Of all the desperate actions we will take to save time and extra work as parents. I’ve witnessed the disgusting and crazy things we do to speed up inconveniences and move on with our lives. I’ve seen moms clean off their kids’ lollipops with their mouths after they’ve fallen on the ground.Even I have wiped my son’s nose with my sweater sleeve or mittens. When my son began potty training this year he constantly requested the pink jellybeans in the bag as I rewarded him for his achievement. You can bet I didn’t waste any time. I went to the candy store and bought a half a pound of pink jellybeans. As parents we have to make quick decisions to make all the small things easy and save time for the more difficult tasks and experiences with our children.
Well, one event took place recently that put me a situation where I had to make things just a bit easier to survive a hectic experience. With the beginning of my story I’ll just go ahead and tell you the main moral of the story: NEVER FORGET YOUR PEN WHEN YOU GO GROCERY SHOPPING. If you have to make a list for the grocery store, it’s likely that you either have a short memory or a long list. Regardless of which, you need to be able to mark off what is already in your basket. I have a terrible memory especially when it comes to shopping because it’s not an everyday task. Everyday tasks are a piece of cake because you can feel those tasks missing when you skip them. Every-so-often tasks are a lot harder for me because I have to remember to interrupt my everyday tasks to fit in the every-so-often tasks.
Back to my story. I was headed off to the grocery store on a Saturday night (a little part of the week I like to call “THE WORST TIME TO GO SHOPPING”) and I brought my son along so my husband could get some work done (which makes this particular time also, “THE WORST TIME TO GO SHOPPING WITH A CHILD”). I had my list ready and my child in a great mood but I knew what I was headed for so I was mentally prepared for the worst. Among all the preparation I made the worst mistake ever. I FORGOT MY PEN. I realized this when I drove into the parking lot. I desperately searched the van, the diaper bag and my purse only to come up with an old pen in my purse that was, of course, out of ink.
“Aw, heck,” I thought, “I have my list, I can still do this.” Big mistake getting bigger. I spent the first twenty minutes and two items reading the list over and over to see if I had grabbed everything I needed in the household cleaners isle. At about 45 mintues I found myself going back to the word laundry detergent, wondering if I remembered to get it and checking the basket only to find I had. I did this nearly five times before I grew desperate. I pulled out the inkless pen and clicked it. I tried to draw out any remaining ink that may have magically decided I deserved its existence. Upon this action I realized that the paper I had used had to be thinner than any public toilet paper I have ever come across. So upon trying to force out droplets of ink, I ripped a hole in salsa (I think). Well, at least I knew salsa was off the schedule. So I decided that this was much better than reading the same items over and over and rechecking for them (which was mass confusion I tell you). So as this method became the only one available I continued to poke and rip at my list. It probably looked a lot like the Florida voting cards until the moment my son took a pull at the corner of list and from then on the list looked a lot like those wimpy, wimpy bags in the Hefty commercials. If I had it to do all over again I would have saved a lot more time by opening up a package of pens in the office supply isle and just pay for the rest, which I needed anyhow. I did however save my list from that day so that I could share it with others. (Figure 1.1) Click on the image to see all the details. I hope you can feel my pain by looking at the results and, with that, never forget to bring a working pen to the store. Learn from me.