Sunday, September 5, 2010
I used to LOVE to go food shopping! It was a small frame of time where I would get to get away from everyone and everything and buy food. It may sound trivial and small, but I also have a HUGE passion for cooking- so the way a musician loves to go to a music store and tinker on a new guitar, or an artist walks into a craft store and gets a little batty over all of the crafty possibilities, to me the grocery store was much the same way. Each isle contained an ingredient that I loved or one I've been dying to try-- and combined with a few other ingredients and a little imagination some of the most wonderful things would come about. My heart would beat just a little faster each time I would enter the florescent-ly light warehouse of wonderment, my head buzzing with delight over the possibilities. Cooking is the way I relax, cooking is my stress relief, cooking is just my thing. It's my outlet for creativity and anxiety-- In other words, cooking is my drug, and the grocery store my dealer.
That was until I had a shopping partner.. No, I am not talking about Andre who has been banned from coming with me until further notice based upon the fact that he treats the grocery store like a rogue military operation... Get in, cause a lot of damage and get out as quickly as possible sticking only to the task (grocery list) at hand. He never quite understood my lackadaisical way of shopping; not quite comprehending my need to read labels for nutritional value and ingredients, cruising up and down each isle to look for new arrivals and using my list as only a guideline, not a map of the quickest route in and out of the store.
No-no.. I am talking about my little daughter. I understand and fully comprehend that at her age of just barely 5 months that she may not particularly enjoy the supermarket.. I get it. She's not quite at the point where you can stick her in cart with a stringed box of animal crackers and expect her to sit quietly like my mom did with me and many moms did with their children before that, but I also didn't think I was signing on for leaving my cart in the 4th isle to run outside to the parking lot to calm her down as apparently my child has a serious issue with the idea of Ronzoni pasta.
There was a time in my life PBI (Pre-baby Isabel) that I would be sauntering up and down the isle of Stop and Shop at about 2-3 miles per hour enjoying the sights and smells, imagining myself as a chef or a restaurant owner finally having a chance to feed people my healthy and delicious recipies.. Changing the average Joe's opinion of beans and asparagus forever when 'WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA'! I am snapped back into reality-- the one where I work in a medical office and cook only for hobby and my husbands sustenance by a screaming child and a worn and tired looking woman trying desperately to get her food shopping done while attempting to calm her child, hold a pacifier in it's mouth, read a shopping list and push the cart all at the same time. All around her would be older, more wiser looking women giving her the knowing 'don't worry, I've been there and it gets better' look.. And then there's me, shooting her the (not intentionally, but because I cannot control my facial expressions) look that says
'seriously, lady? you don't have husband or life partner or a baby daddy to leave that kid with so it doesn't ruin my Zen moment?' Ok, I know that sounds mean and horrible, but I had no idea. I wasn't aware of the physical exhaustion and desperation that having a kid can give you, and not to mention how going to the store just to get the basics can be an all day affair.. and how the second that your baby begins to whimper you move that much faster in hopes that by the time your baby has an all out meltdown, you've at least made it to the register. I am pretty sure all of the mommies I have ever given 'the look' to have all gotten together and wished and hoped and prayed that one day I would suffer their misery..
.... And it worked! I get it and I am sorry.. Consider this my formal apology. I promise for now on, if I shoot anyone any looks in the store it will be only those looks of camaraderie-- A look of knowing and understanding that you, like me are just trying to buy some milk and eggs and cereal (like you'd actually have the time to eat it, ha!) without feeling completely embarrassed and flustered by your child that is now screaming so hard your afraid someone is going to think you've stolen them, because if you were it's 'real' mom there is no way you wouldn't be able to comfort them at least enough to calm them down a little.
So, while I have tried to work it out that I leave the baby with Andre so I can go food shopping, and I don't 'miss out' on a food shopping adventure, I often stop mid-store when I hear a baby giggle, coo or even cry to realize that I miss her so much more than I thought I would and I have resorted to taking her with me strapped to my chest and maybe this way she will learn to love shopping as much as her mommy.