My brain has gone on strike. It lets me walk out the door for a 5-hour zoo excursion without bringing the dog inside and putting her in her crate. It laughs when I leave lights on, music blaring, ovens heating, and perishable foods out when running kids to and from lessons. It taunts when I return home from errands without the one thing I really truly needed.

Today, I went grocery shopping for the rest of the month of November. Stop laughing. I know it’s November 11 and I just told you my brain went on strike. Seriously, I have a menu plan based on what I actually saw in my freezer and pantry this morning when I made my list. It is written down. I’m not sure where it is at this exact moment, but that’s beside the point.

So, my shopping list was relatively short. Perishables like fruits and veggies. A few staples we were out of. I threw two bags of all-purpose unbleached flour in the cart because it was 60% off. A few boxes of convenience foods because of my children’s penchant for blood sugar crashes.

We moved quickly through the store to a human checkout (as opposed to the automated one where I always get stuck with an unusual produce item missing a sticker and have to wait for 5 minutes while a teenager who’s never seen a vegetable in her life tries to find it and the required code for me). The woman working the register offered to bag for me as she scanned. I took her up on it so I could concentrate on keeping Little Boy from disappearing into the women’s bathroom or inside the rack of high-school shirts and sweats.

I put our bags in the cart, paid, and rescued Little Girl, who was perched nearly on top of the plastic car mounted to the front of te cart and was being pushed who-knows-where by Little Boy. We hurried out to the car and raced home (but only at legal speeds) to fix a quick lunch. We had just a few minutes beforeĀ  Little Girl needed to be at preschool.

I put groceries away while the kids ate. I kept looking for the new bag of apples since I wanted to slice one for the kids. Soon all my grocery bags were empty. No apples.

I went back to the van and looked under the rear bench, in the cabin, in the front seat. No apples.

I shuffled through all my grocery bags, fished out the receipt, and scanned to the bottom. “Gala Apples. Clementines. Baby Bellas.” I hadn’t put away any of those.

I called the store and miraculously reached the guy who’d just marked my items down on a list titled, “Paid for and left.” He said he’d keep them at the customer service desk for me.

So the kids ate grapes and we ran out the door. No time for lunch cleanup.

After dropping Little Girl off at preschool, we drove back to the store, retrieved the offending produce, and returned home where I snuck a snoozing toddler out of his carseat and into his bed. In the kitchen, as I put items away, I found this:

That can only be the work of one being in our house. Jazz. Who clearly prizes chicken wieners over her special hairball-prevention cat food.