The time I cried in the arms of a Fresh & Easy employee

I seem to talk about these adventurous/stressful trips to the store and such pretty often (or maybe it just seems that way to me because I complain all the time), but seriously, this one tops them all. It was one of those days where you swear there’s a camera crew following you around, ready to jump out from behind a tree and yell, “SMILE! You’re on candid camera!”, then you laugh and breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that everything was going horribly wrong for an actual reason and you’re able to walk away from it… but then that moment never comes so you just settle into the fact that your day is just all around sucky and ridiculous on it’s own and decide to go whine about it on your blog. SO YEAH. That’s what this is.

The morning started out swimmingly (never actually used that word before and not sure I’m a fan, looks weird, moving on though), with two happy kids in the backseat and a latte in mom’s hand. Err, CUP HOLDER. Cops, don’t shoot. Is it just me that feels like I’m breaking the law any time I’m holding something in my hand while driving? Ever since the no texting law… nevermind. Anyway, birds were singing, caffeine was coursing through the veins, I was about to buy myself a new sump’n sump’n at Target. It was a good morning.

“Say, Jack! Why don’t we put you in the big boy seat in the shopping cart today? You’re able to sit on your own about 2% of the time… THIS SOUNDS LIKE A VERY SMART IDEA!” (was not.)

“Here, I’ll help you balance your gigantic 22 pound body with my left hand, hold my steaming hot coffee in my right hand, keep your sister from standing up in the back of the cart with my silent scary mom glare and push the cart with… umm, my hip! This’ll work!” (did not.)

“Okay. There are 3 clearance racks to look through. Shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. I’ll hold you, but calm down the drama and stop punching me in the neck. And Maddie: silent scary mom glare.”

You get the idea. I spent a total of 20 minutes in Target, but by the time I pushed through the exit doors I was sweating like I just ran 10 miles. I switched Maddie to the front of the cart, held Jack, switched Maddie to the back again, rocked Jack and fed him a bottle in the makeup aisle while picking out a new mascara. At one point, I had both kids in my arms and was pushing the cart, yes, with my hip. That’s almost 60 pounds of kid… suddenly, all that sweating makes perfect sense.

There was one more stop to make before going back home to rock back and forth in the fetal position. I had to go to Fresh & Easy for a few little things and knew it wouldn’t take long or be nearly as rough as Target had been. Sure enough, the little shopping trip went without a hitch. I ate some chips and salsa samples and saved money with my coupon. Smiles all around. Out to the car we go…

Keys. Keyskeyskeys. Not in the pocket. Not in the cart. Not in the purse. Not on the pavement where I dumped entire contents of the purse. Back into the store we go. Long story short, I had every employee in the place combing each aisle for my car keys. One sweet lady helped me retrace my steps while I held back tears. No one ever found the keys.

The same lady helped me back outside to look around my car again. I circled the car, looked underneath, and just out of habit I tried opening the door. IT WAS UNLOCKED. There, in the freaking ignition, were my keys. I just started bawling and the woman hugged me. I felt SO stupid for making all those people stop and help me when the keys were right there the entire time. I apologized and said, “I was so focused on my horrible morning… I can’t believe I did that to everyone.” She just said, “Don’t worry about it, hun. You’re a mama and need to go easy on yourself.”

As she walked back into the store, I wiped the tears from my face and loaded up the kids and groceries. While I agree that I should be more easy on myself, more than anything I need to be working on not feeling so sorry for myself all the time. Stuff goes wrong. Kids go crazy in public. People get annoyed with you. It’s all bound to happen! But at the end of those crazy days, I need to remember that I’m doing all this because I want to. I’m so lucky to be home with my kids, and even if I end up sweaty and crying and snotty in public every single day, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Okay, no snot. Everything else though.

24 thoughts on “The time I cried in the arms of a Fresh & Easy employee

  1. thank you for sharing this and being so honest! I get tired of bloggers who post fancy pictures of their children and their lives are rainbows and butterflies all the time. Parenthood is hard. We all have off days. Even our worst days can provide some great lessons.

  2. I love reading your blog. It makes me feel normal to know someone else does things like this. My only downfall, I have no kids. lol But at least now you can look back and laugh and also be very grateful that at least your door was in fact unlocked and you did find your keys and no one was harmed. And today is a new day! Dust yourself off and enjoy it! :)

  3. I think all of us who have kids will give a resounding AMEN! to this post. Also, you had me cracking up with the hip-pushing … BEEN THERE! So anyway, good for you for seeing the good in the bad and appreciating where you’re at in your life, chaos and all. We all need that reminder every now and again.

