Trader Joe's

When the cashier picked up the last blueberry, I remembered why I swore to never again take my kids with me to the grocery store.

Monday started out badly. The kids didn’t get enough sleep because it was the last day of Thanksgiving break. After much struggle I dragged them both to school. I had so much work to catch up on, I was late picking them both up that afternoon and they were not happy about it. They were also not happy about the after school trip to Trader Joe’s.

“We’re going to the store to buy gum and Toaster Pastries!” I told them. They cheered loudly so for a minute I thought it was a good plan.

Once we got to the store I knew it was not, in fact, a good plan.

Late afternoon is not a good time for 5 and 6-year-old boys. The older one kept running around with the cart and I had to put my body in front of it to stop it from hitting anyone. There was a woman who seemed to be right next to us the entire time sighing loudly. My pleas for my kids to stop jumping around, yelling, and sneaking things into the cart were heard only by the sighing woman and everyone else within 2 aisles of us.

When we walked past the meat section I grabbed a whole chicken and boys both yelled, “chicken!!” and started poking at the bloody part of the packaging. I warned them that it would be really bad if the bag broke.

When we went to the checkout I noticed something dripping from the packed cart. They had poked a hole in the chicken bag and blood and goo was oozing all over the seat of the cart.

I asked the cashier for plastic bag and a paper towel and in record time she grabbed the chicken, wrapped it, cleaned the seat, and sprayed all of us with antibacterial spray. After both boys rubbed their hands together they took a big sniff and yelled, “Ewwww. It’s burning.”

They recovered quickly and started helping her with the groceries. The younger one handed her a yogurt and it fell to the ground breaking. I saw this happening and yelled, “NOOOO!!” and knocked over a container of blueberries.

The cashier told us to go get a new yogurt and blueberries. I sent the boys off and I bagged the groceries while the cashier picked up the blueberries one by one.

After a while I thought, “Hmmm, I hope the boys come back.” Then I heard, “We’re back!!!”

At this point the lines were 5 people deep and everyone was looking at us. I desperately tried to avoid eye contact. We were finally ready to go and as we pushed the cart away the cashier stopped us.

“You have really nice boys,” she said and handed them both a row of stickers. She took them back fast and asked, “Are you going to listen to mom?” They looked up at her and the older one said, “Of course!”

Then I had a flashback of the time we were at Trader Joe’s and both boys were sitting in the cart and when I turned around I heard a “plunk, plunk.” I looked over to see them dropping eggs through squares in the bottom of the cart. There was also the time the younger one pulled a lemon from the bottom of the pile and dozens of lemons tumbled to the floor. Or the time when they were fighting over a container of berries and it went flying up in the air scattering berries all over the produce aisle.

Yep, they may listen to mom sometimes, but not at the grocery store.

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