Most of the time Serge and I do the grocery shopping together on the weekend. But we hate shopping with each other.
I rush him or he's too slow. Or both. I dunno. I do know he can stand for hours in front of yogurt, debating the merit of one flavor over the other and once he's made a decision he'll notice another brand for a different price and the whole thing starts over again and I just want to leap over the deli counter and slice my face off with their big, steel slicer. Because it isn't just yogurt. Everything requires careful consideration, even stuff he isn't planning on buying.
I mean, I don't go down the pet aisle if I don't need dog food, right? This dude, he'll lollygag down the pet aisle with no particular goal in mind, pick up and handle at least a dozen different dog collars, asking questions like, Wouldn't Milo look great in camouflage, before noticing I'm standing at the end of the aisle breathing fire.
But I'm way off subject now.
Last week Serge worked on Saturday so I decided to sack up and take both kids to Walmart to get the grocery shopping done for the week. I put Henry in his Bjorn and Violet in the cart and both kids behaved so excellently I floated down the aisles, slam-dunking food into the cart like Michael Jordan back in the day, congratulating myself on my obviously stellar parenting skills. Surely the Walmart crowds were in awe of the beautiful, young(ish) mother negotiating the grocery store with such ease while caring for two children no less!
When Serge announced he was going fishing this past Sunday I figured a repeat performance was in order. I cavalierly loaded the kids in cart and Bjorn respectively and wheeled into the veritable buffet of humanity regularly on display at Walmart.
The minute we crossed the threshold Henry, who heretofore had been dead asleep, began screaming. Not just any scream. He has this thing he does, this ragged, primal scream that sounds very much like I imagine an adult would in the midst of getting his fingernails ripped out with pliers.
So Henry starts in and my bravado begins to crumble. But I can't let them see fear, you know? The toddler can sniff out fear like a bloodhound and use it to her advantage. I remain stoic. Try to jam Henry's binky in the gaping hole currently emitting enough noise to rouse the oldster greeter from his deep slumber at the front door.
I wheel to a relatively deserted aisle (deserted at Walmart means at least three people are still browsing said aisle) and attempt to comfort the boy to no avail. Still not ready to toss in the towel on what was supposed to be another triumphant shopping trip, I maneuver the cart toward the back of the store where the bathrooms are located. Sweat (or milk, who the hell knows?) is trickling down my boobs and onto my stomach as shoppers turn to stare at the fire engine mouth I have strapped to my chest.
At home, when Henry cries, I'm fine. But there's something about being the source of such a loud noise in a public setting that embarrasses the hell out of me. We get to the restroom area at the back of the store, but there is no "family restroom". Instead there is a bench sitting outside (oh joy) the men's restroom. A bench which also happens to be right on the path to what appears to be an employee area that contains the Walmart punch clock.
Whatever. One of this old gal's boobies is coming out, I've got no other choice. But have you ever tried to find one of your boobs inside the labyrinth of straps on a Bjorn? I try to position Violet and the cart in front of me while I pull Henry out of the Bjorn and stuff him onto a boob. I know you regularly see tits of all sizes and shapes on display at Walmart, but I never thought mine would be out for public consumption. Yet there they are. I get Henry situated, pull my shirt as far back over my chest as I can considering I still have a Bjorn danging from my torso and get my breastfeed on.
Here's the thing: of course it was time for a shift change. God almighty. There I am trying to breastfeed discreetly when a steady stream of Walmart employees are traipsing past me to clock in. If there's one thing about public breastfeeding I never worried about, it was having my rack checked out. I expected disapproval, maybe, from some, but you guys, at least three creepy old dudes could not take their eyes off my chest area as they shuffled past in their blue smocks. Didn't even try to hide it. Corneas just glued to the chestal region in hopes of spotting an errant nipple, I guess? Gross. I'd way rather the disapproving glances of uptight assholes than dudes trying to gander milkboobs.
Anyway, I got the little dude good and milk drunk and was able to shop until I nearly dropped, and not in a good way. But man, I'm stressing next weekend's shopping expedition. At this point, I'm not sure which is worse, grocery shopping with Serge or creepy, old dudes checking out my rack.