Yesterday the boys were playing in the back yard. Connor was carrying around five or six Hot Wheels ‘big trucks’ and Sully was running around clutching a purloined aforementioned ‘big truck.’ Probably without Connor’s knowledge. Sully had a doctor’s appointment Monday where he received a brutal barrage of shots, four to be exact, which left him not at one hundred percent. So it was good to see him out playing after insisting for two days to be held.
Of course, though, tragedy struck. Connor started crying and said “No, buggy! Shoo shoo!” Dave looked at his hand where an ant had bitten him and sent him to me. Briefly, I thought what do you expect me to do? Then I remembered I am the mother and am supposed to know these things, so I rallied my defenses. I took him inside and had him wash his hands, which he just loves. After a fruitless search for Campho-Phenique, that smelly miracle drug, I dabbed some anti-itch cream on the bite and covered it with a boring old flesh colored band-aid.
Connor had seen the band-aids his brother had come home with. They were bright and fun; he called them soccer ball stickers. We didn’t have any fun band-aids because up until now we hadn’t needed them. Connor held his hand up to his father who applauded his ‘injury’ and told him that now he was officially a big boy. I didn’t realize that injuries were the real indicator there.
I asked Connor if he wanted a fun sticker for his boo-boo and he said yes, so the two of us went to Wal-Mart where I had to buy groceries anyway. I didn’t realize until I was upon it that the east Rome Wal-Mart is being remodeled. I had heard, but all I had seen so far was the addition of a gaudy, ill-considered goldenrod coat of paint on the far left hand wall. We were looking for band-aids so we went the other way.
Everything near the pharmacy is all a-jumble and there are employees everywhere trying to figure out where things are supposed to go. Aisles are going different way; it’s a mess. Finally, I found the band-aids. They had a bunch of different characters, but Connor only knew three: Dora the Explorer, Transformers, and Spongebob. I held up Spongebob and Transformers in front of him and asked which one he liked. He said “That one!” and pointed at both boxes. Sigh. I held up one box and asked who was on it. He tapped it and said “BobBobs! BobBobs Pants!” That’s SpongeBob. Then I asked about the other box and he said “Pime!” That’s Prime, as in Optimus Prime or as Connor sometimes says Oppapuss Pime.
After a few more pointing at both boxes he finally grabbed the box of Transformers band-aids. At least something got done. I also needed to find some shower gel, but it was just not worth the trouble. So I had some film (yes, film) that needed to be developed so I went to drop that off. The entire photo center has been ripped out. I wasn’t going to do one-hour anyway, but now I didn’t have that option. I left two of the nine rolls of 35mm film to be developed. I figured I needed to do it quick before it became obsolete. Another couple of weeks and I’m screwed. Do you know of anybody who develops 110 film? Of course not. That’s some type of specialty you have to have sent away for triple the money now. You have to ask yourself at that point, do you really want pictures of yourself from the 80’s?
Once the film was dropped we went for groceries. Actually first we stopped to look at shoes for Connor. There was just about none. He has these awful sandals that we all hate, but are the only shoes big enough for him. I saw some shoes but immediately assumed they were too big. They weren’t. They were huge. They were huge and they fit. Connor didn’t like them, though, so we moved on.
So we grocery shopped and I would ask Connor if he wanted this or that, orange juice and wheat germ. He said yes to both. He only got one. The wheat germ.
We spent ample time on the cereal aisle, mostly because I was certain the woman behind us was stalking me. I can see how you might tailgate in a car but in a shopping cart? Back off! Every time I would move a few feet, she would move a few feet. I almost turned around and asked if she needed to get by me. Instead I sprinted with the buggy and bypassed all the tasty cereals we like. So we ended up getting raisin bran. EXTRA raisin raisin bran, mind you. So we don’t get Cinnamon Toast Crunch all because of a grocery store tailgater. That skank.
Connor saw me slip some chocolate into the buggy and that’s all I heard about for an entire aisle and a half. Then we got to another aisle and he said “Chippies! Want chippies!” I got him some pickle flavored Pringles. Don’t judge us. Well, naturally he wanted them right then so I opened the container and gave him some and he munched happily on pickle chips until a third of the tube was gone. Then he was done and wanted ‘chockit’ again. I like getting the bags of dark chocolate covered dried plums so I gave him some of those. He ate the chocolate off of them and dropped the fruit bits on the floor.
Yes, they’re prunes. OK, they’re prunes. But it’s just not cool to call them that. Sunsweet doesn’t, why should I?
