For the Love of Mighty Bites & Cat Cookies

I don't know what I would do for a Klondike Bar, but I'll tell you what I'd do for some Trader Joe's dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt.

I'd strap in the little people and drive 79 miles and two states away. Yes, you heard me. That's a smidge shy of three hours of round trip driving, with a four and two year old, to go to the grocery store.

And if that makes me crazy, then I don't wanna be sane. Okay, that's not entirely true. I do want to be sane, and I don't want to be caught one Mighty Bite shy of a full box. I just want my sanity and to eat my Chipotle Hummus too. Is that too much to ask?

So we won't even attempt to answer why I did it, but perhaps you're curious how I did it?

  • First, I tricked the kids into thinking it was an adventure. An "adventure" wherein they sit strapped down for three hours while Lightning McQueen goes haywire in Radiator Springs. It never fails to amaze me what they'll endure for the chance to watch a "whole long, long movie."
  • Next, I packed a lunch and called it "snacks". I'm no marketing expert, but even I know it's all about packaging and branding. I could call marshmallows and malt balls "lunch" and they'd turn up their noses. But call something "snacks" and I hear, "Mawwwm, can I have some more broccoli bites?"
  • Finally, I talked it up. "We're getting your favorite cooook-keeeys! You'll get a bahloo-ooon!" I find the key to talking it up is to add syllables and exaggerated inflection to their favorite words. Although saying "coooookeey" makes you sound a little bit, well, cooky, it's worth it, really. Especially when you glimpse the glazed over look on the girl's face because all she can think about is cat cookies and not how miserable she is on the so-called "adventurous road trip."
I am pleased to report that we accomplished our mission with no permanent damage done, though the return trip was not without its hazards. Let's just say that talking on a cell phone while driving looks like a safety precaution in comparison to these dangers:
  • Back seat balloon wars. (Who knew TJ's was a grocery store and a weapons supplier?) It's just a teeny bit distracting when bumper balloons are batting around in my peripheral vision. I kind of need that component of my eyesight for being mindful of other cars and stuff.
  • Driving while on toddler sleep patrol. Yes, I resorted to some extreme defensive maneuvers against vehicular snoozing, but I just HAD to keep Dani awake so she would nap at home. Really, I did it for her. I realize the rear view mirror should not be used to check every other second whether she is still awake. And I realize that I should not strain to entertain in hopes of distracting her from dozing. And I did try to outsource sleep patrol duty to Caed, but unfortunately, he and Tow-mater were deep in a world of their own.
  • Using the rear view mirror to peer at the children. I know as well as anyone that the rear view mirror is for seeing the cars behind you, not the children. But how else am I going to flash disapproving looks at the boy, or perform routine sleep checks on the girl, or see their ridiculously funny car seat dance moves when Beyonce's song All the Single Ladies comes on?
  • Rolling on the floor laughing while driving. Okay, so I wasn't really rolling on the floor. There isn't that much room on the car floor anyway. But I was laughing so hard that my eyes could barely stay open, which I think we can agree is not compatible with highway safety. Why the uncontrollable laughter, you may ask? Because Caed's interpretation of Beyonce's All the Single Ladies went something like this:
With hands up in the air, waving wildly around, he shouted, "All the single LAKES! All the single LAKES! Put your hands up!! Cuz if you like it then you shoulda put a RAIN on it!"
Great Lakes and Finger lakes need not apply. We only want to see the SINGLE lakes out on the dance floor for this song. And seriously, do you not love how he carried the water theme throughout his erroneous lyrics? Oh, I love that boy.

So what's the craziest thing you've ever done in the name of canned goods? Even better, what's your favorite Trader Joe's treat?

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