  4. Oh girl. I feel you. And I only have 1 baby. CANNOT IMAGINE TWO.

    But you’re right. I’d rather be with her than anywhere else, poop, drool, crying, whatevs.

  5. Aww….that lady at the store was super super sweet. I wonder what the reaction would have been if it was a guy.

    Perhaps we’re better off not knowing.

  6. PHEW! I was hoping for a happy ending. I have these moments now with zero kids so I can only imagine how things will change when I have a little one trailing around. Just hope I leave the car doors unlocked! You’re doing great bringing both kiddos out by yourself on multiple errands, btw!

  7. I once burst into tears after overheating my store-bought coffee in the work microwave until it exploded. Some days are just more prone to tragedy than others.

  8. I felt like crying just reading about your morning. I’ve lost my keys before while out with two crabby, hungry kids and it’s a horrible feeling. I’m just so glad it was a sweet lady (and probably a mom) and not some teenage kid who wouldn’t get it who was helping you.

  9. At least your brave enough to go out, I went one time 2 wks ago because I had to get hurricane stuff. Never again. Lol. Good luck.

  10. Aww, this story makes me want to give both you and the lady at Fresh and Easy a hug. It must have been nice to have a little sympathy from a complete stranger at that moment. I’m pretty sure I would have lost it too at that moment :)

  11. Aw! Don’t you feel like you’re supposed to have it all together when you go out with your kids? I so don’t. Today Bowie was falling over in the cart a bit, and his sock was falling off, and this lady at Home Depot felt the need to point it out. Like come on! He’s happy, I’m happy, just let us be!

  12. Um…..except for the keys…. This was pretty much exactly my day too! I feel like we live parallel lives!

  13. oh morgan, this post made me want to hug you!! This took me back to being at home with both the boys when Malachi was a baby and oh my gosh could I relate to the Target scene. The hip pushing of the cart!! And the balancing of the baby who can’t even sit up yet in the front of the cart! And silent mom glares, ohhh silent mom glares. hahah! I love you. I also love the sweet F & E lady who was so nice to my friend. I’d like to hug her too.

  14. Seriously you should write a book–it would be hilarious, excellent and every women would buy it!
    I love the fetal position part! ha ha., Poor you! I remember those days-having two in nappies was a nightmare, taking the kids to the shops was like asking to go to the pit of hell!
    Even now, at ages 8 and 10 I still hate taking them with to the store, I rather go when they are at school.

    At least you can laugh about it all. :)

  15. Thank God for kind people. Losing my keys is one of my worst nightmares–I’m so glad you figured out where yours were, and got a little perspective at the same time.

  16. You may have helped the clerk as much as she helped you. Sometimes its nice to be able to comfort someone and feel needed. She probably walked around with a smile knowing she had helped someone in their time of need and gave some simple but great advice.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  17. I’ve had these days too!! Just two days ago I almost burst into tears when a nice elderly lady helped put my two year old’s shoes (which she kept kicking off throughout our hour-long grocery shopping trip) back on. She smiled at me and said, “Oh, I remember these days.” This was after two other women blatantly stared at me when I yelled, “No!” at same two-year-old for squeezing the bejeezus out of the bread I had just put in our cart. Seriously, they were glaring at me like I was the most horrible, abusive mother ever, even though I followed up the yell with a calm explanation of why she can’t squeeze the bread into crumbly bits. Oh well.

  18. I have so been there having a day like that! It is so awesome you had a fairy godmother lady there to tell you what to needed to hear in that moment. When you need it the most, help usually shows up.

  19. My kiddos are 7 and 5, but it seems like yesterday I was crying in the parking lot. I love how you put it into words…made me laugh and cry.

  20. I really don’t want to discourage you, but you will have many more days like this. Just accept it and find ways to enjoy it. You’ll be much happier. And time helps. A few years ago one of my daughters took apart the cash register at a Walmart Pharmacy. They couldn’t ring anything up and they couldn’t fix it quickly. I wanted to disappear. and. cry. It took a few weeks before I could laugh but now we laugh about it all the time. You will one day laugh hysterically about how you lost your keys. in. the. car. and cried to the store employee. Believe me. I’m laughing about it now! :)

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