When my family and I moved to the Severna Park area, one of the top priorities in my mommy brain was to find a quality grocery store within close proximity of our house. It still amazes me that a grocery store location has become so vital to my life. With 3 children who never seem to stop eating, however, I have little choice. I guess you learn to love the things that make your life easier, and with that being said, I suppose you could say that my supermarket and I are like BFF’s. I might even go as far as to say that grocery shopping by myself is like a peaceful vacation. Short and sweet, but quiet nonetheless.
In an effort to avoid boring you with my supermarket search details, let’s just say all things pointed to the Giant Food store on Ritchie Highway. Not only was it just over a mile away, but my past experience with Giant Food stores told me that this place was usually well-organized, well-stocked and the staff were always pleasant and helpful. After my first trip to the SP location, I quickly realized this particular Giant Food, despite its large size, had a nice small town feel. I often see the same faces and despite its tendency to be busy, I never feel rushed.
I’ve found, though, that even if you went to the best food shopping store on Earth, things can quickly take a nose dive when you take your children with you. I’m sure you can agree that it can be a real game changer. I’ve suffered from so many bouts of Shopping Kids-itus for so long now that I’ve often considered writing a book about it.
I think I would title it “One Kid, Two Kid, Red Kid, Blue Kid – Don’t take ANY of them shopping with you!”
Alright, so it’s a work in progress… and yes, Dr. Seuss is probably rolling over in his grave right now.
The moral of the story is, in my house anyway, if another parent or responsible adult is able to keep the children while you run errands, TAKE ADVANTAGE. Remember that peaceful food vacation I mentioned in the beginning of the story? Well, add 3 young kids to that and you have your very own Food Hell just beckoning you to lose your marbles.
Yesterday was a prime example of that for me. I took my children to Giant Food. The excitement of them going back to school on top of being slightly drunk from the serenity of my now one-child occupied home overcame me. It somehow tucked away all of my previous memories of disastrous grocery shopping trips into some deep dark hole. I temporarily forgot about the “I wants” and the “mystery” candy that would somehow find itself jumping off the store shelves into my basket all on its own.
I literally went to Giant Food for “just a few things” and left there with both an overflowing cart and a raging headache to boot. We began our adventure with my oldest two ramming those cute little green shopping carts into everything and everyone. I slowly turned into a raving maniac, yelling and commanding in all directions. Then karma promptly taught me a lesson when I turned and jabbed my face straight into the white “Customer in Training” sign on the kid cart. The pain just about knocked me to the ground. We slowly segued into watching my oldest rip several plastic produce bags off the reel and attempt to punch and juggle them in the air while his sisters cheered loudly. Those close by, bless their kind souls, tried not to stare but I could tell they were startled. And then when I thought I could take no more, my youngest threw a temper tantrum because she wanted to push her own groceries in her OWN cart to the car, hit a bump in the parking lot and overturned the entire thing. Jars and apples rolled everywhere.
I learned something, though. I learned the greatness of our local Giant Food. Despite the insanity I subjected on all of those poor, poor people – customers and employees alike – I still received more smiles, more “Oh my, aren’t they adorable!” compliments and kind offers to help me find things than I have ever experienced in any of my other grocery store locales. Even when my daughters cart overturned in the parking lot, people from all directions came running to help.
It’s no wonder I often find myself going on and on about this charming town in conversations with neighbors, strangers, teachers and whoever else might have the misfortune of getting trapped in a chatty conversation with me. Without a doubt, Severna Park is a great place to raise your children and a great place to live, whether young, old or in between. Oh, and if you couldn’t tell, I really enjoy grocery shopping here too – kids or no kids in tow.