It wasn’t the best day. Just prior to bedtime, M couldn’t understand why J and I were so angry about how she’d just picked up a piece of J’s ceramic tea set and threw it up and down until it hit the ceiling and shattered. Like, what’s the big deal? Sorry.
Prior to that, we had a tragic dinner of Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese. Now, I usually cook. And it has a shocking amount of fat and sodium. But so shocking, really, that I figured that we’d like it. I actually put the plates down in front of the girls while I was still chatting with my sister on the phone, and by the time I’d hung up and sat down, they were moving on to dessert.
“Wow,” I said, “It wasn’t a hit, huh?”
M yelled from the kitchen, where she was rummaging in the freezer: “It wasn’t as good as Annie’s!”
Well, yeah, okay, that was their favorite. Maybe they were just anti-homemade style? “Was it as good as [my anonymous friend]’s?”
“Was it as good as. . .”
“Huh,” I mutter, “Sounds like it’s really not as good as anything. . . .”
“Oh, no,” M calls. And I really think that she was trying to cheer me up with this one, “It’s way better than puke!” And so I couldn’t help myself: I had to stop laughing before I could reprimand her on language. We appear to be entering a rudeness phase. Super-awesome.
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Whatever possessed me to purchase a frozen mac ‘n’ cheese dinner in the first place, you might wonder? Well, you already knew from my whining yesterday that Cute W will be out of town all week. So here’s what happens today: When I wake up, M has a fever (along with some serious stuffiness). Which means no school, plus a cancellation for J’s first piano lesson and an eye appointment for me, and oh, by the way, do I really want to schlep the sick kid to the grocery store for the weekly trip? Cute W needed to leave in about an hour. I run for the car.
Okay, first of all, seriously, when is the Children’s Motrin coming back? I love that stuff. My kids love that stuff. Seriously, it makes them well again. Sometimes I have to withhold it just so they’ll settle down and act sick already. For some reason they’re okay with the taste, too. I spent quite a bit of time hemming and hawing in the medicine aisle and finally picked up a Price Chopper generic of Motrin (incidentally, it seemed to fool her, in terms of both flavor and fever reduction, so that‘s good).
I continue stocking up with tools of desperation, although my progress is slow because it’s not my usual trip-for-the-week store, so I’m disoriented. Plus, I wake up hungry every morning, and I haven’t had my breakfast, so I’m beginning to get grouchy.
Eventually, I make it to the check out, and since it is still not yet 8 am, they have one cashier available in the whole dang store. And then, lined up behind me, there are three different men, each with one item that is in no way necessary for their survival. Think, like, crappy danish. The guy directly behind me asks to cut in front of me and I say yes, because I am polite a wimp kind a doormat. I don’t know why, I just let him because. And then, I passive-aggressively walk up to the customer service managers who are just standing around and say, “You really need to open a new register, because I’ve got people behind me with one thing but I really need to check out.” W’s got to leave any minute , M is languishing on the couch, J barely got a hello this morning, and I am getting the hunger-shakes. But I am ignored, and as I turn back to my place, the second guy has already scooted forward ahead of me. And by the time the third guy asks me if I mind if he goes ahead, I’m so speechless that three adults in a row could walk by the multiple medicine bottles, gallons of juice, & frozen dinners in my cart and not sense that I was on an Emergency Mission. And so I start to cry right there in the check out line.
How’s that for an awesome start to the day?
Anyway, as I was trying to decide whether or not to share this story, it occurred to me that someone who knew me, or–let’s face it–any other mom who peeked into my cart with these items would have realized that I was having a bad day and needed a little additional consideration. And then I started thinking about what else could be in a cart that would indicate that this person is having a bad day and could use some extra kindness? So I started to think about my personal Grocery Cart From Hell. For me, I think that, along with the medicine, juice, and crappy frozen food, it might be:
- Three gallons of ice cream (1 gallon is excellent; 3 gallons indicates A Problem)
- Tampons (although I am a loyal Diva)
- Lansinoh cream
- Poster board (the kind required for kid’s school projects)
- Mouse traps
- Yeast infection cream
- Pullups size XXL
Gosh, when I think in terms of how bad it could have been, I’m feeling quite happy with my life of ease. Anyone have anything else that they’d throw in the cart?