Today’s shopping trip required a long venting text to a friend afterward…I LOVE my local Aldi’s, but this shopping trip in particular was a fairly trying one.
Let me tell you the tale…
I was rushing to grab just a few items before I had to pick up my older daughter from dance class. I carried my 2.5 year old daughter above my big pregnant belly to hurry the trip along. I set her in a shopping cart, and rummaged in my purse for a quarter to unlock it. Nothing. Just 3 pennies. Jealously, I look over at a happy elderly couple blessed with a 25 cent cart of their own before I hustle my daughter out of the cold and into the store. She immediately begins crying, “I’m tired of walking! I want a shopping cart!”. How do you explain to a 2 year old the process of renting a shopping cart and getting your quarter back for returning it to the corral when you’re done so the grocery store can cut costs? You don’t. So she cried throughout the entire store.
So I’m in Aldi’s discount grocery store, 36.5 weeks pregnant, in high heeled boots, with a crying toddler. I had neither a cart, nor reusable bags. I was there to buy, among other items, a heavy bag of flour and cans of beans.
I tried to distract my daughter from her tears with a pack of napkins to carry, oh what fun! Alas, this lasted only 3 minutes before she began crying about having to carry those heavy napkins.
After finally locating the beans (having asked an employee for direction who looked at me as if bean buying was a highly irregular occurrence…”Beans??”, she exclaimed! And I suddenly felt like a very odd, very gassy person.), I was lucky enough to find a box for my groceries!
This box happened to be on the lowest shelf, so I squatted down to unload my arm full of groceries. My daughter happily put her napkins in the box too. I slowwwly unsquatted my pregnant self back to a standing position. Hefting the box (with flour and beans and impulse buys) onto my hip, I turned to leave with a satisfied sigh.
Except then I saw the milk display case. Nearly empty, but with a $1.49 sign above it. “Wow!”, I thought! “I should buy some milk while I’m here! That’s a great price!”. Unfortunately, it just so happened that all the gallons of milk on the top shelves were gone. Only the very bottom row had any milk left in stock.
Not one to let slight annoyances get in the way of a good deal, I squatted down once again. And by some miracle, I was able to haul my body, my box of groceries, AND that gallon of milk back up off the floor. In my high heeled boots, without falling over!
At this point, I was definitely done “window shopping” and listening to my daughter whine, so we headed to the register. We walked right up to a deserted checkout with an employee ready and waiting for us! What luck!! The skies were clearing!
However, double checking my list as I threw items onto the belt, I realized I’d forgotten powdered sugar – a definite must have to make my daughter a birthday cake this weekend! I felt bad, but I told the cashier I needed to run and grab it as more customers lined up behind me. The baking aisle was as close as it could be; it would only take a second.
But my daughter panicked, screaming, “Mommy, don’t leave me!!” as she began crying louder than before.
Feeling nearly defeated, I threw the sugar on the belt and whipped out my credit card. I was almost done; I just might be able to make it to the car without any more trauma or drama!
Except going out the door, we encountered a lady whose toddler decided to stop right smack in the middle of it, which stopped the lady short in front of us, which caused ME to smack my daughter upside the head with the gallon of milk and step on her shoe. Upon which another round of crying ensued.
But you know, it was all worth it. I came home and was able to proudly tell my hubby how I saved him a whole dollar* on my shopping trip AND we managed to survive!
Moral of the story: Pay it forward; next time, leave your quarter in the cart just in case a very pregnant mama with a very whiny toddler comes along quarter-less and bag-less. 🙂
*I exaggerate, but all other details in story are completely unembellished.