Handwash only sweater

I Went To The Grocery Store With Three Kids And Other Reasons I Would Like A Parade

The other day, I had an errand to run at the grocery store. I also had all three kids with me and decided to go to the grocery store after school anyway.

When we got there, it was bumping, but I still parked the car, unbuckled all the kids, got all my stuff to cover all possible baby mishaps, and headed inside.

I let the big kids each take those kid-sized, ankle-biter carts and off we went.

Everyone did wonderfully including me. We got everything we needed without raising a voice and never crashed either cart into anyone or anything. We even managed the self-checkout lane without accidentally stealing something.

But as we walked outside, each carrying a grocery bag, I looked left and I looked right yet there was no parade heading across the parking lot filled with HOORAY ALEX! WAY TO GO MOM! signs and balloons. Nobody was even applauding or offering high-fives. Only when we got to the car and I buckled everyone in, I did take a moment to high-five myself, but it just wasn’t the same as the parade I felt I deserved.

I did call my husband who was duly impressed. And I’m obviously writing about it here because even though it’s been many days since this amazing interlude occurred, I’m still awed with this momentous accomplishment.

But it got me thinking about all the things I feel unnecessarily proud of like finally hand-washing my hand-wash-only sweater.

Handwash only sweater
Pretty impressive.

And I wonder: Do other people just do these things? Is it no big deal when all the LEGOS are sorted and put away? When I’ve washed, dried, sorted, IRONED, and put away my clothing, am I the only one who thinks I’ve accomplished something miraculous?

Or when I’ve returned every phone call? Every email? When I pump gasoline before I’m running late and have been on empty for three days?

How about when I’m in bed at 9:30, not because I’m pretending the kitchen sink is free of dishes but because it actually is? Where is the applause? Where is my laugh track when I pull off a zinger in my car but don’t actually murder the person who cut me off and did NOT have right-of-way?

I soothe this longing by knowing that when I’m rich and famous and hiding from the paparazzi most days, I’m going to organize the EVERY DAY PARADE so those of us, who have misplaced pride in being humans accomplishing human things, can finally feel the fanfare we deserve even if it’s just us clapping for us while some sad clowns saunter by.

We earned it. We got dressed today, didn’t we?

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

15 thoughts to “I Went To The Grocery Store With Three Kids And Other Reasons I Would Like A Parade”

  1. I’ve been sorting toys for days around here. I’ve finally gotten down two – one unsorted bin per kid. I’ve given away a bin of things we don’t want, and pitched a huge amount of garbage. Seriously, my parade ought to be around the corner.

    Oh, and I took a shower, and called the super to come fix the sink.

    1. Our oldest son quit playing with toys for a year when he was four and spent his time drawing very good cartoons. I asked why he wasn’t playing with his toys. His response? “I don’t want to pick them up.” Neither did I. My feet still hurt when I think about Legos.

  2. Oh honey. We all did it for years and years and even were embarrassed to say “Well, today I did two loads of laundry”. And was a mother. And wife. And neighbor. Be proud. Have your parade. Once a friend and I took the kids with their whatevers and we marched down our street, banging on pots and shouting and singing. Just do it. And nobody is going to put on your tombstone “she was a great housekeeper” but your kids will rise up and call you amazing and blessed and we have your back.

    1. p.s. Quit ironing. It’s against my religion. I had a friend who had a box of clean laundry in her basement for a year. One day she put her iron on top and gave the whole thing to the Salvation Army.

  3. I wish if i could high-five myself…i wish if i could applaud those achievements….because those achievements are the the puzzle-pieces which build the big picture/our life……( Note…English is not my mother tongue……i have been reading your blog since long ago…we have a lot in common….e.g.motherhood,…,…,….,…) thanks very much Alex for your wonderful blog….sooooooo inspiring.

  4. Congratulations! Getting through the store with one ankle-biting cart is hard enough! And hand-washing…I always feel a completely unreasonable amount of pride when I finally handwash something that I have let sit on the shelf for months. You’re rocking the mom thing!

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