My Children the Shoppers

The good news about having older children who can drive is they can do the grocery shopping for me. The bad news is, they can stop by the grocery store on a whim whenever they need to. Say, when they will absolutely not make it through that evening’s homework without mint chocolate chip ice cream, 2 liters of root beer and the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine.

Teenagers and a husband, who also shops, can be so thoughtful. "Hi honey. I’m home. I knew we were out of milk so I got two gallons." There’s half a gallon in the indoor frig and another full one in the garage fridge. Time to make pudding!

Grocery shopping teaches them independence. "Hi mom? If I were oyster crackers where would I be? We’ve walked every aisle of the store and can’t find them." Yes, this was my son so no, he’s not going to ask for help from an actual store employee. That is what cell phones and mothers are for. "Check the cracker aisle."

"Already did."

"Go back to the cracker aisle. Tell me when you’re there."

"Okay, I’m here."

"Good, now walk half way down. Stop. Look up. Higher. Top shelf."

"OOOOOOOOOH! There they are! Thanks mom!"

And having a car and a copy of our VISA does wonders for expanding their shopping know-how.

"Mom, I stopped at Walgreens cuz I needed index cards."

"We have 5000 in the upstairs hall closet, remember?"

"Oh. Well, they won’t go bad. And besides, I needed deodorant. It was $4.99."

$4.99? Did you get the prescription strength stuff?"

"No, just Secret. But I got the one with special conditioners and stuff."

"Oh right, cuz everyone knows you need to condition your underarms. I had a $2 off coupon sitting on the counter too!"

I came home from my recent business trip exhausted and hungry, but excited knowing my husband had gone grocery shopping while I was gone. I opened the refrigerator and stared, as if something else would miraculously materialize, at three dozen eggs, 2 gallons of milk (only two people drink it and one of them is not me), 17 packages of lunch meat (which I loathe), ½ a loaf of bread, 3 packages of moldy cheese (my main food group) and a half-eaten bag of prehistoric gummy bears.

To his credit, he did not finish the last bottle of Chardonnay, which he typically does when he’s on one of his "no wine" kicks and I’ve shopped and consumed accordingly. I scrounged around in my top left desk drawer for my secret writer’s block emergency stash of York Peppermint Patties. Not the best combo with a Chard, but it kept my blood sugar levels above Raving Crazy Woman status until the morning.

When I would do my own grocery shopping.

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