Thursday, February 25, 2016

How to buy a head of lettuce, in thirty minutes or less

Yesterday was completely crazed because I had to distribute a paper I am working on to my interdisciplinary teaching group today and it was not nearly ready, so after spending two hours at a dentist appointment for Charley, getting a massage to see if it could help with my seriously wonked up (now with 100% more tingly fingertips!) back and shoulder (verdict: kinda), I settled in at a coffee shop to work on my paper before it was time to go back to school to pick everyone up.  Finally, I had reached the saturation point (HA HA, storm surge joke because that's what I'm writing about) with the work and headed to get them with a stop at the store to pick up stuff for hamburger sliders and fries.

Once Charley and Wes were in the car I excitedly explained to them that we were having SLIDERS for dinner like they've been asking me for for several weeks.  I was so excited to tell them!

Did you buy mayo?  They wanted to know.  What about tomatoes?

Yes!  I got mayo, tomatoes, and more ketchup!  And!  We're having KRINKLY FRIES!

What about lettuce?  They asked suspiciously.

No, I did not buy lettuce.  I said.  It was alllll the way over on the other side of the produce area and I'm the only one who ever eats it anyway.

But they were insistent that we have lettuce for our sliders.  Since I already had all four kids by this point, I was loathe to stop at the grocery store at what would end up being the peak of CRAZY HOUR.

Then Charley offered to run in and buy the lettuce himself, so I could stay with everyone else in the car.

This was an interesting idea.

They've been buying pizzas for me for years, at a little place where I can see inside from the car.  But the grocery store is big and huge and has fourteen entrances and exits!

Wes said he would go too, so I told them they could go for it, because no one abducts TWO kids at the same time!  It was a solid plan!

We arrived at the store and parked and I handed them a five dollar bill.  I looked deep into their eyes and told them my expectations.

You may buy either romaine or iceburg lettuce (Romaine is dark green and iceburg is light green and comes in a plastic wrapper--MOOOOOM, we can READ!).  Do not buy anything else.  You only have five dollars so you can't buy much else anyway.  Go straight from the lettuce area to the register and pay, then come STRAIGHT BACK HERE DO YOU UNDERSTAND.  NOW GO HAVE FUN!

They were SUPER DUPER EXCITED as they skipped down the sidewalk and away from me.

I sat in the driver's seat, nice and relaxed, for the first five or so minutes.  Then I got out and walked to the back of the car so I could peer over the roofs of the other parked cars and see if they were coming.  I also attempted to maintain a calm demeanor, so they wouldn't know that this was freaking me the freak out.

After ten minutes I climbed up the side of the car and hung off the roof rack like it was a parade float.  This enabled me to see all of the doors at once.  I scrutinized every customer coming out of the store.  No kids.

FINALLY, fifteen minutes later, they came bouncing out of the store.  They were SO EXCITED as they approached me, triumphantly clutching a bag of romaine lettuce, to tell me all about their big adventure.

They found the lettuce with no trouble.  And then then went straight to the checkout area, like I'd told them to.  Then they chose to use the self-checkout stand because they thought they would get in trouble for being alone if they had to talk to a cashier.  Nice to know my unfounded fear of authority is alive and well in the next generation!

Somehow, they got the lettuce entered in to the register without a bar code, which is super cool because I never attempt self-checkout when I am buying produce because I avoid things I don't understand (Except for bananas, I will never forget that PLU as long as I live after living through 2012, the year the kids ate forty pounds of bananas A WEEK.  It's 4011).

And then it came time to pay.  They pushed the "Pay now" button and waited.  Then they pushed the "cash" button.  The computer told them "Insert coins first, before inserting bills."

Oh shoot!  They said.  We only have a five dollar bill and no coins!

So Charley told Wes, "Crawl around on the floor and find some coins!"  So he did, for several minutes.

(Ryan thinks we should ask for the surveillance camera footage)

Finally he found a dime.

They put the dime in the machine.  Then they tried to put the five dollar bill in.  And it kept getting spit back out, so they finally had to get help from a regular cashier.

Katherine was her name.  She was very nice, according to Wes.  She had magic computer hands that worked magically, according to Charley.

I laughed so hard when I put that lettuce on my burger later that night.


Sarah said...

Best ever. I am letting Harry and Jack buy my produce from now on.

Anonymous said...

Too funny -- coins first!! And I know the code for bananas too, because my mom eats them every day and is very particular about which ones she buys.

I would have been hanging off the van trying to see them, too. :)

Anonymous said...

That reminds me of the Amelia Bedelia stories I used to read!

Rosa said...

This is the best story! Love those Edwards boys and their shenanigans!

Carolyn said...

Well done! Over here in Chicago, I regularly sent my proud 6-year-old to the grocery store by himself to buy carrots for his dad. He had to cross one big street and one regular street each way. Now he is 38 years old and, except for a 21st century reluctance to let his own children out of his sight for more than 45 seconds, a very accomplished fellow.

A. said...

This had me laughing out loud. Love it! And go you for fostering independence, even if your motives were not entirely pure :-).