The Dance

The four of us barge into the house through the front door, our hands loaded with plastic grocery bags. The twenty reusable bags I received at BlogHer are still in my trunk, empty, due to my shoddy memory at the time we parked in the store lot. I’ll bring them in next time, really. We pile the grocery bags on every available surface, all of us in a hurry, encouraged by the high-pitched barking coming from our yappy beagle, Roxie, as her entire back end sways from right to left due to the force of her wagging tail. She is impatiently waiting to be released from her crate in order to welcome the groceries, and maybe us, too.

When the car is completely unloaded, we all take our usual places in the kitchen and the dining room. The boys are at the table, taking item after item out of the bags and making groups, for ease in putting everything away. They remove granola bars and cracker packs from their boxes, stacking them upright in the plastic basket in the pantry, for ease in grabbing on-the-go. They stack the cans in no particular order, causing us to 1)never know exactly what we have just by taking a quick glance and 2)take way longer than necessary to find a can of black beans. But I never say anything, because in the grand scheme of things it’s not that important.

Jim is on the floor in front of the open refrigerator, saying nothing but most likely wondering why I and the boys cannot seem to put things back in their place in the refrigerator; why can’t we get it that the sour cream and other dairy-type products (other than cheese) always–ALLLLLWAYS–go under the meat and cheese drawer? He silently moves things around with great skill and forethought, for he is the Refrigerator Man, making room for our new groceries among the forty-nine (approximately) condiments that have mingled with the milk, the eggs, and the Black Jack Cola.

I am the floater. My homebase is in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle (the stove, sink, and refrigerator), but I move around as necessary. I am unloading bags onto the kitchen island and handing the items off to the boys or to my floor-restricted husband. I am putting fruit in the fruit bowl, tossing health and beauty items towards the stairs, and wondering out loud how we’ll manage to find room for all that we bought. (Oddly enough, this same massive heap of groceries which I will worry won’t have a place will indeed be nearly gone in a matter of 4.2 days, and we’ll have to start all over again.)

When we are mostly done with our own areas, it’s time for the dance to begin. The four of us zig-zag around each other, putting away odds and ends, here and there. The close-calls ensue; one of us is always trying to cut around the kitchen island in a different direction to avoid someone, and almost always has a near-head-on collision with someone else. Sighs are expelled, giggles follow. We twist and turn, shimmying by each other as gracefully as if we were choreographed, holding the grocery items above our heads until we get them to their final resting spot.



  • Stacey

    I love this post! It's such a normal, everyday thing for most of us, but to read about someone else going through it… Well, it's just hilarious! (Glad there were no casualties!)

  • Huckdoll

    That was awesome – a fun fluid read! It's funny how men are always the "make it fit" people. Colin, my Dad and brother can always pack a fridge, dishwasher, truck for camping, etc. better than any woman I know.

    I think as the mom with three men that you should be able to go from car to couch and put your feet up while supervising them so everything since they seem to have pretty much everything under control 😉

  • LceeL

    Funny – but the way Huckdoll described it is JUST the way SWMBO plays it.

    SWMBO = She Who Must Be Obeyed

  • Heather

    I'm not kidding when I say that I seriously felt like I was standing in the middle of your kitchen.

    But I'm with Huck & SWMBO (lceel). Why are you putting ANYTHING away?


  • Tara R.

    Truly, kick up your feet and watch the dance. Just reading that, I worked up an appetite. I need to go to the store now.

  • Bad Momma

    Reminds me a bit of our house. Only when my husband sits back to observe, he is not silent. To which I will hand-off the "packing the fridge" duties to Mr. Micro-Manager who knows where everything goes.

  • Melisa with one S

    Stacey: Thanks! No casualties on this PARTICULAR day. haha

    Huckdoll: I know, but he does the refrigerator and I do the dishwasher. I can fit stuff in there like a big puzzle long after others have given up. Woot!

    Lou & Heather & Tara: But where's the fun in that? 🙂 (KIDDING)

    Bad Momma: Nah, not here. We normally don't make much of a big deal over stuff like that…of course there ARE always those rare times… 🙂

    Weaselmomma: Hmm, you might be onto something!

    Sue: Thanks! And you're welcome back in my kitchen anytime!

  • Teacher Tom

    I've never thought of it as a gender thing, but yes, I'm the one in our household who keeps the fridge (and pantry) organized. But it's selfish. I need to be able to find everything quickly when I make a giant sandwich before the commercials are over. =)

  • Karen MEG

    First of all, you've trained them very well… and second of all, I can't wait until I no longer have to do my dance solo 🙂

  • Michelle

    I love the imagery you create — and the fact that the whole family helps! We'r still working on getting to that point. With my husband 😉 The wee ones are pretty good, but I still periodically find fridge items left out by my husband. Someday, I know!

    And Jim standing there at the fridge? I am so with that dude 🙂

  • Melisa with one S

    Tom: Hmmm, the speed issue never occurred to me. Makes total sense though!

    Karen: Ah yes, assistance is FABULOUS! They are really great. If I go grocery shopping alone, usually the boys come outside when they hear the garage door open, to see if I need help. It's awesome.

    Momo: Aw, really? They are TOTALLY old enough to help you! Give the little guy the bag with the loaf of bread in it, and give your daughter some of the other stuff. Start now, dude!

    Jason: Thanks! I try to make it fun around here. 🙂

    Michelle: Thanks too! Someday is right! Are you asking hubby to help when he's not? Because if you do that every single time, eventually he'll get it, I bet…