Family drama (grocery shopping)

Spring IS finally here at last, birds are singing and squirrels dare wandering around without risking frost bite (the same applies to human beings). We survived 2 pretty severe Canadian winters, and it’s easy now to laugh about some days that looked pretty tough at the time.

Early January 2014: we have a furnished rented house, but not much to eat.

Time to go grocery shopping.

Image credit lilliputplayhomes.com
Image credit lilliputplayhomes.com

Outside temperature:-20°C.

  • State of tiredness of the still jet-lagged Dwarves (2.5 and 4.5 at the time): 10 out of 10
  • Estimated walking time to the grocery store: 10 minutes
  • Estimated weight of my backpack on the way back: 10-12 kg

As no baby sitter nor personal car were in sight, walking for 10 minutes by frigid temperatures in order to do something small kids don’t really enjoy seemed totally sane to me (later on I remembered I am blonde).

So…

Let’s get dressed (see Winter Gymkhana).

We can do it, no big deal, we walk a lot at home anyway and we have good equipment.

Minute 1 (outside)

Dwarf 1: I am cold.

Dwarf 2: Me too! I want to go back inside.

Mom: No, we need to buy some things to eat, it won’t take long and the store is not far. Let’s walk fast, you will get warmer.

Minute 2

Dwarf 1: I cannot walk fast, I have too many clothes on me! It’s your fault, I cannot mooove!!!

Dwarf 2: Me neither, I wanna go back insiiiiiide.

Mom (calmly): Layers keep you warm. Let’s go.

Minute 3

Dwarf 1: I am tired, it’s too far. Are we there yet?

Dwarf 2: I wanna go back insiiiiiide. It’s too cold!

Mom (still calm): We are almost there.

Minutes 4-12: interesting moments of Dwarves complaining, refusing to walk and mom finally threatening to sell them on the internet.

Minute 13

Finally there! Immediately the Dwarves take off mittens, hats, scarves, jackets (not necessarily in that order) and dump them on the wet floor. Mom spends 5 minutes gathering everything (we have quickly moving Dwarves when they want to be).

Minute 18

Let’s take a shopping cart. Ha, they are outside.

Mom: Wait for me here for one minute, I’ll just step out and grab a cart.

Dwarf 2: I want to come with you!

Mom: No, you cannot: you are only wearing a sweater now and it’s really cold outside. It won’t take me a minute and you’ll see me through the doors, OK?

Dwarf 2 (crying): Nooo…I want to come with you.

Mom (holding her nerves together): OK, let’s grab a basket.

Minute 19 Each of the Dwarves wants to carry the basket.

Minutes 20-22 The Dwarves start a big fight, yelling and screaming in the store. Store manager thinks about calling social services, but then remembers that’s bad advertisement.

Minute 23 Each one of the Dwarves is carrying his own basket. Mom feels 2 new grey hairs growing.

Minutes 24-38

Dwarf 1: Mom, why is it taking soooooo long?

Mom: Because I have never been to this store before, and I don’t know where things are. No, put this back. What did I say? Put it back right now. And you, too! Do NOT play with food. No, we are not buying these 3 pineapples. (To Dwarf 2): Where did you get this? We do not need any pet food either. No, we are not getting a pet, and if you don’t stop, I think I am going to…

Dwarf 2 (interrupting): I want to carry my basket!!

Mom: It’s too heavy for you, now. I’ll carry it and you can put things in it to help me, OK?

Dwarf 2 (crying): No, I WANT to carry my basket.

Mom (sighing): OK, you help me carry it, OK? Where is your brother now?

Dwarf 2 (crying even louder): YOU lost my brother!!!

Dwarf 1, running into another customer (a young guy obviously kids free): I am heeeeere!!!!

Mom to the customer: I am sorry, really, they are a bit tired…

Minute 38

Young customer makes a mental note not to have kids. Ever.

Minutes 39-45

Mom: OK we are going to pay and we’ll go back home (unless mom starts a nervous breakdown right now). Please don’t touch anything while waiting to pay, you hear me?

Dwarf 2: Why does he have candy and I don’t?

Mom: Candy?! Put this back immediately!

Young customer leaves the line and adds condoms to his basket.

Minutes 46-53

Mom: Let’s get dressed, it’s pretty cold outside. Where is your second mitten now?

Dwarf 1: One fell when we entered the store.

Mom (about to cry): Why didn’t you say anything? Do you know where it is? Where did it fell?

Dwarf 1: I don’t know. Near something green. Or red.

Minutes 54-60 Mom looks for the mitten, followed by the Dwarves, and finds it.

Minutes 61-70 are spent dressing up the Dwarves.

As soon as Dwarf 1 is ready, he says he is too hot and starts crying.

Minutes 71-85: The big walk home

Minute 72

Dwarf 2: I am too tired to walk, can you carry me, please, mom?

Mom: No, sorry Honey, I cannot not because my bag is really heavy now. But it’s a really short walk, and you are a big boy now.

Dwarf 1: I am too tired, too! You HAVE to carry us, you are our MOM!!!

Mom (snapping): No way, now you just walk and that’s it!

Minutes 73-78 Both Dwarves are screaming, but walking. Mom is thinking about immigrating to the Bahamas.

Minute 79

Dwarf 2: I don’t want to wear gloves!

Mom: You need gloves, it IS -20°C.

Dwarf 2 (taking off one mitten): No, I don’t want it.

Mom (putting her now heavy backpack on the floor and helping the Dwarf with his gloves): Now… it’s cold, I’ll put it back on and you’ll leave it. Your fingers could freeze!
Minute 80

Dwarf 2 (taking the mitten off and throwing it on the ground): No, I don’t waaaaant iiiiitttt!

Mom (very annoyed and putting her backpack on the floor once more in order to put the glove back): You need to wear gloves, this is not negotiable. Don’t take it off again, you hear me?

Minute 83

Dwarf 2 (taking the mitten off and stepping on it): Nooooo!!!

Mom (totally losing it): Fine, I don’t care, your fingers can freeze!

Dwarf 1 (crying very loudly): No, mom, no, his fingers are going to freeeeeeeeze! Please, mom! Do something!!!

Minutes 83-85 are spent dragging 2 screaming Dwarves inside the house, whilst noticing all the neighbors’curtains are moving as people are obviously wondering what kind of monster is torturing her children like this.

Later that day, when the Dwarves were taking a nap and I was looking for cheap one-way tickets to South America, I suddenly realized there are babysitters and cabs in Toronto.

Dwarf 2 still has 10 fingers.

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