Clean Up In Aisle 5

Today was just one of those blah days. The toddler getting up at 4:45 a.m. pretty much set the tone. We finally fell back to sleep, only to OVER-sleep and have to do the mad dash to get to school in time. And for some reason my hair today is so flat, it looks painted on. I’m bloated, cranky and feeling frumpy.

Driving home in the rain from preschool drop off, I pulled up beside a car at a stop sign. I glanced over to see a man, about my age, crying behind the wheel. It startled me. I shudder to think what horrible event has occurred in his life to cause him such grief. I’ve been thinking about him all day.

In the afternoon I went out to buy a few groceries. About 2 minutes in, the toddler started yelling. I caved and bought her a juice box which she promptly squeezed, dousing me with sticky apple juice. I reprimanded her sharply and looked up to see a woman, giving me a disapproving stare. I wanted to ram her in the shins with my cart.

I continued to shop, scanning the aisles wildly for the packet of Ranch Dip I needed for a recipe. I looked in the salad dressing aisle. No powdered ranch mix. The toddler was practically hoarse from screaming so to speed things up, I asked a girl in a blue smock for help. “Ranch dip? Ya. No. I have no idea where that is. I’m from bakery.” Thanks. So very helpful.

As I headed toward the checkout I heard a woman speaking to her son. I recognized her voice immediately. It took a moment to place her, but she was definitely a girl I worked with 20 years ago. On any other day, I would’ve gone up to her and asked what she had been up to? Any other day. Today, because of my pancake hair, the scary shadows under my eyes, my too-tight pants and unruly child…I kept walking. I am annoyed at myself for doing that. I want a do-over. Now I’ll never know how her life turned out.

I lined up at the cashier, bypassing the self-checkout. The toddler and I always choose the self-check. She LOVES using the scanner and naming the various things we’re buying. It just wasn’t in me today. The toddler added a pack of gum, a box of razors and a lighter to the cart. I’m wise to her tricks however and spotted these additions immediately and put them back on the shelf (I could ream off a dozen past items I did NOT catch in time). I hate those little dinky trinkets that line the check-out aisle to temp little fingers. Another great reason to go through the self checkout!

As I bagged the groceries, I eavesdropped on the angry man behind me complaining to the Customer Service Manager about some moldy food item he was trying to return. He was in quite a state. The toddler even stopped pilfering the chocolate bars, hair elastics and batteries to listen in. And then, before I could stop her, she reached over, dug her tiny hand into the man’s back pocket and pulled the silky lining out. Then she gave his right bum cheek a little pat. He turned around and looked at her and then at me. “So, she’s a pick-pocket,” I told him straight faced and shrugged my shoulders. I kept bagging my groceries. He burst out laughing and so did the formerly terse store manager. Suddenly, my day was a little less blah…

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  • Oh my, I laughed at the "patting his bum cheek" business. Oh, hello, my daughter is patting your butt, you don't mind, right? Good thing she's cute! tee hee.

    Funny how you can go from wanting to pull your hair out to laughing. Totally sums up what being a mom is all about. Hair-pulling and bum-patting!

  • I am trying to be a better blogger. Meaning: posting to my blog more often, and commenting on blog posts I read an enjoy.
    I'm thinking that I need to add the direct link to this post to my favorites, just for those days when everything seems to go wrong.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

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