Monday is my preparation day or “P-Day” as I’ve heard the full-time missionaries for our church call it. Every Monday morning for the past four years (give or take a few weeks) I’ve used that time to prepare my household. Occasional errand running, some cleaning, maybe the laundry, but almost without fail I have schlepped the kids with me to buy groceries the first day of every week.
Grocery shopping is an ordeal even without children in tow. The meal planning, the list making, the aisle browsing, the cart loading, the checkout, the car loading, the grocery unloading into the house… It’s tiring just typing it out. With kids, it’s a miracle that the process can even be completed. It’s chaos in a shopping cart, begging for a snack. And every Monday we hit at least 3 stores: Trader Joe’s, Albertsons, and Costco. This, as you can imagine, is no small feat. But, thankfully, two out of the three establishments have food samples to distract these ravenous children, who are apparently conditioned to eat as soon as the cart rolls through the entrance, and the third one often doles out a much appreciated gratuitous fried potato wedge while I’m waiting for my lunch meat to be sliced at the deli counter. Needless to say, after all the kid-cart-grocery juggling, I am always exhausted by the end of the event.
So you’d think I’d be happy being down one kid now that Warren’s in Kindergarten. Should make for an easier outing, no? It does. In some ways. Then why do I miss having that little guy by my side, hanging on the cart and racing down the aisles so much?
It’s probably more fun for him to be at school than to be on our weekly “practical life-skill field trip.” And I do enjoy watching Maddie take in the world around her without the sibling interruption. But it’s strange to go back to one kid when you’ve been so used to two. I guess I’ve come a long way.