Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lessons Learned

All this talk about unschooling my kids is really just a front for the unschooling I'm doing myself. Seriously. I try to play it off like I know what I'm talking about and how great this is for the kids and blah blah blah....but it's really all about me.

I have this bad habit. Actually, no, take that back. I have this habit of walking out of the grocery store with waaaay more groceries than I intended. Common problem, you say? Well, my particular version is not exactly financial. My problem is that I do my grocery shopping on my bicycle.

I have this nifty, but fairly useless, wire basket that hangs on my handlebars. Anytime it is filled with more than about 3 pounds, it rattles and shakes and threatens to fall off the front completely. I also have a super cool saddle bag my friend Michelle gave me that can carry one regular sized grocery bag full of stuff. Heavy? No problem. Over-stuffed and bulging? Not so much.

So this afternoon, like many other trips downtown, I decided to stop by the food co-op before heading home. There were four items on my list. Four. Mustard, dishwasher soap, coffee, and rice. How does this happen to me?

As I passed by the shopping carts on my way inside the store, I argued silently with myself.

Me: Using a cart is not a good idea when you are trying to stick to your list.
Me: But a cart will make it so much easier to pick up just a few of these herb starts.
Me: Herb starts are not on the list.
Me: But they're 50% off and you meant to buy them a few days ago and now there are only a few left and you need these herb starts.
Me: (with a sigh) Alright. Use the cart. But no funny business, you did not bring the trailer.

Bringing the trailer to the grocery store seems like the smartest option, doesn't it? But you see, there were only four things on my list.

Did I say four things? Cuz, it would be so much easier to just buy that loaf of bread now, rather than waiting until we run out later in the week. Rice cakes. Macy has been begging me for rice cakes. Hey, they're on sale! Cool. Ooohhh, melons. Yum.

You see where this is going. Not good. Yet, somehow, lying there in the cart, everything just seems, well, do-able. It will all fit. I know it will. No problem.

As the friendly cashier rings me up, I skillfully fit everything (except the 2 boxes of cereal, the 5 plant starts and the the box of dishwashing soap) into my roomy, now overflowing with loaf of bread and sleeve of rice cakes, cloth shopping bag. It will fit. It becomes my mantra as I wheel my cart over to the bicycle rack.

As I unload the cart, I can feel other shoppers staring at me. Is she crazy? She doesn't actually think she's going to fit all those groceries into that weeny little saddle bag. No, she can't be serious. Fred, look, she's stuffing the heavy box of dishwashing soap into that flimsy wire basket. Ha! Oh this is good....go get the camera.

Okay, maybe the other shoppers didn't actually say these things out loud, but I know they were thinking them. You would have too, trust me. I was quite a sight. The boxes of cereal fit, sort of, next to the dishwasher soap in the basket. The over-stuffed saddle bag pulled me gently to the right as I rode away. Not ten feet into the parking lot, rice cakes, a bag of pretzels, and the loaf of bread spilled out onto the pavement. Foiled again.

I did make it home, after creatively looping the handle of the cloth bag around the bulging items and tying it to the seat post. Why do I torture myself like this you say? I'm stubborn, and creative, and endlessly searching for ways to do things a little bit differently. An unschooler through and through.


Crunchy Christian Mom said...

LOL. What a great post! What creativity and determination! Isn't that what we want for our kids, too? :)

Becky said...

Absolutely! I knew there was an attribute hidden somewhere in there.

Thanks for your reply!