Going to the grocery store with a 2-year old and a seven-week old goes something like this:

  • Plan shopping around a time there will be a good chance the baby will sleep. Change his diaper, nurse him up good and buckle him into his car seat. Brace myself for the “how dare you put me in this seat” screaming that will start almost immediately. Yup, there it is.
  • With baby in seat, chase toddler down and put on his shoes. Carry him downstairs and into the garage and buckle him into his car seat. Go back upstairs and retrieve El Screamo. Bring him downstairs and snap his seat into the car seat base. He stops screaming as I begin to back out of the garage. Hope he falls asleep…and stays asleep.
  • Arrive at grocery store. Circle lot until I find a spot as close as I can to the cart return.
  • Get cart. Bring it to car.
  • Strap on the Bjorn carrier. Unbuckle toddler, pry whatever truck he managed to smuggle out of the house out of his hands and buckle him into shopping cart. Wheel him around to other side of the car to retrieve baby, who hopefully is still sleeping and hasn’t now begun “how dare you remove me from this seat” screaming.
  • Unbuckle baby from car seat. Buckle baby into Bjorn.
  • Shop. Get stopped by various elderly people who say nice things about my children, but tend to hold me hostage in the produce department while the baby starts to headbutt my clavicle.
  • Finish shopping, begin checkout. Chat with cashier about how quickly the baby is growing, while trying to bend down into the cart without smashing his head into anything. Field questions from toddler about the name of every single person who passes. “I don’t know everyone’s name, buddy.”
  • Return to car with full cart. Open windows because I’m paranoid of accidentally locking the kids inside. Take baby, who has fallen asleep, out of the carrier and put him back in the car seat. Put groceries in cart. Put toddler back in his car seat. Bring cart to the cart return I purposely parked near.
  • Drive home. Open windows again, this time less out of paranoia, and more so I can talk to Owen as I unload the car. Bring groceries up the stairs (the only downside of our raised ranch-style house is the two sets of stairs from the garage with groceries and kids. At least it’s exercise?), come back and bring the baby in the car seat into the house. Deposit him in the living room and hope he stays sleeping for the next 10 minutes. Go back down and bring Owen into the house.
  • Unload groceries with Owen. If I’m lucky, Ryan remains sleeping and doesn’t start screaming to get out of his seat. It’s about 50/50 here.

Annnd scene. I’m tired just writing that.

This past weekend I went grocery shopping entirely alone. It was like a freaking vacation.