Grocery Stores before Passover

Corn mazes terrify me.  I get so scared I may get stuck in there forever, and I don’t know where anything is, entrance, exit, east, west.  And also there’s that Children of the Corn horror movie in my memory with scary evil children about to jump out at me.   I realized today that 7 Mile Market (kosher grocery store in Baltimore) the week before Pesach gives me the exact same feeling.  And to be fair, Walmart at Christmas.

I blame everything on conversion, as if I had grown up a Bais Yaakov girl (Jewish school girl) all this grocery store chaos would be normal and I would know where the sushi went, or which word is stricter gebrockts or non-gebrockts (one is food where matzah hasn’t touched water and the other is the opposite; I have to re-research it every year), or the best hostess gift to bring on a budget.

The grocery stores turn upside down for Passover, and I’m absolutely utterly lost.  They move everything around to get the chametz (leaven) out and the kosher for pesach in.  No one wants to eat Kosher for Pesach Cheerios year round, so there are a lot of new disgusting processed leaven-free items that come rolling in.  My family sticks to the real stuff – fruit, veggies, meat, dairy, nuts, eggs, and lotttttttts of matzah and cream cheese.

My heart palpitates.  I dislike crowds in general, that claustrophobic, cramped corn maze feeling.   At Passover, all the cleaning prep and cooking prep and new clothes prep  pressure comes with it, and I hurry in and out for Shabbos shopping today (in the rain!) without a list, remembering the matches my kids reminded me about 5 times but forgetting the most crucial thing – CHALLAH (bread).

My baker friend saved me from having to take all three kids, including the one with the sprained ankle, back into the corn maze in the rain.

And now, to compensate for the crazy incident I reported about my boys yesterday, I’ll tell you, they all three helped me clean for Shabbos, and I’m writing this blog and they’re watching a show as our reward.

I figured out that if I say, “CLEAN THIS UP!” they have no idea what to do.  They are real men in training.  But if I say, “Everybody gets a lollypop when they do 5 jobs for mommy!” they come running asking what they can do to help.  I’m not sure if this equals bribery or good strategy.

One cleared the art stuff and the breakfast cereal stuff off the Shabbos table; one sprayed and cleaned it with my yummy Mrs. Meyers spray; two worked together to put the “table clock” on, my youngest’s cute word for table cloth. Then one set the plates out, and the other put a nice smelling candle on the table.

They all put their own laundry away in their drawers and put away all the toys and shoes that were everywhere.  And they cleaned their room.  I did about seven times more than that, but I felt so good having their help and having them do it happily and quickly.  I’m trying to be one of those moms that makes their kids do stuff.  It’s difficult for me, because I generally just like to do everything myself by myself.

So now, I’m drinking that Kava tea again, which by the way did NOT drug me yesterday, fortunately or unfortunately, and everything seems pretty much in order.

Have a good Shabbos!


corn maze 2