Friday, November 12, 2010

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Shopping, sniffles, Samaritans, and sons.

Yesterday I had a brilliant idea. I really need to have an intervention counselor living next door, so that when these things happen, they can just crack me over the head with a bat and send me back home where I belong.

I decided that it would be a truly great and wondrous thing to go grocery shopping in town( have I mentioned that "town" is 50 miles away?) as soon as notorious #5 got out of kindergarten. This way, I would avoid icy roads, because I would be doing this during daylight hours, instead of late at night like I prefer to. Of course this meant I would have a 5 year old and 2 year old twins myself.... but really, I am a mighty, invincible mother of SEVEN. Yeah. Never feel powerful. It will only end in tears. And did... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

We got to town without incident. No one screamed in the car, there were no fights, and I considered my brilliant idea to have been blessed by the powers that be. I loaded three completely well behaved children into two carts and I actually went INTO the store. Not just ANY store.. oh no, *I* had to choose the super mighty "W". I felt prepared, I felt mentally capable of the task at hand, I felt confident in my capabilities as a mother. I held my well thought out grocery list in my hand, and began the adventure.

To their credit, the monster and monsterlettes were really tolerant for about 30 minutes. Then, we had a little crankiness which was rapidly and effectively ended by a quick trip through the cookie aisle.Well, OK. It was ended for about 5 minutes, until they all figured out how fun it was to smash organic gluten free Madagascar vanilla wafers with their shoes through the screen of the bottom of the shopping carts.  We left trails throughout EVERY aisle, and my purse is now full of bits of cookies I picked up off the floor as I apologized to every single super mighty "W" store employee I came in contact with.

I was done. I hadn't gotten bread, meat, or milk, and I didn't care. I was done. I was doing the walk of shame to the registers with two full shopping carts and three very not pleased monsters. And then.. the tantrum from hell. Notorious #5 threw himself in the middle of the aisle in a spread eagle position, nearly causing a 40 cart pileup on the main freeway(.. I mean, uh, center aisle) as people swerved and collided and little motorized carts with elderly drivers LITERALLY HONKED! In the freakin' store! #5 is on the floor, screaming and crying and telling everyone he has a "Bad, MEAN mommy!" because I won't do an illegal U-Turn and get him some Cheetos. May I just say, if there had been a way to crawl under that industrial tile floor, I would have.

Somehow, by divine intervention, I made it to the checkout lane. And then all THREE minors had a meltdown. That was it for me. I was holding one red faced crying monsterlette, begging #5 to get up off the floor ( AGAIN!!!), and trying to soothe the other red faced crying monsterlette, while putting groceries from two carts on the cashier belt. 

Enter my hero of the day. The sweet woman ahead of me, who stayed after she finished her transaction, loaded all my groceries on the belt, and told me to just love on my babies, that was more important.  My own Good Samaritan, who stayed and helped me get my groceries out to the car.  My anonymous hero who told me she had four boys of her own, and she knew what it was like. And then she disappeared before I could ask her name.

I held it together until the monsters were all strapped in five point harness car seats. I held it together until the groceries were loaded in the car and the carts returned. I held it together until I got to the far edge of the parking lot. Then I parked, gave all three  offspring treats and water bottles, got out of the car, called the Daddy and sobbed. For fifteen minutes. I was embarrassed about the monsters' behavior , I was mortified with my own behavior, and I was clearly and thoroughly overwhelmed by the whole shopping experience.

I am choked up again just writing about this. The selfless act of this woman, when I was having such a rough time, when I didn't know how I would get through it, overwhelms me. I wish I knew who she was so I could tell her (again, but more coherently) how very much I appreciated her help.

To all the Good Samaritans out there... no matter what your act of service was, or when you did it, or who it was for, let me thank you. Thank you for making something easier for someone, for taking some of the strain away. You are my heroes.


Unknown said...

First of all, it's so good to know that someone who has 7 kids still has this kind of thing happen to her. I just sort of figured you'd be way too cool to talk to the rest of us by now.:) And second, I think it's awesome that you were so grateful to this woman. You'd be amazed at how many times I've read blogs/comments from people about this sort of thing, and they're actually pissed off because someone helps or tries to say something encouraging. They take it as interfering. Anyway, great story. Thanks for being so honest.

Caryn said...

Oh my goodness! I just LMAO at your comment!! I am so NOT cool. Ask the fam. I'm mostly half baked, with a few lucid moments. ;)

Sarah said...

Oh, honey... ((((hugs)))) I'm impressed. I have trouble with just one, and he's well-behaved 99% of the time, and we live less than 15 minutes from the mighty W. lol And I know what you mean about Samaritans. And you already know about paying it forward. Believe me, what you do to help others is just as wonderful. :)

jillsmo said...

Oh, man, I totally feel for you. Thank god for the kindness of strangers!!!!

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