The remainder of the aisles went by with Connor squealing and me covering his mouth to muffle him, which would make him laugh. Then he would hold my hand up to his mouth and lick me. Awesome. We did cold stuff last. We got some cube steak and some chicken. Unfortunately, there was so much already in the cart that Connor was able to reach the stuff on top. I tossed two pounds of ground beef in, the kind in the tube-like casing, great for freezing. Connor picked one up and tried to bite through the wrapper. He wouldn’t let go, he was like a pitbull clamped down on the throat of a malti-poo. So I started smacking the top of his head, telling him to stop. Like I’m going to try to pry his jaws apart with a finger? Are you out of your mind?
Then he picked up the other one and did it again! I placed the meat as far away from him as I could. I tossed in two packs of hot dogs. He bit through the plastic and severed one of them. Finally done with the meat, I bent down to pick up cream cheese and Connor was squealing again. So I offered him some yogurt. He picked out some Dora and Boots yogurt. Then we got some ice cream that he was very excited about.
OK, the home stretch, produce and then checkout. By this point I was pushing a cart that weighed roughly 150 pounds and it wasn’t cornering worth a damn. I had to turn as best I could and then pick up my end and irk it over for the full turn. I grabbed a cantaloupe and placed beside Connor in his seat to which he exclaimed “Ball!” He did not try to throw it, though, he was just happy to have a ball. Grabbed some strawberries and jalapenos and went to get a honeydew melon. There were three. I do not know how to pick out a good melon so I guessed. Connor got another ball, but he was too busy yelling about ‘manas’(bananas). I was picking stuff out for a recipe I’m making, grilled chicken with cucumber melon salsa, hence the melons. I also needed an English cucumber. I didn’t know the difference until I had to find one. They are about two feet long and individually wrapped, unlike the other cucumbers that are just loose.
By then I was hurrying so I grabbed a red onion, some garlic, and a bunch of manas. I only paused to pick out some hummus on the way to the checkout. I lurve hummus.
I started piling everything on top of the conveyor belt, trying to keep frozen stuff together. As I went I set aside the things that Connor had added to the haul when I had wheeled too close to the shelves; a Push Pop, mini gherkins, potato soup mix, fruit cocktail, and a can of succotash. The conveyor was full but I still had stuff in the cart. That’s when I looked up and noticed Connor was brandishing the cucumber, which he was calling a stick. I snatched it from him and then saw that the entire end of it had been bitten off; Connor chucked it into the buggy. The man behind us almost wet himself he thought it was so funny. All I could say was “You just can’t predict.” The guy said that he guessed Connor was hungry. I told him that after bites of raw ground beef and hot dogs I didn’t know how he could be. I unloaded the rest of the items and found the three inches of cucumber still encased in plastic so I stuffed it in my pocket.
We got everything paid for and headed for the door. The greeter asked if Connor wanted a sticker and he said yes, given his recent fascination with them. He got one Wal-Mart sticker for each hand. He told the lady thank you, bye bye, and see you later. Old ladies just love that crap. On the way out, we stopped to chat briefly with Susan and Sarah, Alleigh wasn’t very talkative, but it was getting late and she was probably tired.
I opened the trunk when we got to the car and started putting bags in. I asked Connor if he wanted his new band-aid to replace the old one and he said yes. So I put a new Transformers band-aid on his ant bite about which he had long forgotten. You couldn’t make out who was on the thing, but it made him happy. I stuck Connor in the car and wheeled around to the side to start putting bags in the backseat. I opened my door to turn on the car to cool it off and when I turned around I saw my cart full o’ food absconding into the parking lot where it was abruptly dodged by a black Chrysler 300. I ran and grabbed it before it could hit anything (else). I had to put the rest of the bags in the front seat where I could keep a foot hooked under it to keep it from running off.
Finally we got to leave. I called Dave ahead of time and told him he was in charge of getting the groceries in. He did. I put all the cold stuff up first and left the rest in bags on the floor while we stopped to eat. I had gotten Zaxby’s and during the drive-thru wait Connor had placed both Wal-Mart stickers over one eye and said “Pirate! Arrrr!”
I started eating. Connor ate a little and then ran around behind me to where the bags were. He rolled the honeydew melon out of its bag and proceeded to drive his little monster truck over it. He did fine with them in the store so I wasn’t worried. Then I heard what sounded like a melon hitting the floor and wouldn’t you know, that’s what it was. It cracked completely in half so I had to cut it up right then, divide out what I needed for the salsa, and freeze the rest. I have to cook that recipe tonight.
I got the rest of the groceries put up and walked into the living room where Dave sat with Sully in his lap. I stopped to look at the TV for a minute and put my hands in my pockets only to pull out the tip of a cucumber.
You just can’t predict.