I went to the store with all four kids for the first time. I had four things on my shopping list: milk, cottage cheese, orange juice and tilapia. Since Publix does not sell prepackaged ( read: cheap) tilapia, we went to Kroger.
Problem #1: the shopping carts now have a little plastic piece on the top part which does not allow one to hook the car seat. Now I had to put the car seat into the main basket and there was no place for food.
Problem #2: as soon as I did that, 3 yo threw a fit that she wanted to sit there too. I offered to put her in the top part, but she would have none of that. She was screaming, grabbing onto the wheel of the cart and hugging it, not allowing me to move.
Problem #3: now I was walking through the store with a screaming child attached to the cart and an extremely embarrassed 8 yo. I do not know if anyone was watching us, I tend to be oblivious/ignore those stares, but he must have been sensitive to the scene we were making.
Problem #4: there was no tilapia. At least I got perch and pollock. Maybe the kids will not notice.
Then we walked to the dairy case where I had to decide on whether to buy kosher for Pesach milk a week in advance and freeze it, or to wait till the end of the week and hope it will still be there. The orange juice was on sale, so I stocked up. As I was doing this, 3 yo settled in at the bottom of the cart. Then I turned around and saw that 6 yo was missing.
Problem #5: we were walking up and down the aisles, looking for 6 yo. First I assumed that he was just around the corner, but then he wasn't. Then I thought he might have gone to the restroom. Then we just paced the store. Just before showing up to the manager to page for him, I decided to check the book rack. There he was, sitting on the floor, reading "Is Camel a Mammal?" Heart attack averted.
Problem #6: self-checkout. For some reason, every item we scanned required an attendant. I was worried about losing yet another one of the kids, especially since 3 yo climbed out to help.
Bottom line: was this trip a disaster?
No, it was a learning experience. We had a groove for going to the store with just three, and now we need to find a neew groove for shopping with four. I need to work out car seat issue. Maybe I need to bring a baby wrap. Maybe I need two carts: one for the groceries and one for the kids. Maybe I need to put the carseat into snap-n-go and leave 8 yo in charge of the baby while pushing the grocery cart. Maybe I need an occupation for 3 yo which will make her feel important.
I am glad that we tried this out with a small list, this way there was less to lose. Te funny thing is, my husband said that he could get those groceries later, or my mother-in-law, but I thought that we all need to see what the shopping will be like in our neew configuration.
No, the trip was not a disaster, just a learning experience.