Friday, July 10, 2009


When I was a young mom, I would hear other young moms talk about how they would get babysitters to watch their kids while they went to the mall, or out to lunch, or even grocery shopping. I couldn't understand it. I loved my kids, and loved being with them. I took them everywhere with me and thought it was a great event to go to the mall or grocery shopping. I remember when my oldest was little and my only child at the time, we had to take our clothes to the laundromat because we didn't have a washer and dryer. There was a laundromat not far from our house that was right next-door to a McDonalds. We would put our laundry in the washers and go next door and eat lunch and then get back just in time to put the laundry in the dryer. Then she would play with a toy she had brought, or color or read a book and I would read my book while the clothes dried. We thought it was great fun!

Whenever I had to go to the grocery store, before I left I had to go through and pick out the coupons I would use that day. I would make my grocery list and then pick out the coupons I thought I needed and check all the expiration dates on them, then off to the store we would go. I saved a lot of money using grocery coupons - it was usually anywhere from $10-$20 per shopping trip. If I had a baby in a baby carrier, we would use two shopping carts - one for groceries and one for the baby carrier to go in. Back then the baby carriers really didn't fit the shopping carts and the slightest movement would cause them to slip and your baby and baby carrier might fall off of the shopping cart, so I would put the baby carrier down in the shopping cart. Sometimes I had an older child to push that cart for me while I pushed the groceries, but I can remember many times pushing the grocery cart and pulling the cart with the baby at the same time. Then the other kids would either ride on the front of one of the carts, or just walk behind. They weren't allowed to run free around the store either. We made quite a caravan!

My kids were usually well-behaved, but don't get me wrong - they weren't perfect. If they did act up and threatening didn't work, we left and went home. On the way home the "misbehaver" knew that the reason we ALL had to go home was because he or she misbehaved. Then they would also have to tell Dad the reason we ALL had to leave the grocery store and why we couldn't finish getting groceries. If that happened, I usually tried to go back at night alone, but many times just had to try it another day.

I can remember when Survival Knife was little. He was perfectly happy sitting in the seat of the shopping cart as long as he got to "hold" something. He didn't want to hold just anything, but something that interested him. His favorite things to hold were boxes of cereal, bags of chips, or sacks of cookies, but since we didn't always get to those things first, he also was content to hold bags of disposable diapers, tubes of toothpaste, or a bottle of lotion. As soon as I would go to put something else in the shopping cart that drew his attention, he would trade whatever he was holding for the new item.

I didn't always buy my kids a treat or toy when we went to the store. My kids didn't know this - or maybe they did - but I was always a sucker for books. If they ever asked for a new book, I usually bought it. Not an expensive book mind you, but ones like the Little Golden Books. If we ever did buy something, then Survival Knife would hold that thing until we left. Sometimes I even had to talk him into giving it to the lady so she could scan it.

I used to wonder why other moms didn't want to be with their kids? Did they not like their kids? Did they not like being a mom? Were they just lazy? I can remember one lady telling me that she would watch my kids for me when I went shopping if I would watch hers while she went shopping. I said, "Well...I take my kids with me." She asked me why and I said, "Because I like to take them. I like being with my kids." She never asked me to tend her kids again.


Inklings said...

I was the same way, I took my kids with me everywhere, and I liked being with my kids. However, I did live away from family and didn't have anyone to leave them with, either. I also used to wodner why so many parents left their babies in baby carriers during church. I always wanted to hold my babies in church, even if they were sleeping, so I never got why other parents didn't.

PsychDoctor said...

And we would have to sit in the car for "just a minute..." We used to joke that "Mom's seconds are minutes and minutes are hours." :)

Inklings said...

And what about Dad's minutes? :0)
Now if you leave kids in the car even for a minute they can be picked up by Child Protective Services.

I am not kidding, my word verification is minamate, which is ALMOST like a mini-minute :0)

Amber said...

LOL I loved reading this - you should tell us more stories about when we were little. And I didn't know you were a sucker for books! :)