I'm out of milk--well, cow's milk at least (have to clearify that since I am lactating after all). Initially, I find this mildly annoying. I can't eat my Special K without milk.
Then the significance of this lack of creamy dairy goodness sets in. This means we'll have to go food shopping. FOOD SHOPPING? Oh hell!
I thought trips to the store were impossible the last time dh deployed. It was a huge hassle that I avoided at any cost. Finding those double seater carts was nearly impossible because there are only 4 of them at any given store and people who don't have two kids (or in some cases ANY KIDS) grab them because the seats give you more storage space when they're not filled by the bums of 2 children. If I grabbed a regular one and put one child in the seat and one in the back, then not only do you have very little room for groceries, but anything you put back there will become a snack for the back child when you're not looking (I can't tell you how many half empty heads of broccoli I paid for). Plus the girls potty trained at 22 months. That gave me THREE MONTHS of having to leave my cart, scoop up both girls, and run to the bathroom (and I do mean run) only to get back and have the other child (who INSISTED she didn't have to go when we were in there 10 seconds before) insist she needs to go "RIGHT NOW."
I burst into tears the first time I went food shopping in dh's absence during his last deployment. I finally got my shopping done amid the screams of two tired toddlers only to find I left THREE BAGS at the store.
On another occasion, when no double carts could be found, but we needed food in a bad way, I pushed the double stroller in front of me with one hand and pulled a shopping cart behind me with the other. While cursing under my breath and trying to blow my hair out of my face (remember, one hand on the cart + one hand on the stroller = no free hands), a man stopped me to say he wished he had brought his camera. I assured him that it wasn't physically possible for me to be more thrilled about his inability to capture that moment forever.
Now we have added to our collection of children. The magic number 2 has been replaced with 3. Three--THREE smiling/screaming faces (said in my best Sesame Street Count voice). That means six pairs of hands to grab at thing.
Although, I must say, grocery shopping isn't nearly as dramatic as it was last time around. The girls are older, so that's a lot easier to deal with. Sure there's a baby added to the mix, but it's only one baby and he's a pretty easy-going baby. On the occasions when he's not so easy-going, putting him in the sling usually takes care of that by either calming him or lulling him to sleep. Last time around, I went food shopping once a month because it was such a dreaded endeavor. The cabinets got pretty scarce and I had to get awfully creative with meals since there wasn't much from which to choose. This time, I typically go once a week.
It's not the fiasco it once was, but it's still trying. When dh was home, we would go food shopping on Sunday mornings while the girls were in Sunday school. The Boy would fall asleep in the sling while we shopped. Thus making it relatively easy to get what we needed. Plus there were two of us--two minds to remember what we needed, four arms to reach for things (including two of them that belonged to someone of average height so he could reach the high shelves and therefore not require the owner of the shorter arms to actually scale mount Wal-Mart in an attempt to reach the top shelf), and two pairs of eyes to watch the lone child in case he should get into anything. I was able to go shopping with just the boy while the girls were in class for a little while, but Sunday school ended for the summer shortly after dh left. So now I have all three kidlets along for the ride every...single...time I need to go to the store. Thus making even a simple trip an ordeal (It takes me 5-10 minutes just to get them all in the van and in their car seats much less getting them all out of the car and into the store).
And so, at some point today (unless I can create any sort of excuse to procrastinate), I'm going to have to haul my bum (and that of 3 smaller people) to the chaos that is the store. In Judaism, we have blessings for all sorts of things. There are blessings before eating a meal, blessings you say upon seeing a rainbow, blessings to say when you wake up, blessings you say before going to bed, etc. I need a blessing to say before leaving on a food shopping excursion with three children.
Although, upon arriving home (hopefully with all my bags in tow), recitation of the Sheheyanu is appropriate. :-)
Here's the translation:
Blessed are You O L-rd Our G-d Ruler of the Universe who has kept us alive, sustained us, and allowed us to reach this day.
If I should ever return home from a shopping excursion in which all the children behaved, we got everything on our list, I was able to reach all of those things without having to find something to climb on, we were done quickly, and we didn't have to make a bathroom/diaper changing stop, not only will I chant the Shehayanu, I will choreograph a whole little dance to go along with it. I'll teach the kids said dance routine too. I'll take pictures of the Sheheyanu-a-palooza. And then I'll scrap it too. It'll probably be at that point that I wake up because that could only happen IN MY DREAMS.