the future, will be spent sanitizing the seats, steering wheels and other various parts little hands may come in contact with.

Don't be fooled, our trip wasn't perfect. There were the nearly unavoidable "Mom, Alena pinched me"/"Mom, Alivia touched my hair" exchanges; a chewed up box of macaroni and cheese and a Trace attempt to bite Alysse's head during our checkout (more on this strange twin phenomenon later). There were NOT, however, any tantrums, screaming fits or bathroom visits.

Yes, victory was ours ... beautiful strawberries, juicy oranges and gallons of whole milk included.

No comments: