With love, that mother

With love, that mother

Local Save Easy grocery store,

I give you all of me. My every good intention, my every dollar earned.

But you don’t see the best of me.

Not you, with your strategically placed candy offerings, your flashy cereal boxes and your ice cream displays.

Not you with your miniature preschooler sized grocery carts, placed right at your entry, featuring that rusty fourth wheel you refuse to fix that leaves my child in hysterics by aisle 1.

Not with your inability to carry actual family sized grocery carts to strap my children in, forcing me to ignore the youngest’s screams of desperation from the small sweat of my back in the baby confinement cell carrier, while I slap every thing at the oldest’s eye level out of her greasy mitt and that damn miniature cart.

You don’t see the best of me, when, to your produce manager’s dismay, our visit results in a tipped blueberry pint exploding across the entirety of the floor’s department, leaving a purple slip and slide zone for patrons to maneuver. It’s not that I didn’t try to hold it down whilst trying to steer your useless miniature cart with my one other hand and twisting my spine to allow the baby her distraction, it’s just that each of my two children have mastered assholery at this point, and greed.

You don’t get the best of me when you see me walk away from the face-down four year old not once, twice, but three times on average, over denials for such delicacies as SPAM or canned baby food, or after her denial for a dog toy for her future dog.

Every week do know I tell myself it’ll be different this time. Do know I plead on one knee with my daughter each and every time we depart our car to spare me a shred of dignity this go around.

But it’s just not meant to be, within the confines of your grocery prison. For you are every parent’s nightmare, and my personal hell. And yet my children and I must eat, and so we are at an impasse.

I do feel it’s important for your patrons to know my kid doesn’t always give me death threats, but when she does, it’s always over candy bars and she ensures she does it in public.

I hope they know we don’t always get asked to leave by your employees, but when we do, we ensure it’s after tipping the miniature cart which she insisted was the perfect size to place her baby sister in, giving her her first black eye for good measure.

I hope your patrons know I don’t always leave in tears, too, but when I do, it’s after we ensure my card will read insufficient funds, making the previous hour of drudgery all for nothing anyways.

As for your Save Easy employees, they know that more often than not, the above scenarios are the way things play out, as of late.

So I need to address that I know why they shake their heads when we come in, and must ask to go on break.

And I should say, that I would too. Because we’re ‘that’ family. I’m ‘that’ mom, who can’t keep her kids in check, or her voice at an even tone that doesn’t shake.

You hate us.

But I write this letter with the sneaking suspicion that I may not be alone, in this lonely club of parents shopping with young children. I have to tell myself there are more of my kind out there, unable to complete purchasing all the items on their shopping lists because a) their children are distracting assholes, or b) because they left their list at home anyways, resulting in the necessity to return to your grocery hellhole more often than we’d like.

I have a feeling you have to deal with this kind of shit every day. But you know what, so do we, day in and day out, as struggling parents of young kids.

So this letter is one part apology, one part thank you, and one part you’re welcome from members of the club, like me.

  1. I’m sorry, Save Easy store, but you’ll never get the best of me. Because one of us is always hangry, one is always tired, and one is always broke- I’m always all 3.
  2.  As for my children, you know the drill by now. They’re fuckin’ lunatics. This letter is really just a long way of thanking your people for not calling Child Protection, and for that, I am sincerely grateful and surprised.
  3. Finally, ‘You’re welcome’ to the parents of your young employees and patrons, who will not be getting pregnant any time soon, thanks to my visits being their personal lesson in abstinence. It is the least I can do, I suppose, for you allowing my continued entry.

Save Easy, I can’t predict when we may show up in your store next, but I can guarantee you this: it’ll be sooner than either of us would like, it’ll be at supper time, and my patience will be as thin as my wallet.

With love, ‘that’ mother


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