Before I get to that though, I have to get something off my chest. Grocery shopping with a bunch of kids is a hideous experience. Each and every time. Even when my children are such sweethearts that they give the illusion of being proper and dignified little adults who always say please and thank you and help one another reach things on the high shelves, the snooty looks we receive from our fellow patrons are almost always somewhere in the withering-glare/disdain-for-the-scene-just-witnessed spectrum. After casting dispersions on me and my children either facially or vocally as if I'm not standing RIGHT THERE. NEXT TO THEM.- the inevitable comment from every single person I've ever encountered in public is, "You've got YOUR hands full." I am not kidding. EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. I hear this so often that for a while I actually had "handsfull" as my password on the websites I frequent- as a rebellion against public condemnation. Where was I? Oh, right. Even when my children are little angels. And let's face it. No child is one of those at all times. Especially not if "all times" happens to occur in the grocery store.
Let me run you through a typical visit to the local grocery store for me.
Find a parking space in teensy-tiny stalls that would render it impossible to open car doors even if you were parked next to a Geo (DARE to dream!)- forget about the roughly 5000 Suburbans parked at this particular grocery store around the clock. Get everyone out of the car. (Usually at this point, though not this week- we cleaned the van out!- we then chase down whatever has unwantedly exited the car with us.) Find a cart. Try to keep an eye on The Pinkiest(7) at all times because you know what she does in situations like this. Put Muhloo's(11mo) carseat in the cart. Argue with Monster Truck(2) about whether or not he is also going to ride in it.
"I WALK." "No, you ride." "I WALK." "[Monster Truck(2)], please come here so I can get you in the cart." "NO. I WALKING." "
Little Mommy(9): Mom, can we get one of these carts?
The Pinkiest(5): Can we get one of these carts?
"I just said 'No'."
Bubba(7): Hey, mom? Can we get a car cart?
(Bubba: Geez. What's her problem?)
Enter the Produce section.
(Now, it's important to understand that one of THE RULES is:
The answer to any and all requests which take place in the grocery store is "NO." unless said request takes place in the Produce section.
Unless it is January and the request is for watermelon.
Or blueberries. Or raspberries. Or strawberries.
The Pinkiest(5): Hey guys! They have fruit roll-ups over here!
Curse the produce man for selling those things individually! As if I'm going to pay 65 cents per fruit roll-up. I just noticed these new-fangled keyboards don't have the cent sign. I must not have EVER typed that word before.
Everyone: Mom can we have fruit roll-ups?/I ha' fooot woe-wup!/Can I get one?/I want one!/Hey! That's the one I wanted! MO-OM! "No. Nobody is getting fruit roll-ups."
Little Mommy(9): But YOU SAID we could always have anything in the produce department!
Bubba(7): IT'S NOT FAIR.
Does not include fruit roll-ups. Or any other "froot"-related item.
"HEY! Mr. Yuke(4)! Close the door to the donuts!"
The Pinkiest: Can we get donuts?
The Pinkiest: Why not?
"Because they're not good for you."
Little Mommy(9): Daddy lets us get donuts.
"No he doesn't."
Little Mommy(9): Well you have before.
Mr. Yuke(4): Pleeeeease.
Mr. Yuke(4): Why not?
"Because I said 'NO'."
Bubba(7): Hmmph! It's not. FAIR.!!!
Monster Truck(2) just catching on to the exchange that is taking place: I yike donuts! I yike donuts! I have donuts?
Little Mommy(9): Mommy, can we get some cheese breadsticks for dinner?
Bubba(7): You never let us have ANYTHING.
"Why don't you go pick out an apple or a pear?- [Monster Truck(2)]! [Monster Truck(2)]! COME. HERE. I told you to stay by mommy."
Bubba(7): I don't WANT pears.
Monster Truck(2), eyes wide: No! No! I don't want ride! I walk by mommy!
At this point we pass the bakery and head for the most unpredictable part of the trip. The meat department. "Guys, stay by mom please." "[Monster Truck(2)]- that's it. You're riding."
Monster Truck(2): NOOOO! NOOOO! I. DON'T. WANT. RIDE!!!!!!!!"Sorry."
Little Mommy(9): Can we get steak?
Little Mommy(9): Why not?
"It's too expensive this week."
Little Mommy(9) whines: But I don't like chicken.
"Yes you do, and you know it."
Little Mommy(9): But I want. Steak.
The Pinkiest(5): Here, Mommy. I got some bacon for you.
"Oh. Thank you very much honey, but I don't need any bacon."
Bubba(7): Please can we get bacon?
Little Mommy(9): But WHHHYYYYYY?
"Because we already have bacon in the freezer and we only eat it like 6 times a year."
Little Mommy(9): Yeah. That's because you never buy it.
"[Monster Truck(2)]! Don't stick your fingers inside of the package of meat!" Ewwwwww. Gross.
And so it goes. "Can we have little cheeses?" "No." "Can we get that spiderman cake?" "No." "Can we buy a lifetime supply of nacho ingredients and ice cream and soda pop?" "No. No. No. No." "Will you give me $15.00 in quarters so I can try to get that Buzz Lightyear Doll out of the Claw machine?" "NO!" (Throw in the inevitable [but gentle] cart collision into an unsuspecting shopper perpetrated by any one of the family while I have turned slightly away from the cart for .2 seconds to reach for an item off the shelf, and you pretty much have our shopping experiences in a nutshell. Oh, and the sickening moment when the checker hits total. Feeding a crew like this is an undertaking and a half, I tell you. I don't know WHAT I will do when I have teenage boys in the house.)
So if you figure that Muhloo(11mo) has been on roughly 1 trip to the grocery store every week since she was 3 weeks old and has heard the word approximately 100 times on each and every one of these adventures into consumership, throw in the very rare occasion that I have to deny someone something unreasonable at home- (sorry, I think I just shot milk out my nose,) is it any wonder that Muhloo's first word is "No."?
She can pronounce it several ways. She experimented with her range on this particular word for an entire day. There's "No.", "NO.", "NO!", and "Newwwwwwwwwwwwwwww"- her personal favorite (and Husband's and mine too). Fortunately she has not (I think) assigned meaning to the word yet. As soon as she does, it will cease to be so cute that we have no power against her (I think I am renaming her Kryptonite(11mo) right here on the spot). At that point I will be thrown into yet another toddler phase that I have to wait out before the child starts saying adorably cute things again. SIGH. They grow up. : (
SIGH! They grow up!!! : )