I had two little things happen tonight that made me smile and made me thankful for all the good people in this world.
I was at IKEA and I had just gone through the long line at the cafe to get food for the kids and I. I had Luca and Lincoln saving a table close to the cashier and Kai was strapped to my front in the baby carrier and Anna had been ordered to stay within arms length of me. I was pushing a cart that had three trays of food on it as I struggled to the drink dispenser to fill up the kids cups. I called Luca over and she became my courier as she ran things over one at a time to our table.
As I was filling one of the kids cups with ice I felt a tap on my shoulder and I turned to see a nice lady standing there. “Can I help you?” she asked. She didn’t say the dreaded, “you look like you have your hands full” phrase that I am so used to hearing or ask me if they (the kids) were all mine. She just simply volunteered a couple of minutes to help me.
I thanked her profusely, but told her that I was nearly done and that Luca was very proud to be my helper. She smiled and walked back to the other side of the cafe to sit back down with her husband and finish her dinner.
When we were done at IKEA I did another crazy thing and decided to stop at Winco Foods. If you haven’t been to Winco before you might not know that this is the most difficult grocery store to take children, but they draw us mothers in with their good prices. It is a combination of a regular grocery store and Costco. The aisles are VERY long and it is large and it takes awhile to walk through all of it. That still wouldn’t normally stop me from going there with kids, but the fact that you have to BAG YOUR OWN GROCERIES does! For some reason it didn’t stop me tonight at 9pm with four tired kids…three of whom had played their hearts out at the IKEA playplace and they were ready to collapse into bed.
I took my full cart to the checkout and the kids helped me load the groceries onto the conveyor belt…with only two tantrums and one bloody lip and a mini ballerina pirouetting in the narrow aisle. After the checker scans your items they put them onto another conveyor belt that sends them to a platform either on the side of the aisle that you are on….or the other side. I got the other side. I ran over to start bagging some of the groceries, but I had to keep running back to see if the checker had the total so I could run my debit card and not hold the line up too long. Anna was running to other lines to scope out what other shoppers were buying and Lincoln was still crying a little bit about his hurt lip. I told Luca to run over and start bagging what she could so she perched herself on the end of the platform and started throwing cans, jars, and boxes randomly in bags.
“Can I help you out?!” I hear and I glance over and see my friend Catherine already starting to bag my groceries. She had done her shopping the smart way (without kids) and was on her way out when she saw me struggling with mine and she stayed and helped me until everything was nicely bagged and in my cart. She then helped me walk my kids out to the sidewalk that led to my car. What a friend! I hope the next time I go shopping solo I can find a mother with young kids to offer my help to.