Photo by Aine D at www.flickr.com

Sometimes I do things hap-hazardly and then realize why everyone’s having melt downs and nothing’s working out. Sometimes I do things hap-hazardly and it somehow still works out OK.  Sometimes I’m really organized about how I do things – and that can really help things turn out well. Sometimes I do things in a nice organized way and it still doesn’t turn out that well.

We’ve been putting up some great new video tips at The Power of Moms as we focus on the Power of Organization this month. Here’s a 3-minute video showing what I usually do with my kids before heading into the grocery store with them:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/YI0HFneFP6U

Doesn’t that look like a nice, organized way to get ready to head into the store?  Well, let me tell you about yesterday’s grocery store run. The twins and I had our little “grocery store rules” review before heading in. We were going to have a lovely little “mommy date” together and they were going to pick out a nice treat at the end.

Here’s what actually happened.  The twins begged to push the shopping cart and I agreed, provided that they could trade off pushing it nicely and stay right by me.  That lasted for about 10 minutes. Then they started fighting over whose turn it was to push the cart – verbally fighting and then pushing and shoving. I took over pushing the cart. They cried. I got them interested in finding the peaches. They wanted to help put the peaches in the bag which seemed like a fine idea but they kept trying to put unripe or overripe peaches in the bag and were having a hard time with the concept of putting them gently in the bag.

We moved on. As I contemplated how much of certain things I should buy as treats for our Power of Moms Retreat this weekend, they thought it would be fun for one of them to push the cart while the other one dragged along behind – sort of like water skiing behind the cart.  They were staying close to me so that was sort of OK. But then they got going a bit too fast and ran into another cart.  The lady pushing that cart wasn’t amused.  Neither was I.

We headed to the bulk foods where they were excited to put on disposable plastic gloves and help me grab spaghetti from the bulk bin. Then as I thought about which cereal to buy, they started crab walking, delighting in the idea that their hands would stay clean thanks to the gloves but finding, much to my dismay, that backwards crab-walking results in more collisions.

We had a few more mishaps.  A milk jug got tossed in the cart on top of the bananas.  We had a near tip-over of the cart when both twins decided to hop on one side at the same time – but they profusely apologized for breaking the rule they well know about not hanging on the side of the cart.  I quickly got the most necessary items and we somehow made it out of the store without causing too much damage to ourselves, our food or anyone or anything else.

I was pretty patient through the whole thing. I did declare a time out where the boys had to sit on the floor on their hands and count to 20 while I looked for the shampoo I needed. That calmed them down for a while. And I did get pretty stern with them.  They’re usually pretty good in the store – especially when we remember to go over the rules before we head in.  But sometimes, even the best laid plans don’t quite work out.

So I guess I’m just saying organization and planning are not guarantees. But they sure do help.  I hate to think how bad our grocery store trip would have been without setting up some rules at the beginning!

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