Jun 18, 2009

Life Lessons for a Coupon Shopper

Today I learned a valuable life lesson: Three year olds and coupon shopping do not mix.

This was the first grocery shopping day since our summer schedule started. I shop on Thursdays. This was Camryn's first Thursday home with me. Jason had a haircut appointment, so I decided there wouldn't be any problem taking her with me. Should have thought that one through a little more.

First, I had to wait until she woke up from her nap at 2:00. I'm usually home by that point, have groceries unloaded, and have taken pictures of my deals for the blog. Typically I shop with my coupon notebook right in front of me. Because there was a wiggly little body taking up that space, I had to store my notebook in the buggy and constantly walk around it to find the coupons I needed. I typically shop with my Wal-Mart list and Bi-Lo list in front of me, because I can almost surely mark a thing or two off my Wal-Mart list by finding a better deal at Bi-Lo with double coupons. My Wal-Mart list didn't even make it in the store with me today.

So, off we go on our shopping experience. We've just crossed the threshold of Bi-Lo, and my ever-observant daughter loudly states, "Mommy! I just saw a man with a ponytail and an earring!" Unless ponytail, earring man has severe hearing issues, I'm sure he heard her, as he was no more than 3 in. in front of my buggy when her declaration was made. So, we take pause-from-grocery-shopping-number-one to have a discussion in the produce aisle about why we don't say things about other people in public.

A few more aisles in, she needs her snack. Pause-from-grocery-shopping-number-eight (by this point) to fish the water and pretzels and raisins out of my pocketbook. I turned my head for no more than 30 seconds, and she had downed the entire sippy cup of water. Great - there's a bathroom stop in my future.

After her snack, she starts complaining that the buggy is hurting her legs. Well, I can't blame her, because our cart is missing the little plastic seat, leaving her bare legs up against the metal. Pause-from-grocery-shopping-number-twenty-one to help her out of the buggy. She asks to help me push the buggy, which I decide is a good idea in order to keep her close. So I'm now waddling down the aisles like a 9 month pregnant woman because she's right at my feet, preventing me from walking normally.

Soon I hear, "Mommy, I need to use the bathroom." I'm completely engrossed in my coupons at this point and tell her I'm not sure where one is. She gives me a huff and says, "Mommy, they have one, you just have to ask to use it!" I'm not ready for pause-from-grocery-shopping-number-forty-three yet, so I hold her off for just a little longer.

Then, right in the middle of the cookie and cracker aisle, it happens. She stops and loudly states, "Mommy, my poopie is on it's way out."

Be. still. my. heart. Did she really just announce that right in front of God, country, and the Chips Ahoy?

Pause-from-grocery-shopping-number-fifty-two to hurry off to the restroom.

And, oh my, what a doozy of a restroom is was. Nasty. Just plain nasty.

We walk into the stall and Camryn immediately points out utter grossness on the toilet. "Yuck! What's that?" she says. This earns her an impassioned five minute lecture about why we do not like to use public restrooms. I take great care in lining the toilet with about 20 layers of toilet paper, do my best to shimmy her pants down without letting any part of me or her touch ... well, anything. I'm engaging in an awkward squatting/balancing act while I try to hold her in a half-sitting, half-hovering position on the toilet. We finally get settled and she looks at me dead in the eye and says, "I don't have to go."

Well, because I'm the ever-patient mommy that I am, I told her if she didn't go right then she would have to poop in her pants, because I wasn't bringing her back in there.

So, there I crouch, my legs aching from holding that position so long, and when she finally gets around to doing her business, I look over and see "Crystal C + Eric G" written on the top of the sanitary napkin disposal.


Because, really y'all. Nothing says love like the sanitary napkin disposal.

So, she finishes, we exit, we bathe in hand sanitizer when we get back to the buggy, and then we're off to the finish line.

During the remainder of the trip, I had not one but two panic attacks when I misplaced my coupons. Probably because I was answering more questions about the ponytail, earring man. But, can I tell you what a terrible feeling it is to a coupon shopper to think you've lost your coupons in the middle of your trip? And, not once, but twice. I might as well have lost my child.
And then, to end the trip, I spent $31 at Bi-Lo. The last time I spent that much was during my rookie days of couponing. Not quite sure how that happened, but I think it may have something to do with an inability to adequately concentrate on coupon doubles and frozen pizza sales when your calculator has been turned over to your child as an entertainment tool, and when you spend every other minute explaining why we can't buy the princess bowl, the Curious George fruit snacks, or the Mickey Mouse toothbrush.

But, all in all, I have to tell you - she was a good girl. Truthfully, she's always been a good kid on shopping trips. And, as tired and frazzled as I was when we got home, my heart just had to melt when she looked at me and said, "Mommy, why are putting everything up? Aren't you going to take a picture?"

That's my girl.


Kelly Perry said...

This is hilarious heather. I've had my share of moments like these and it's much easier to look back on it and laugh then when it is actually happening.

She's a ham, though. And adorable, too!

Happy Belated Anniversary

Ansley said...

Such a cute story. We had a similar ponytail/earring situation thsi week as well. i took Lani with me to Dax's 18 month check-up, and she was being very good, until Dr. Maddox walked in with a lavender shirt on and she decides to tell him that he has on a girl shirt. I culdn't seem to get her off the subject, so the conversation lasted about three minutes - I'm just glad Dr. Maddox was laughing at her!

Chris, Amanda, Ethan & Abbey said...

Hi-ar-i-ous! You had me just rolling with this story - especially "mommy my poopie is on it's way out!" i can't wait for those days! good luck on your next shopping trip, or better yet, good luck in making sure you can do it alone!

Mary Ann said...

Heather I feel your pain! Kids will say the craziest things at the worst time! Now try to take 3-4 on your coupon shoping trip with you. I never take all 5 though! Wheewww! I guess that is why I never get everythng that I plan too or my plan doesn't work like I wanted it too! and I know it takes me twice as long as it would if I went by myself.

SE said...

Too funny! I laughed throughout the whole thing!

KLee said...

Thanks for a good laugh this morning!