Going to the grocery store after a long day at work can be cumbersome.
Going to the grocery store after a long day at work with a toddler can be dangerous.
Going to the grocery store after a long day at work with a toddler who is tired and hungry…well that is just plain stupid.
With that being said, guess what my wife and I did today? Luckily my son Benton is pretty cool and pretty easy going, well at least for a little while. As we are strolling through the fruit section, he is showing off his deep knowledge of fruit, naming each one over and over. Now we cruise by the bakery and he is now really excited as he sees cakes, muffins, and his favorite, donuts. It’s just a matter of time.
All is good in our world as long as he stays busy and does not get bored. Then the inevitable happens, I get too close to the apple display and next thing I know he is fangs deep into the side of an apple. Chalk that one up to my mistake, we will just put that one back. Just kidding, we took it home. Once he has tasted the sweet glory of an apple however, he is now even more hungry. What does any sensible parent do in this situation? Of course we opened up the (pre-cut, pre-washed) fruit container we were buying for him and let him dig in. Then I found a bin of chocolate covered pretzels so we may or may not have shared one of those too.
His patience is starting to wear thin, and we now have to go to he next phase…act real stupid to make him laugh. As we are going down the aisles, we are doing funny faces, saying weird things, and of course pretending his cart is a racecar and speeding down the aisles. Between that, and then stopping in every aisle for a long period of time trying to figure out what we need because our “list” had like two things on it, people we are sure at this point are hating us. As we are speeding our last turn toward the finish line, my wife is doing the countdown with Benton. “Ready…Set…GO!!!” They then run down the aisle chasing me as I am running back towards them, hands flairing above me, yelling loudly. Benton is screaming with laughter and we are forgetting that we are not the only ones in the store.
As we finish our run, we run into an old man. Not literally, but close enough. I apologize for our behavior, and where he could’ve walked on by, not paying any attention to the annoying family that is in his way, he pauses and looks right at us. Particularly at Benton’s smiling face. He looks for a second, then says something I really didn’t expect. He smiles a huge smile and says, “Now that’s parenting.” As he kept pushing his cart down the aisle, my wife and I just looked at each other and smiled. Those three little words meant so much to us. Even for a second it reaffirms that maybe we are doing something right. We may not be perfect, but little gestures like what that man did make us feel like we are on the right path. Even if we are a little obnoxious.
As this night has gone on, I have smiled over and over because of that one little thing told to us by a complete stranger.
Now as Ross from friends said, it’s time to make “fajitas!!”