Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Great Artichoke Heart Hunt of 2016

Our Sunday started off beautifully. The boys were playing nicely, everything was peaceful and quiet, and E even took a rare morning nap! 

Look at her! It was Heavenly bliss! 

Unfortunately, I had things that had to be done. Michael, who is working overnight again tonight, needed ingredients for spinach artichoke dip to take in for their Super Bowl potluck, and I needed to pick up some things for dinner, so I had to break up the general peace and get everyone bundled up to go out and brave the crazy last minute Super Bowl shoppers. 

Target, as it always seems to, pulled us in about ten different directions the minute we walked in. It doesn't seem to matter how prepared I am when we go, or what kind of list I have, we always end up walking around to see if there is anything new since the last time we were there. (Which was only 4 days ago or so, but darn it, there could be something new!) It wasn't a big deal though, because the boys were behaving beautifully, we actually found some things I'd been watching on clearance, and even Eleanor was content to sit in the cart and play with a Care Bear we had picked up off the shelves instead of insisting that she help push the cart like she usually does. (The Care Bear in question is now put up for Valentine's Day next week along with a gift I wasn't planning on but found for Michael.) 

It was nice and relaxing, and I even had a little bit of a swagger as we strolled along feeling like we were nailing this solo trip out despite the extra crowded isles and running a little later than I had planned due to The Lady's nap. Things were going so well though! I should have known!

Yet, how could I?! Things continued to go well as we headed over to collect our groceries. I had a list from Michael of the things he needed, and Eleanor was babbling to Bash while Parker helped me to find everything on the shelves. We turned it into a fun reading game, and we quickly had everything...Everything except the darn artichoke hearts. Those artichoke hearts would prove to be our downfall. We simply couldn't find them. I searched high and low, reading and re-reading every container with Parker mumbling next to me "! A-R-T..." as he too scanned the writing in front of us. It was during my second time looking through the shelves that Eleanor decided she was done sitting in the cart. 

At first I thought I might be able to carry her, but no! No, she didn't want that. I put her down next to me, because sometimes she'll stay right there and "help" me look for things, but today was not one of those days either. No sooner did her little feet touch the floor than she took off, laughing like a maniac, and looking over her shoulder to be sure that Mommy was indeed giving chase. She would happily do this for hours if I let her, but we didn't have time for that today, so when I caught her I propped her firmly on my hip and resumed my search for the Hiding Hearts. 

Delighted laughter from the chase turned to furious screams in about two seconds when she realized I wasn't going to put her down to "play" again. She didn't stop there either. Not content to just scream her frustration at the top of her lungs, my tiny daughter immediately turned into a wiggling, flailing, kicking, flinging creature that was about as easy to hold onto as a wet eel. I pushed the cart up and down the isle, still searching for those damn artichoke hearts, while trying not to run the cart into anyone or drop my baby. The boys were wonderful, both trying to help find the artichoke hearts and calm their sister, but it wasn't long before we started getting The Look from other people there to stock up on vegetables. The Look that says, clearly, that we have just ruined their entire day at Target, and why in the world can't that woman shut her child up? 

There was no more swagger in my step, but I wasn't ready to run away yet either. Heck, I even found it in myself to laugh a little. The best thing I could do right then was find the stupid artichoke hearts and sprint to a check out. Since this obviously wasn't going to happen while I wrestled to hold onto the great flailing octopus that was Eleanor, I plopped her back into the cart with a "Sorry, Sweetie!", and strapped her in before turning back to the shelves with a new determination. The Lady was not a fan of this arrangement at all, and made sure I knew that she was displeased, but I now had two hands free to continue the great Artichoke Heart Search of 2016.

It only took us 3 more times down the isle to find them, finally, and I was even able to help another woman who was looking for the same thing. I assure you, I will never forget where the artichoke hearts are in Target. Not ever. (I wonder if I've broken some record for mentioning artichoke hearts in a blog.) By the time we found them E had even calmed down...a little bit...and I scooped her up into my arms again for some teary snuggles. They boys continued to be extra helpful and enthusiastically unloaded the cart onto the belt in the check out line. (We fortunately didn't have anything breakable in the cart.) I think I heard a store wide sigh of relief as the doors swung shut behind us, but we survived, and I even got through it laughing.

Besides, I got love bombed, so it can't be all bad.  

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