Yesterday I was shopping at the Superstore and there was a bit of a traffic jam on the way out – the cart-return guy was chatting at the doorway with a big row of carts, leaving just one narrow laneway open.

So like a good Canadian, I yielded, and the outside crowd started pouring in while I tapped my foot. Then along came a young mom, already pushing an empty cart with her 2-ish adorable daughter in the little seat. She saw me waiting and said, “Well, you can’t wait there all day for everyone to pass,” and then she turned to the cart guy and said firmly, but not meanly, “Hey, can you move these carts so that lady can get out?”

And then he quickly and apologetically moved the carts, and I got out, and she got in, and I was all like, please please lady be my friend and come with me everywhere. Because seriously, it was such a small thing but to me SUCH an impossible thing, like turning to a stranger? To ask for something? Possibly causing hurt feelings and/or confrontation? IMPOSSIBLE.

So this lady, who I did not even get a chance to thank, is now my hero and my ultimate inspiration. You will live long in my memory, lady. Perhaps I will write a song about it.

In other news, I was at the Superstore with Gal Smiley, who has become my regular weekly grocery store companion. I’m not sure why she likes coming to the store, but man, is it ever awesome when she does. She actually knows where everything is – I can give her the next three items on the list, and she’s ON IT, off to find the stuff and bring it back and interested in bettering her best times. She likes to compare prices and suggests things to me that are on sale, she likes to scan stuff and pack stuff.

Remember when you had to go to the store with three toddlers, and it was a nightmare? You’d spend half the time taking kids to the bathroom or putting stuff back that they’d thrown in the cart, or dealing with meltdowns in the cereal aisle because they absolutely were not going to be allowed to buy Fruit Loops until they finished up the box of Lucky Charms they already had at home?

And now, suddenly (as these things happen), I have someone along for the ride who actually helps. Who makes the trip easier. And faster. And awesomer.

It was not very long ago I was very used to the idea of thinking of my kids as my work, my burden. Now they’re actually a help – maybe even someday, I’ll be their work. It’s fascinating and lovely and mysterious and joyous and wonderful.

Looking forward to next week’s grocery shopping already.

8 thoughts on “Assistance

  1. YES. And yes – but now my kids won’t come to the grocery store with me which is both good and kind of sad. Because they are actually pretty helpful! Maybe I can borrow Gal Smiley?

  2. I was painting the dinig room this winter when the kids decided they wanted to go outside to play. I looked at the half painted wall and the mess surrounding me and sighed, thinking of snowsuits and boots and mitts and tuques…B.G. looked at me and said, “Don’t worry mom, I’ll get Bonhomme ready.” And she did. So awesome.

  3. I don’t do the grocery shopping, Mike does, but the same is true in his case with MyPie. She loves to go, is helpful and always makes sure to come back with a thoughtful little treat for her sister and I.

  4. I’m hoping the day will come that the kids will be helpful at the grocery store. I’ve been a little gun-shy since the day I asked the girl to grab some apple juice (which was further down the row we were already in) and she misunderstood and went for the orange juice (which, at Superstore, is a 6-km hike to the back). I turned around…she was gone…security was called…and she returned, completely clueless and proudly carrying a family-sized jug of Tropicana.

  5. I still go to the grocery store with my mom sometimes! If I go on my own I just wander and wander and buy stuff I don’t need.
    Love your comments about the tables slowly turning and shifting and the kids growing and changing the relationship between you and them. Amazing to think about!

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