Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Learning how to do it alone

I have to admit, I have been a little spoiled. I was blessed to have my sister, Mary, live with us for a year to be Gabriela's nanny. She did a wonderful job and Ela is smarter, happier and more advanced because of the one on one care she gave her. I also was happy because I never went anywhere alone with just Ela and I. We always had either Jered or Mary with us.

Now that I have left my job and am staying at home with Ela, I have taken over all the grocery shopping and errand running. Alone. Ela and I had our first trip by ourselves to Whole Foods last week. She slept the whole way there and was still asleep when we arrived. I didnt need much so I just got out her stroller so she could continue her nap. I got the few things I needed, balancing a basket and the stroller. I managed not to run anyone over or nip any heels. As I was checking out I realized I wasnt going to be able to get the bags and the baby to the car alone. I hate asking for help, especially for two paper bags, but I was going to have to. Whole Foods was packed and I get anxiety if I am the reason people behind me have to wait. As the cashier was ringing up my purchases, he asked if I would need help to the car. I said yes, I was sorry to bother someone with so few bags but I couldnt do it alone with the stroller. He said no problem and began shouting to the other cashier to page  someone as I need assistance to the car. Everyone in line was staring at me and I was starting to sweat because this was taking forever! It felt like it had been half and hour and we were still waiting on this magical person to take my stupid two little bags to the car. Why didnt I just move and let the other people go while we waited? He was just standing there staring at me, like I should do something. Finally, I looked at the cashier and grabbed the two bags. I managed to knock over his keyboard with the bags in the process and all his pens and the keyboard went flying with a loud crash. The bags were not heavy and I could do it I told him as he was scrambling around trying to put his computer back together. He just looked at me and said, can you accept the amount? This whole time that was all he was waiting for. Me to press a button! Seriously, why didn't he just say so! As I am struggling to hold on to the bags and get my stroller out of the way, another Whole Foods associate comes up and asks who needed help. The cashier points to me and I meekly hand him my bags and walk out. Tail between my legs.

This week it was grocery shopping time again. This time I was prepared. I had made out my menu, made out my grocery list and checked all my coupons on my Kroger plus card. I print out the list of coupons and suck it in the diaper bag. I was so proud of myself at this point for being so organized.  I get Ela and myself ready, get my grocery bags and the grocery cart cover and load it all in the car. I am already tired! We get to Kroger and I balance the baby, all my shopping bags , the diaper bag and the cart cover. We get inside and it takes me another hour just to get the stupid cart cover on with one hand. I cant put Ela because she will run off and that defeats the purpose of even having the cart cover. Without her, I dont even need it. I finally get it on the cart and buckle her in. I go to pull out my long grocery list and then realize, I have left it on the fridge. I know I cant remember everything on it as I was planning on trying some new recipes. Oh well, I will just get what I can remember and use my coupon list for everything else. I look down at that and see only two coupons listed. It hits me I didnt load the dang coupons to the card. You have to not only select them, you have to hit load to card.This is the point I should have just gone back home and started over but it was such an ordeal getting to this point I decided to forge ahead. I have a blackberry so I figured I could load the coupons from my phone, they were already selected it was just one push of a button. I grab a few things I need and go to the back of the store out of the way to load the coupons. Ela had found her small bowl of organic cheerios and wanted some. I handed her the bowl and turned my focus to my phone. I cant get it to work and it is so frustrating. I hear a funny noise and look up. Ela's face is bright red and there are tears streaming from her eyes. She is choking. My daughter is choking right in front of me and I dont even notice. At this point she had worked up the cheerio and let out a gasp. I grabbed her up and patted her back as she gasped in air. I gave her almond milk and rubbed her back. I really hoped no one else witnessed that. I was about to start crying. I gave up on loading the stupid coupons. At this point, I just wanted to go home. Get a mulligan and start over. I took a deep breath, gave Ela a kiss and begged her forgiveness. She was perfectly okay and as any new mom does, I overreact to everything involving her well being. That may never change. We finished shopping and managed to save over $26 without coupons. Kroger has a tiny organic section for produce so I will still have to go to Whole Foods for that. All in all, minus the choking incident, I came out okay.

I am so thankful to be able to be at home all day with Ela. We have had so much fun learning how to cope with the smalls things, just the two of us. I know most people go to the store alone with their five kids so I must sound silly with my stories of mishaps with just one but I think being able to laugh at yourself is so important. I am never going to be perfect, and I do forget my list the majority of the time, but it's ok. I gave up on being perfect a long time ago. I would much rather enjoy this wonderful life, beautiful daughter and family that I have been blessed with. There is beauty in the chaos.


  1. Your stories make me laugh, you should write more of them here! I know from experience, sometimes its easier to have five kids - at least they can be helpful with bags and things :) You are a great mom!

  2. Haha! I laughed the whole time I read your story too! So funny as it brought back memories of when I took all five of you girls to the store and how I loved it (most of the time anyway). Ela is a lucky little girl to have a mom like you!

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