Jane fell asleep the way only small children who shouldn’t take a nap can fall asleep, suddenly and completely – just as we pulled into the grocery store parking lot. No problem, I thought, I’ll just pick her up, carry her in and she’ll wake up.
By the time I checked out my three bags of groceries, my left bicep was cramping from the strain of hauling a sleeping three-year old through the store in one arm while pushing a cart and shopping with the other. But I was pretty convinced I was Super (strong) Mom. After all, I just grocery shopped with my thirty plus pound kid in one arm. And while it’s true that I was rapidly passing from uncomfortable, squarely into the realm of what one would call pain- I did it.
It was extra justification for all that working out, all those push-ups and lunges. All that time that I take for myself. Time away from the kids.
Time spent on myself that, no matter how much I know is the right thing to do, still brings on a bit of guilt. But look at me now! Not only does working out keep me a sane, happy person but look how much better of a mom I can be with my muscles! My girl can get an, apparently, much needed nap while I shop and it doesn’t even phase me to squat down and get something off the bottom shelf- repeatedly. While it’s true I cheated the express line people and sailed on through with my load of kid and over ten items. I carried them all out to the parking lot by myself. Me and my rapidly failing left bicep were awesome!
And with that smug thought I gently set Jane back in her car seat as she woke up saying, “Where are we?” ” Are we goin’ to the grocery store?” “I didn’t fall asleep!” “Why are we going home?” “I want to go to the grocery store!”
It was long before she saw the toilet paper sitting next to her and exclaimed in surprise, “We do have toilet paper now!” finally accepting our trip to the store had indeed occurred, that my smugness evaporated.
It was disappointing to be brought back down to the level of ordinary human, but despite my fall I’ll keep working out.
I’ll keep working out because I love it and because it makes me a happier, healthier person. And all that makes me a better mom. But after that ride home I shall forever leave my grocery store prowess out of the equation!