On Wednesday after supper, Philip and I went to the grocery store. Milk is on sale on Wednesdays, and since we can go through at least three gallons a week, it is in my best interest to take advantage of the bargain.
The store we shop at offers the service where they will “send out” your groceries. The store policy is that customers do not take shopping carts into the parking lot. So, you are either escorted to your car by a bagger, you carry out your own bags by hand, or you send your groceries out to a drive-through where they are loaded into your car.
After confirming that I was sending out my purchase and that I wanted plastic bags, the checker began scanning the groceries. She asked, “Do you want to carry out your bread?
I hesitated. In the past I have sent out bread without it getting squished. Other times, I have agreed to hand-carry my eggs or bread.
“Sure,” I told her, “I’ll carry it out.”
Earlier this week, I read a blog post that parodied Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People called “The Seven Habits of Highly Defective Parents.” In her post, Melinda Wentzel listed as habit #2 “DO EVERYTHING FOR YOUR CHILD/CHILDREN, lest they become discouraged, frustrated or palpably incensed as a result of their futile attempts to do for themselves.” It was just the reminder I needed of my pledge to break my bad habit of doing things for Philip.
I was thinking of this after we had paid for our groceries and I was putting the cart away.
“Here, Philip,” I said. “You carry the bread.”
I showed Philip how to slip the plastic bag onto his right hand while I held his left. He carried it one step and then dropped it.
I picked up the bag, situated the handles again and let Philip carry the bag.
He dropped again after a step and a half.
We made it from one end of the vestibule to the other before Philip dropped the bag again. I had to quickly grab it before the outer sliding glass doors shut. I’m nothing if not stubborn, so I put the plastic bag’s handles in Philip’s fist one more time.
Two steps, drop bag.
“No, Philip,” I say. “You have to carry our bread.”
The little guy’s receptive language has definitely increase this summer, but I imagine that Philip only heard “Wanh, wanh, wanh,wuh-wahn, wahn.” Still, after telling Philip what I expected of him, I reloaded the bag into his hand and off we went.
Two steps, drop bag, laugh.
Philip thought this bag-dropping game was really fun. Never mind the fact that Mommy was certain he was going to step onto the loaf of bread making it pointless to have carried it to the car in the first place.
In addition to having fun, I realized that Philip was also struggling to keep a grasp on the slippery plastic bag. I decided to let go of his other hand and show him how to carry the bag with both hands.
This strategy worked. Philip carried the bag the rest of the way to the car, albeit awkwardly. I even got him to put the bag into the car.
When I drive over to have my groceries loaded into the car, the young man assisting customers at the drive-through didn’t greet me with the usual question of “Do you want these in the trunk?” Instead he asked, “What was in the bag?”
Apparently, he had observed Philip’s drop-the-bag game and was certain that whatever was inside was doomed. We had gotten out of sight by the time I figured out the two-handed approach was going to work.
Meanwhile, Philip is sitting in the back sit laughing.
Yup, it’s all fun and games . . .