Last year, our Local Megamart (tm Alton Brown) began a service called ClickList, where you order your groceries online, then pick them up and pay for them at the store without setting foot inside. The ClickList people even load your car for you! Clearly this is the best thing since sliced bread, especially for those of us with small, adorable, but occasionally annoying children who have to come with us. ClickList and services like it mean you are forever free from saying the following things in grocery aisles.
"Stay with me, please."
"No, you cannot have a cake pop at Starbucks."
"Stay with me! I mean it!"
"No, I'm not buying Cookie Crisp. That's not cereal. It's milk and cookies in a bowl."
"If I said no to a cake pop, what makes you think I'll get you a doughnut?"
"I know we usually buy the other brand. But this brand is on sale. I promise you won't notice the difference."
"Okay, fine, you might notice the difference, but until you start buying the groceries, you don't get to decide. The end."
"STAY. WITH. ME."
"No. Put that back."
"Stop eating the grapes! Yes, I know we're buying them, but we haven't bought them YET."
"I am NOT buying you a unicorn frappuccino, for the love. That is the LAST thing you need."
"STOP RUNNING AROUND OR SO HELP ME I WILL PUT YOU IN THE CART. NO, I DON'T CARE THAT YOU'RE TOO BIG TO FIT."
"Why is there goldfish food in the cart? We don't even HAVE a goldfish!"
"No, I am NOT buying you a goldfish."
"STAY WITH ME FOR THE LOVE OF FRENCH TOAST."
A bonus, ClickList also frees you from Unpleasant Encounters With The General Public, including, but not limited to:
The Sancti-Mommy, clad in skin-tight designer workout wear, whose cart is full of kale, jicama, responsibly-sourced salmon, quinoa, organic dish soap, and diapers made out of hemp, who silently judges you for the Lunchables, orange juice, and Cheerios you have in your cart.
The mom with way more children than you, all of whom are way better behaved than yours, who looks at you as though you have failed to grasp some Fundamental Tenet Of Parenting.
The married couple without kids who look at you and your offspring, then reward each other with the secret, smug, annoying smile that only people with disposable income and unlimited freedom can smile.
The woman in the checkout line in front of you who has a stack of coupons three inches thick and who argues with the cashier about each and every one.
and, last but not least...
The elderly woman who sees your fighting, shrieking, squabbling children and tells you to enjoy every single minute with your little darlings, because they'll be grown and gone before you know it. (While this may be true, it is not always helpful in moments like these.
Like I said, ClickList is the best thing since sliced bread.
Of course, to use ClickList effectively, one must plan ahead. As in, y'know, make your list, get on the computer, order your groceries, select your pickup window, and submit your order. All of this requires a certain level of mental acuity, and sometimes, when it's 11:00 the night before you need to go shopping and you still haven't placed your order, you are tempted to just wing it at the store.
I did this last week. I was exhausted, my brain was not functioning, and I knew I wouldn't be able to summon the mental wherewithal to make a menu, let alone a list, so I bought myself some time and decided to just make a grocery run.
Big mistake. Because the next day, all three kids were out of school. Which meant all three of them had to come with me. It was...less than ideal.
Upon my return from the store, I posted this to Facebook.
My dear ClickList,
I underestimated you. I thought I didn't need you. When I was too lazy to fill out an order this morning, I rationalized it. "It'll be fine," I thought. "I like to pick out my own produce, anyway, and I'll have the kids with me, so they can help. Besides, we're dying Easter eggs, and the kids will want to pick out their own kit. It'll be fine."
It was awful, dear ClickList. AWFUL. I felt like issuing a personal apology to each of the 5,385,471,295,285 other people at Dillons this morning. Families with more children than I could count, families with children who were actually BEHAVING and not running wild in the produce aisles or wearing their Easter baskets as hats. People who were going about their day, minding their own business, actually able to concentrate--or, at least they were until the Wenlets showed up.
Summer is coming, ClickList. Summer, where the Wenlets will be out of school, not just for one day, but for ALL OF THE DAYS, and I have realized my error. You are not a mere convenience. You are a NECESSITY. I have seen who I am without you, ClickList, and it is not pretty. Not. Pretty.
Forgive me, ClickList. I have been a fool.
As you can see, I've learned my lesson. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a ClickList order to fill out.