I was leaving the grocery store and calculating in my head how much I could spend at the next 2 stores I had to go to after what I'd just spent. I had Ds#4, who is 6 years old, and the baby with me. The checkout lady had stacked groceries in the child seat so I couldn't put the baby in the cart. As I exit the building after putting the baby's booties, gloves, hat and scarf on (actually I put both gloves on 3 times because while I was reaching for the other glove, he'd take off the one I'd just put on and throw it on the ground while I was trying to wrestle his hand into the next glove.)
I pushed the full cart with one hand while I held the baby on my hip with the other arm (and multiple layers of coat & scarf between us) and directed the 6 year old to stay close to me in the parking lot. We just got around 5 inches of snow and the lot wasn't completely cleared. Between the heavy cart, trying to keep the 6 year old near and being one handed, that snow in the lot REALLY slowed me down. I was stopped in my tracks when I realized I hadn't been able to park in the front row, but the next row back. The cars were parked too close together to allow me between them with the cart. Even realizing this, I tried to go straight to my car --nope, I couldn't do it.
We had to go around the aisle of cars, into the drive to get into the parking lot, up the hill, back around the back of the next aisle to get arrive a the trunk of my car. I'm a healthy, spoiled American, this shouldn't be such a big deal! "O.K., honey, let's go around and stay close because cars may need to go around us since we're walking up the main drag." The hill up to my aisle (I don't think I ever even noticed there was a hill there, more of a slight incline) was more difficult to get up than I realized - with being one-handed and the weight of the cart in the snow. So, instead of pushing from behind, I got in front of the cart and pulled. The wheels weren't really turning (clogged with snow), so I was taking tiny steps and with as large of jerky motions as I could manage while keeping hold of the baby I dragged the cart up the hill. I remember thinking 'good, we're there.' We weren't.
As I turned the corner to get to my aisle, the cart got stuck. Not a little stuck, alot of stuck. When the lot had been plowed, the corners ended up with more snow and I didn't account for that. I asked Ds#4 to help push, but he had my wallet, keys and the baby's sippy cup. So I'm pulling as hard as I can and he's trying to push with his shoulders (his hands were occupied). Then we switched and I tried to balance the baby on the handlebars of the cart (which he thought was hilarious) and I tried to hold him and push the cart with my feet and stomach -- it didn't work.
New plan. I left the cart to be run over by a car...if that was going to happen, so be it. I took the baby and the boy and strapped them into the van. I left them to try and dislodge the cart. Just then an old lady offered to help. I hated to take her up on it (I should be helping old ladies), but I really needed help. We managed to push-pull the cart back and forth and get it through the snow to the car.
By the time I got the car loaded up and the cart back to the store (I seriously thought about leaving it in the parking lot, but didn't want it to be in the way of the old lady who helped me or someone in a worse position than me) and got back to the car, the baby was screaming to get out of his car seat. So he SCREAMED all the way home (we didn't get the other 2 places). It was like some weird comedy movie where the main character gets in tangle after tangle -- I'm like a movie star.
During all this I kept thinking of Dave in his warm office talking on the phone for his job. Just then, my job seemed so much harder than his....