Red Flags. Tantrums. And Groceries.

Do any of you have toddlers?

I do.

She’s cute.

But she’s a toddler.

And today she showed a side of her toddler-ness that could be a bit unpleaseant for anyone within 100 feet. Like, within the same grocery store kinda feet.

Little Lucy Bug has been battling a cold this past week. But today was the first day I thought it was safe to bring her outside of these toddler tantrum proof walls. And that should’ve been my first Red Flag. She had already had a few meltdowns this morning over breakfast, getting dressed, and turning off Daniel Tiger after the first episode…But I was in need of fresh fruit, and granola bars, as well as contact with other human beings that can speak in clear, full sentences. Red flag #2. She wasn’t ready.

So, as usual, I stocked up on a smoothie, puffs, and a breakfast cookie so that while I shopped, she could munch and smile at the other Mom’s and kids that didn’t seem to sleep past 6:30am today. Red Flag #3. She was already tired.

So we made our first stop, where I made the mistake of giving her snacks too early. Red Flag #4, my normally good eater, didn’t really eat much for breakfast because she was too busy expressing her frustration about the coming election. Or I mean, well, I don’t even remember what the issue was. That was 13 hours ago. A LOT has happened between now and then.

Anyway, as we left our favorite produce store, I could see a tiny bit of that angry toddler side coming out when I put Lucy into her carseat. Enter more snacks given. By the time we reached the grocery store, I had pretty much given Lucy most of my secret toddler happiness stash. So I thought I would win by putting her in the cart with the car in the front. She will totally relax and enjoy the ride now, like usual.

Nope. Two rows in, she’s making it clear she would rather walk outside of the cart.

But she’s 18 months. That’s DEFINITELY not ok.

Yet, my desire to just get some groceries seemed to have fogged over the part of my brain that remembers REALITY.

So I let Lucy get out of the car. And I let her push the cart. But after making it 5 feet, in what seemed life forever, I realized this really isn’t getting us anywhere.

And then, she started to move. Like, in front of me, towards the end of the isle kinda move. And she shot THE LOOK that every Mom of a toddler knows, is baaaaaad news. Right Mom’s? It doesn’t matter what age your kids are, you know EXACTLY what face I’m talkin about. That face with a tiny bit of a smile, that says, “I’m not coming back Mom, not without a fight. You want me? Come. Get. Me.

So I panicked. And grabbed Lucy’s favorite Plum Squeeze Pouch from the shelf. I tried to bride my kid with food. And it didn’t work. She was full from the smoothie, the breakfast cookie, and the puffs. So I snatched her quickly, tried to put her in the cart while bribing her with some other food. No thank you lady. I began to feel the noodle pose take shape in Lucy’s toddler body and knew it was time to go. “Nope, we aren’t doin this today,” I said to myself. “Not today my child. I’ve heard the stories. I’ve heard the “just you wait’s”. And today is the day that I’m going to stop before we get in too deep in this hot lava of a possible temper tantrum situation.”

So I left.

I grabbed my purse while holding my noodle of a Lucy, making her thankfully muffled protests. I almost forgot to let go of that prized but rejected squeeze pouch. And I left the store.

I left my cart with grocieres in Isle 4.

“That just happened,” I thought, laughing to myself over the fact that I actually won this time. She was already distracted by the moving cars in the parking lot and some bird flying over our head. Thank. You. Lord. I made it out of that one way too easily, and I know it won’t be that easy next time. I can already hear your stories…But today friends, was a victory. Even after ignoring way too many Red Flags.

So what about the groceries, you ask? Well, I called my husband right after this inauguration into another level of Motherhood, and he said he would stop in to the store to pick up a few things.

And then he found the cart.

The lonely, grocery filled cart on Isle 4.

So of course, he pushed that cart with the car in front, (without any kids) through the grocery store to pick up lunch meat and milk. He called me laughing because he knew he had to look like a crazy person. But, he was already commited. And he’s that romantic. It’s the little things people.

There ya have it. A little reminder of the temper tanturms. The Red Flags. Or the fact that your grocery shopping experiene either looks a lot like mine. Or maybe, your life is entirely different as you walk through each isle holding your cup of coffee, gazing at each item you might possibly want to add to your pleasant hot meal season of life.

Nope, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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