You know what one of my very favourite things is? Going to the grocery store without my daughter.
I know. Those of you without kids are now sneering at your screen, and those who have kids are nodding so vigourously that you're in danger of snapping your necks. It's true. Going to the grocery store alone is a total pleasure. I can cruise up and down the aisles, pondering nutritional values and prices for seconds at a time. It's so peaceful. If they ever put in couches, I might take up residence and enjoy the opportunity to read an entire page of a book uninterrupted. I might start going there every day.
It's weird, too, because in general, shopping for food is not a chore I enjoy. I like to cook, but I hate planning meals and trying to figure out what we have on hand and what we need to buy and then trying to buy at least some of it on sale. Trying to balance nutritional value with financial concerns and environmental friendliness and three people's gastronomic preferences? No, that is not my idea of a good time. But the part where I actually get to go to the store, ALONE, and take my sweet leisurely time matching the items on the shelves to the items on my list, yes, I am starting to enjoy that a lot.
Even weirder is the fact that when Gwen was a baby, I really hated going without her. I'd see other parents with babies in the store, and I'd feel like no one knew I was in the Mom Club too. I'd strike up conversations with toddlers and want to explain to their parents that I wasn't a weird stalker, I was just curious what my daughter would be like in a year or two. Without Gwen, my very visible Mom-cred, I felt weirdly incomplete.
Nowadays, I do end up taking her along for the occasional trip. But she's so grabby and dramatic and vocal and TWO and she just refuses to understand that just because the bananas are in our cart, does NOT mean she can eat them. I wait in anxious anticipation for the day she points at someone and loudly declares how fat/old/black/ugly/different he or she is, which seems to be a favourite pastime of kids and the grocery store. I used to rush from work to daycare to pick her up, then stop at the grocery store on the way home with her because heaven forbid she be without me for ten more minutes than absolutely necessary. Now I leave her at daycare, thinking, she is having a lot more fun playing with her friends than she would be strapped into a cart being told that she can't eat ANY of the delicious foods she sees displayed in front of her.
And Mama gets to have a good time too. Ahhh, bring on the muzak!