It is both a blessing and a curse that Audrey is too big for the stroller.
A blessing in that I don't have to always have it in the van. (Less is more when the kids are all in the van and have brought half the house along with them for a trip to my Mom's.)
A curse in that now she also is a bit big for the seat in the shopping cart. While I will let her ride in the big basket part, I feel like she's a veal when I do that, and don't let her stay in for long. We've been spending a lot of time out together these days, making lists and checking them twice, and naturally, she gets tired.
Tell me I am not a bad Mom, that today, she laid down in the cart and crashed out, and I finished up what I needed to do. Truth be told, she did it a couple of days ago, too. And I don't feel very guilty about it, either.
Bad Mom! Bad Mom! Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when CPS comes for you...
The thing is, though, that if she is awake, and out of the cart, a couple of things happen. One is she shops for herself, and two is she asks to go potty every ten seconds. The child who can sit through an entire Barbie movie without budging suddenly has a bladder the size of a thimble the second we cross the threshold in Target. It seriously tries my patience as she has started spotting the bathroom signs on her own (smart girl!) and seems to think she needs to visit every one, even if we just walked out of one minutes before.
It almost makes me miss diapers.
The other day, she happened to be by the samples, that aisle of tiny bottles that just beg to be picked up, handled, and stealthily thrown into the cart when Mom is not looking. I have to take this one with a grain of salt as she is putting them in the cart, where they will be paid for (should I not notice them at the register and ask her why she needs a sample of Right Guard) as opposed to just helping herself to them right into her purse, tiny-klepto style.
I spotted her picking up little colorful bottles, ooo-ing and aaahing. "Look Mommy! Hand sanitizer! We use this at my school!"
"That's nice, honey, let's go."
"I need one. For my purse. Because there are germs you know, on your hands and you get them when you touch things 'cause they are everywhere they can live on anything! and you should really clean your hands off before you eat anything like teacher says to do at school...."
I sigh, as I give mentally, feel my heart give a twinge; realizing that the scope of her influences has been expanding outward, and I'm not necessarily the authority I once was. She's been out of school for weeks, and not due to go back until January, and she remembers this factoid? (smart girl!) It would not be so bad, to give up the mantle of center-of-her-universe, were it not that Nolan is also in the throes of this, as he crosses into adolescence. (Which in and of itself would be a reason for me to drink again. He's thirteen on the 28th of this month. Girls are calling my house and leaving giggly breathy messages. Tarts! Where are their mothers???)
I am not as huge a believer in hand sanitizer as I am in good old soap-and-water for 20 seconds, but I can't say no to a cleanliness request, now can I?
She picked out a scent she liked, and it resides in her purse. Or in the cupholder in her carseat.
She dutifully uses it and lectures all of us on germs with an earnest, concerned look on her face like she's giving a thank you speech to the Nobel committee.
"Wait!" she said to me the other day as I handed her her snack.
"I need my hanitizer!!"
(omg, that's adorable, I thought. I'm so stealing that word from her...)
Wonder what she'll put in the cart next. But in the meantime, anyone need 20 trial-size bottles of Pantene?