Oh…..if I had a dollar for every time I have heard the words “she sure has her hands full!”, well, I’d have a lot of dollars! Not enough to be rich, but enough to maybe buy me a burger at McDonald’s! 😉
Every Monday for the first year, my mom tried to be there to help me with my grocery shopping. My mom would take the two year old in her cart and go. She’d run her errands and he’d love that time with grandma, away from ‘the babies’. I’d take the twins, one in the front (in his car seat) and one in the basket (in his car seat). And then I’d pile my groceries around them. I used to think shopping with one baby was difficult. It’s funny – “difficult” is just your perspective. Looking back, shopping with one baby was a breeze!
It didn’t always work out, though, for my mom to be there. And on other days, I was simply just too stubborn, and didn’t want to have to rely on her. I wanted to manage on my own. And manage I did. Just barely. 😉
The first time out, I was prepared for it to take all day. And it did. Loading and unloading alone took almost a half hour in the beginning. I don’t remember which Grandma timed it, but one of them did.
Halfway through Walmart, that first time out, we had to take a bathroom and bottle break on the bench in the back of the store. Other times, I simply pushed one cart with my hip, balanced a bottle on a blanket (that was so hard for me to learn! I always believed a baby should never have a bottle “propped up”. After having two, I learned it is a necessity!) and pulled the other cart behind me. Yes, we shopped with two carts. The two year old was not quite able to walk along in the store. He did think we made a lovely train though!
Sometimes, I’d have a baby in my arms, because they don’t always just sit nicely in their car seat carriers, unfortunately. And then I’d push one cart a step or two, reach back and pull the other a step or two, and continue on. I’m sure there is an easier way to do it, but I didn’t know it. And was too exhausted to be creative.
And I’m sure we were a fine sight to see!
Thus, all the comments. Some people would just come right up to me and tell me that it looked like I ‘had my hands full’. Others would whisper it as I passed by. For the first few months or so, I thought it was funny. I thought, “Yes, that’s right! Look at me! I can manage just fine!” as I inched along through the stores. I imagined their awe as I passed by.
But eventually the feeling of ‘super mom’ wore off. And I got tired of hearing their comments. I’m not sure why, really. The onlookers all meant well. They weren’t saying anything to be mean. And I wasn’t taking it as anything mean. I was just tired of being the “side show”, as my husband describes us. (Everywhere we go now, we are a spectacle. Try sneaking in to church a little late with eight people – it just doesn’t happen.) I just wanted to go to the store and go home without drawing so much attention to myself. Is that too much to ask?
Yes. Because I really do have my hands full. There’s no doubt about that! And if I had a dollar for all the times I heard that….
One of these days, when I have time to visit with those folks in the store, I’m going to tell them, “You don’t know the half of it! It may look like I have my hands full now, but I actually left the other half of my family at home!”