Naps and Grocery Bags


It seems that every time that I come home from the grocery store and face the task of bringing the umpteen bags and boxes of groceries inside, I remember performing the same task in good old Ohio. We kids would open up the back of the brown Astro van and proceed to string our arms with as many bags as we could and waddle toward the door trying to not collapse. Mom would call out, “Make more than one trip!” as she observed the bags getting closer and closer to the ground as my muscles proved to not be that Olympic strength (Sorry, my husband! Our babies will have to get their strength from you…). The sequence of dropped bags leading to broken jars or crushed food leading to wasted money did not register in my young head so I was often demoted (or promoted?!) to holding the door open. Whoops.

Now when I open up the trunk of our car (we aren’t cool enough to own a brown Astro van), it is normally with a sleeping baby strapped to me. Ryan rarely fails to fall asleep on the way home from the grocery store purely because I would prefer that he stay awake until I can put him in his bed for a gloriously long nap. Or because straining his neck back to have the best possible view of the numerous lights and fans in grocery stores is extremely exhausting.  Either way, Baby Boy is fast asleep.
My view of the light and fan enthusiast. 

I should give some logistical info to give you the full picture. We live in an apartment complex so in order to bring all the groceries into our humble abode, I have to go up a few stairs, unlock and open the building door, open another door and then finally unlock and open the apartment door. Our apartment is also far enough from the car that I can’t just plop the baby down in the kitchen with some pots and pans, run out and go back and forth with nary a worry as if we lived in a house with an attached garage.  I also don’t have the option of just leaving the sweetly sleeping baby in the car because we don’t have said hypothetical oh-so-luxurious garage.  Since I treasure both sleep and the meat, tons of cheese and eggs sitting in the trunk of the car not becoming Petri dishes of E.coli, salmonella and every other bacteria under the sun, I have to slowly lift Ryan out of the car seat and strap him into the baby carrier and start the “mom bounce” to keep him asleep rather than just have him finish his nap in the car. Plus, I'll be honest...naps are like gold both for the baby and the mama. Nap time spent in the car is like fool's gold to me; they just are not the real thing.

So I start to grab the bags out of the trunk with the intention to make more than one trip, but the obnoxiously loud crinkle of plastic alerts Ryan’s subconscious. Fun! Something I am not supposed to play with! Must wake up! As he begins to stir, I silently berate myself for forgetting the oh-so-quiet-and-handy-but-only-if-you-remember-them reusable bags and my instinct to protect any possibility of continuing sleep kicks in. I start mom bouncing at a faster pace like a massage chair in the mall set on high as I frantically grab all the bags at once. “MUST GET BABY INSIDE ASAP,” flashes in my head. Four bags on each arm plus a sack of potatoes in one hand and toilet paper in the other, a purse on one shoulder and a baby on my chest, I scurry up the stairs, only to be smacked with the realization that I am a rookie mom; where are my keys?!

Experienced moms have their keys at the ready, unlike my keys shoved into the abyss of my purse. So I wedge the potatoes between the stair rail and my body to free one hand in order to fish for my keys. Ryan flips his head with his eyes still closed as he hears that tempting crinkle once again so the mom bounce intensifies. I look like I have an intense itch that can only be remedied by dancing against a sack of potatoes. Finally, my fingers touch my ND bottle opener and Ladurée macaron key chains, and I can cease that amusing dance move.

All the excitement acts as a perfect way to forget my lack of muscle strength, right? Yeah, for maybe five seconds.  One door unlocked, opened and on to the next one! I’m feeling the burn.  The next second passes, and I am so over the burn. Next one opened and I rush through while most likely smashing some bread and cracking some eggs. We are in the final stretch! Ninety-nine percent sure my arms are going to fall off. Only ten more steps! I don’t even know how I manage to unlock the door. My arms give in right after we cross the threshold, and the rustling bags hit the floor with an impressive crescendo of crinkles.

Ryan’s eyes pop open. My body tenses.

Mom bounce! Mom bounce! Mom bounce!

His heavy eyes return, his breathing relaxes again and I triumphantly survey my success as a pack mule with a motherly instinct. The thought crosses my mind that maybe one day I will listen to my mom and make more than one trip. Maybe…

But not until that luxurious garage. And definitely not until I shake this all encompassing must-preserve-nap instinct.

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Please send in your advent wreaths! For Advent, I will be featuring Advent wreaths from my readers on the blog. If you would like to submit yours, please send a photo (or photos!) and a little bit about your family's Advent traditions to cedarsandtinyflowers {at} gmail.com. I hope to post one every day starting on December 2 (the first Sunday of Advent) in addition to my regular posts. Can't wait to read about your wreaths!