Do grocery stores stress anyone else out? I mean, I haven't always viewed my local supermarket as an anxiety-producing hell, but perhaps it's because I now associate it with the desperate need to entertain my son in the produce section. At first, when we could still wheel him around in his carrier, a trip to the grocery store was almost a pleasant experience. We'd make faces over the cart, strangers would smile, everyone was be happy and I purchased food. I also spent some time wondering what my baby was thinking at the grocery store, because, I mean, that must have been overwhelming. He seemed to enjoy it enough, although technically, he enjoyed anything with lots of color and light and noise and people, so I'm not sure we can really give much credit to the deli section.
I was just telling my partner the other night that every new age and stage our son reaches becomes my new favorite, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate or wax nostalgic about his younger days. I miss the newborn snuggles and the early milestones and I definitely miss when the shopping cart was a pleasant novelty for my son (not an annoyance) and when a box of Macaroni and Cheese doubled as a rattle, and not an item meant to be thrown halfway across the pasta aisle.
Mostly, I wish wondering what it was my son was thinking because now, as a toddler, he has no problem vocalizing his thoughts (even if it's via gibberish). So, in the name of nostalgia and all things simple, here's what I imagine was going through my kid's mind during his very first grocery store visit:
"What Is This Magical Place?"
Let's be real, babies are probably thinking this very thought every single day for, like, the first year of their lives. Still, I'm sure the grocery store evokes even more questions.
"Someday, I Will Make This Way Harder On You"
They look so calm and peaceful in their carriers, but actually, they're plotting about future trips to the grocery store. I just know it.
"Why Would You Tease Me With Those Carts That Have Cars Attached?"
I used to think those carts were kinda ridiculous, but then I became the mom of a toddler. Now? Well, now I'm eating my words, along with the cookie I tried to offer him from the bakery.
"Where's The Milk?"
Oh, right. I probably should have explained that.
"Um, There's Food That's Not Milk?"
Just wait, little man. Just wait until you try artichoke dip.
"I'm Pretty Sure My Carrier Doesn't Go Here"
Could grocery store cart makers (I mean, that's a totally legit job title, right?) just make carts that can safely accommodate carriers? Is that too much to ask?
"You Wouldn’t Be Able To Sleep Either With All These Easy Listening Tunes And Fluorescent Lights Everywhere"
I love me some easy listening, but not when I'm trying to nap. Unless, of course, we're talking about Michael Bolton, in which case I can listen to him anytime.
"Have I Mentioned That I'm Hungry?"
Oh, that's right. It's only been twelve minutes since you last ate. Of course you're hungry.
"Please Pick Me Up"
Okay, sure. Not like I need to also get a huge box of diapers off the shelf at the same time or anything.
"No, Seriously, Pick Me Up"
Okay, okay. Of course. Good thing babies are cute.
"Yes, That's My Diaper You're Smelling"
Oh, so that's why he wanted to be picked up. Now I understand.
"Want To See How Loudly I Can Cry?"
Sure! I mean, no. Definitely not. Not here. How about outside, or tomorrow, when Grandma comes over to take you on a walk and I am taking a long-awaited shower and you can be, you know, her adorable problem?
"OK, I'm Over It. Seriously. Please Feed Me Right Now."
*Sigh* Of course. All this food is making me hungry, too.