I made sure my mom accompanied me the first time I ever went into a store with Sully. I can't even remember which store it was - probably Target, I'm thinking. I miss Target. That was a great store to walk around in with a ticking time bomb. Anyway. Two sets of hands at the store are always better than one, but the moral support and confidence from your own mother when you venture out of the house for the first time or two as a new mom is priceless.
Luckily, I have never had to abandon a cart full or groceries, although I feel like that stunt could be in my near future thanks to toddler temper tantrums. But right now, and it's been this way for a long, long time, grocery shopping with Sully is a heck of a lot of fun.
I come armed with a few snacks because it doesn't matter if we just ate breakfast or lunch, that kid always wants a snack at the store. He's still perfectly happy to sit in a cart - strapped in! - which makes the whole ordeal that much more pleasant.
And then it starts. It takes him a few minutes to warm up to the strangers and bright lights, but then it's gibber-jabber at an outdoor-voice-level, non-stop the entire grocery trip. Sully interacts with every single person who walks by, and when there is no one in close vicinity, he just continues to jabber loudly to himself. Usually he makes a big show out of whatever snack he might be eating, showing anyone who will look, what is scrunched up in his hand, and then proceeds to exclaim loudly how yummy each bite of food is.
Today, it was grapes. He saw them as soon as we walked in and frantically signed "more", so I put a clamshell in the cart within his reaching distance, and he helped himself to grapes the whole hour we were there.* Each grape was lifted high up into the air, and some praise was given to it as if he was blessing each one before popping it into his mouth. He put on quite the show, which is how our grocery trips go these days.
Most people smile, or speak back to him, or chuckle. I like to think he's made someone's mediocre afternoon at the grocery store a little bit better, given them a sweet story to share to the next friend or family member they speak to…"you should have seen this adorable toddler at the grocery store…eating grapes like they were made out of the sweetest chocolate"…or something like that. I like to believe that even the coldest of hearts can be warmed up by the sight of my son blessing his grapes in the air.
I know there will be a time, soon, where indoor voices will be more appropriate and the smiles will turn into stares and looks of disapproval. My son won't always happily sit in a cart, snacking on grapes while we take our time perusing the aisles of the grocery store. We will cross that bridge when the time comes, but for now, I never want to forget the loud, happy gibberish, or the joy he finds in something as simple as grapes. I want to hold on tight to these little moments, I want to hold on tight to these simple times, where the days are long, but the memories are sweet.
*While I usually prefer to wash all my produce before we consume it, a few dirty grapes never killed anyone.