We had been in the house for nearly two straight days with frigid temperatures outside. The living room looked like a bull had been let loose; a tent, bowling pins, markers and drawing pads filled our dining room; the kids’ rooms provided absolutely no space to walk much less tiptoe around anything. The kitchen remained immaculate because I need at least one room that reflects some semblance of order.
It was getting close to 5 pm and there was not much in the fridge that looked tempting to me (actually, by that time all I wanted was a large veggie pizza from Donatos with cheese garlic bread and chicken wings and apple pizza pie but I knew my stomach would give me a piece of its mind all night if I went that route) so I decided to suit the kids up and take a ride to the grocery. I even broke down and allowed them to watch tv on the mile trip to the grocery store. I actually dragged the trip out to five miles enjoying the ability to think without listening to two little munchos’ words bouncing off my brain every 1.1 seconds.
We park, hop out of the car on the ice and snow, and dart into the grocery store with its heat and foods and space to run. It was like an oasis for us all. Maria and Mario jumped in the big car that shakes and rattles if you give it 50 cents. We spent $4.00 on it because I got intrigued with an old New York Times sitting next to it. Money well spent to read a couple of articles not geared towards a four year-old mind.
Next, we hit the flower shop and tried to name as many colors as we could find in the flowers. We admired the Dora balloons and Thomas the Train and moved onto the fruit aisles. Mario loved the oranges because he falls for anything shaped like a ball, and Maria became intrigued with the apples (“these will keep you from getting sick, mom” – if only she would eat them!).
We continued down each aisle laughing at the cereal with funny pictures on it, admiring the dog treats and toys, ogling over the baby books, salivating over the pre-packaged donuts and nutter butters, opening all kinds of egg containers to search for the perfect dozen, and finding kids’ tv dinners to indulge on the last night of the weekend. We stayed in that grocery store for close to an hour but alas, with managers and clerks giving us looks, we finally decided to check out. Maria and Mario helped load the groceries on the belt, swipe my credit card through the machine, sign my name, and grab the receipt. We were all giddy with excitement to just have been able to step out of that house for a while.
We made the trek back out to the car, skidding on the ice and laughing, making up rhymes and talking about “poop” (Mario’s favorite word ever now). I started up the movie again and stretched the ride home to 7 miles, enjoying the sanctity of the car, the snow-covered streets, and two kids belted in with nowhere to go. Ahh, heaven.