By Heather Keenan

I. Just. Need. Milk.

Four words. Here is the thing about those four words, they will send your afternoon into a whirlwind. Think I am being dramatic? Stay with me here.

With three kids in the house, milk is a staple. Honestly, I am not 100% sure what would happen if we did actually run out of milk and in no way, whatsoever, do I want to find out. Milk is a magical liquid in my home. It helps my little monsters gradually wake from their slumbers, while sitting on the couch, curled up in a fleece blanket as if we live in Iceland and not the American South. It helps when there is a boo-boo, that only 22 minutes of non interrupted Bubble Guppies and a nice cold sippy of milk, will soothe. It helps at 3am when my, good-thing-she-is-so-cute, toddler wakes and thinks it is time to rise. I am not even a milk drinker, but I love it, for all of those reasons, plus some. So, run out? No thanks….I will do it. I will go to the store, just for milk, all three kids in tow. Will it go smoothly? Sure, miracles happen all the time.

Step 1: We need a positive mental attitude. We are going to load up in the minivan in an orderly fashion with no one forgetting their shoes, and off we go.

Step 2: Find the Frozen songs on your phone and start jamming because the world may just stop on its axis if we drive .5 miles without belting out Let it Go.

Step 3: Arrive at the store, park, tell the big kids to unbuckle, go to get the baby out and realize that the four year old is, yet again, without shoes. Super. No biggie, in the cart she wedges as the baby screams that she is not the one being wedged into the cart, even though on any other day she would try to jump from said cart as if it were on fire.

Step 4: Wrestle the crying baby into the Ergo and instruct the 5 year old to hold onto the cart and walk. Fast.

Step 5: Enter the store and answer 17 “can we have” questions with a stern no. Someone really should write the grocers a thank you for all of those strategically placed cupcakes and balloons. I mean, it is nothing if not helpful to have to drag your children away from a cupcake stand when you have barely made it past the automatic doors. And don’t even get me started on balloons.

Step 6: Find the milk and book it to the check out. One check out is open because all of the other employees are working on the, previously mentioned, cupcake stands. Wait in line with everyone else. Everyone else who is buying their groceries for the week. Listen to your kids exclaim how they want a candy bar because they never get candy, you know, because you are a horrible witch of a mother.

Step 7: Pay and make your way back to the van. Strap the baby in the carseat, unload the shoeless four year old, and instruct the five year old to buckle. Randomly place your cart against the lamp post and know that someone sees you and is secretly judging your laziness. I mean, the cart return is RIGHT THERE.

Step 8: Drive home. Do You Want to Build a Snowman is a pretty catchy tune.

Step 9: Unload the kids, help them take off their shoes, go inside, survive.

Step 10: Where is the milk we just bought? Oh, you left it in the car. No biggie, except that was 2 hours ago and like I said, this is the American South, where milk can only survive in a refrigerated unit.

Load up the kids …