Martin: where's that twenty dollars I gave you?
Me: (mumbling) I don't know.
Martin: did you put it back in the envelope?
Me: I can't remember (mumble, mumble.)
Martin: hey, why do you look upset? It doesn't matter!
(seriously, he really is that nice!)
Me: I can't keep track of our money. It all just disappears, I don't know where it goes, it just walks away! I can't handle it!!
Martin: (blank look.) you just take it out of the envelope when you're leaving for the store and put what's left back in the envelope when you get home. It really is that easy.
(oh yeah. He. Said. That.)
And of course, it is NOT "that easy" as I proceeded to tell him. Half the time I leave for the store without ANY money because after I've gotten our children dressed, snacked, out the door, in the car, buckled up and provided them with about ten (hundred) traveling companions EACH I am in such a hurry to get out of the driveway before someone decides they have to go to the bathroom that the money that is necessary for this grocery trip is the last thing on my mind. And putting it back when we return? HA!
For one thing, I have a certain daughter who is extremely "helpful." and her helpfulness would be really cute if it weren't so contagious. So instead of me handing a cashier money and she handing me my change, we have to divide the tasks evenly. Ok, mama gives the cashier the bills; Anja receives the paper change, Greta receives the coins (which get dropped on the floor, of course, multiple times) and then there's the receipt. Greta ALWAYS wants to carry the receipt, but she doesn't care enough to actually hold onto it so she keeps dropping it and I have to chase it down until something distracts her enough that I can shove it in my pocket without her noticing.
And I love Aldi, I REALLY love that place... But. I really cannot stand how when I push my double-wide cart through, which holds two children in the children seats and NO GROCERIES, they NEVER seem to notice and just cheerily fill up the child seats of the cart I'm trading for (that might only make sense to fellow Aldi shoppers) so that instead of just popping my kids from one seat to the next, I have to get them out of the cart completely and rearrange my groceries so they can ride. And of course, as I'm doing this, Greta is running away. Through the automated doors and toward the parking lot. I kid you not, this happens EVERY SINGLE WEEK.
And when we get home I have to get all the groceries in, along with both girls, who are, of course, beside themselves with hunger because we've been out of the house for five minutes, so I'm fixing snacks as I'm putting away frozen broccoli and with all that brand new food, can't we just have a little taste of everything, Mama??????
Meanwhile, any change we got at the grocery store has sprouted legs and wandered off.
And here's the kicker: I only have TWO. There are people in the world with more (way more!) children who do things like run home businesses and do their own taxes. If I ever have more than my two girls I won't be able to leave the house!!!! How do they do it?! Where do they put them in the grocery carts?! How do they keep track of their change and their receipts?!?
Of course, our days at home are (mostly) pictures of peace and beauty (I'm really being serious!) during which the three of us do lots and lots of singing and reading stories and playing a wide array of pretend games. And we can bake things and dress up and do puzzles! But ask me to leave the house and follow a list of instructions in chronological order? Oh ho ho, dear Martino, it is NOT that easy!
P.S. We aren't really quarreling. The above story is true, but after my detailed explanation as to where the grocery money goes, he understood completely.