“This isn’t going to be an epic shopping trip,” I tell my kids as we climb out of the car. “Look, I’m only bringing one grocery bag.”
“You should bring more,” my son says.
“Lot’s more,” my daughter adds.
“Don’t be silly.” I swing my purse over my shoulder. “I only need to buy a few things.”
“You always say that,” says my son.
“This time it’s true,” I insist. “I just need to buy milk and toilet paper.” The doors slide open and we walk into the breezeway of the grocery store. I speed past the hand-held baskets and grab a cart.
My son raises his eyebrows, questioning my choice. “I need room for the toilet paper,” I explain.
With the cart forging our way, we roll through the produce section. It’s hard not to notice the screaming good deals. Ripe strawberries! I ignore them. Fresh cucumbers! I look away. But shoot, do I have vegetables planned for dinner? Maybe I should buy a bagged salad just in case. And one for tomorrow night’s dinner, too.
“Mom,” my daughter says in a scolding tone. “You promised this would be quick.”
I toss the salads into the cart and add a container of cherry tomatoes. “It will be quick. This isn’t an epic.” I hustle us over to buy milk.
We’re out of yogurt! The thought flashes across my brain like a newsflash. And we need cheese!
Before I know it, I stampede through the dairy aisle like a cow. Chocolate milk, cottage cheese, half and half; we might as well buy everything since we’re here. “This will save us a future trip,” I tell the kids, “and you love kefir.”
By the time we reach the toilet paper aisle, my daughter is ready to work my weakness to her advantage. “Look, Mom, a sale.” She points to the Easter candy stocked next to the paper towels. “The little chocolate eggs would be perfect for my lunch box.”
“Can I get Hot Pockets?” my son asks. “You know, since we’re here.” I nod my head and he shoots off for the freezer section.
“Get some ice cream, too,” I holler after him.
When we get to the checkout, I open up the envelope in my purse containing our budgeted grocery money, and spend it all.
We leave the store and enter a rainstorm. It takes all my weight to keep the cart steady as I maneuver it to our SUV. The kids help me load one canvas grocery sack and 10 plastic bags into the back of our Subaru.
“I should have brought in more reusable bags,” I admit.
My kids shake their heads as the rain pour downs, but they don’t say “I told you so,” even though I deserve it.
“Sorry, kiddos,” I say as I slam the trunk shut. “This turned out to be an epic shopping trip after all.”
My son sighs. “We know. Now let’s go home and eat ice cream.”
Jennifer Bardsley is author of the books “Genesis Girl” and “Damaged Goods.” Find her online on Instagram @the_ya_gal, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal.