Saturday, July 6, 2013

The un-fun part of summer: trips to the grocery store

A fun Friday spent at the Wonderlab in Bloomington followed by Jiffy Treat goodies!

One son was frustrated with me last week.  Fully exasperated he whined, "But mom, summer is supposed to be fun!"

I almost couldn't stifle a snort.  

His summer has been fun.  We've become regulars at the pool, enjoyed numerous play dates, and savored a full-week of vacation.  Fun we've had.  The problem, I think, rests on expectations.  This son's assumption was that his 12-week summer vacation would be one rocking party where he slept in until he developed bedsores and lounged on the couch (video game in hand) until his backside molded into a shape of a seat cushion.

Yeah...that's not going to happen.

My expectations are that some of those 12 weeks will be spent doing such unappealing activities as chores, reading, and (dun dun duuuun) math.  In addition, the boys need to cut into some of their fun time to accompany me on some errands, included the most dreaded one...the grocery store.  (I don't know who dreads it more, me or them.)

Today was one of those days where all four boys escorted me to the grocery store.  As I entered the doors of the Super Target with my entourage, my pulse quickened.  The problem with shopping as a pack is that a grocery store is full of choices.  In my experience it's almost physically impossible for five people to agree on everything (anything?).

The choices start with the cart:

-regular cart or big cart with kid seats on the back?

-if we select the kid seat cart, which kids get to sit?

-who is pushing the cart?

Then, we hit the more momentous choices:

-crunchy or smooth peanut butter?

-pretzels or chips?

-Gatorade or Powerade?

The thing is no one has neutral opinions on these choices.  They hold on as fiercely to their feelings on peanut butter as many would to their religious beliefs.

The aisle I most dread is the cereal aisle.  I think we have a better shot at world peace than getting four boys to agree on a cereal.  Let me take that back.  They (and I) need to agree.  (They can agree on the chocolately, sugar coated, marshmallow flakes!)

When we enter the cereal aisle, I instantly take on the role of arbitrator (and ultimately judge).  I listen to each boy present his case for his favorite cereal.

Son:  My cereal includes whole grain.

Another son:  It's a good source of fiber.

Third son:  It received a "parent's choice!"

Fourth son:  Ah mom, please!  (Batted eyes)

By now, they've become familiar with favorite mom "buzz" words: low sugar, fiber, whole grain.

After an endless amount of time spent in the aisle, I'll render my decision.  Cheers ring up from some with sighs from others.  The losers will resume the "summer's not fun" mantra until the week when their cereal is selected.  That's when they suddenly think summer is a blast.  

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