The clock is ticking, I imagine the mission in my mind. It needs to be a quick job. In and out! Zero distractions.

I have my disguise ready. I cannot leave any evidence that I was ever there, so I need to be careful. I can only touch what is on my list.

 Mission: Navigate the grocery store and retrieve all the items on the list

As I step out of my car, I hear a little voice say, “Mommy, where’s my mask?”. It’s my four-year-old daughter who is my sidekick for this particular this mission

 I find her matching mask before we leave our car. Lately, our previous leisurely strolls down the grocery aisles while my daughter ate her way around the store have been squashed by a tiny, invisible virus. Thank you COVID-19!

I explain to my daughter the mission one last time before we get started.  “Don’t take your mask off and remember don’t touch anything,” I say. I stare at her with a serious look so that this can sink in. “Yes, mama,” she giggles back at me with crinkles around her eyes. How can I take her seriously like this, I wonder. I always think she looks like a mini Hannibal Lecter with her mask on. I resist the urge to reply to her with a “spspspsp” slurping sound like the characted Hannibal Lecter makes.

I disinfect the trolley like a mad woman before I put my daughter in it. It’s the best way to control her in the store and keep her from touching anything.

Then, we’re off! Zooming up and down the aisles to pick up ONLY the things on my list. Dodging people who come too close to us. I think to myself, how has grocery shopping become like the grown-up’s version of the KTV Reggie’s Rush game show?  The big difference of course, is that these items won’t last long in our home and I’m footing the bill.

The upside of this new way of grocery shopping is that the trips are way shorter, and my daughter cannot eat everything in sight particularly the tempting sweets because of her mask. So, I guess I should say thank you once again COVID-19!

About the author: Nikita Camacho is mom to a four-year-old daughter, Adriana. Her blog is called Hearts in Her shoes and focuses on four core themes namely, fashion, lifestyle, family and health. You can read more about her parenting journey here https://heartsinhershoes.co.za

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