Clean Up In Aisle 5—Turning A Bad Day Around

Today was just one of those days where you just feel like you’re going bananas. The kiddo 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 spray painted on. I’m bloated, and cranky and feeling frumpy AF.

Driving home in the rain post school drop off, I pulled up beside a car at a stop sign. I glanced over to see a man clinging to the steering wheel, crying. It startled me. What horrible event occurred in his life to cause him such grief? I’ve been thinking about him all day. I can’t stop. 

After school I dragged myself out to buy a few groceries. I had a tired little kid with me so about two minutes in she started begging to ride in the cart. So I heaved her in. Thirty seconds later, she wanted out. So I hauled her back out. She was completely out of sorts so I caved and bought a bag of goldfish crackers for her to nibble while we shopped.

Of course she needed a juice box to go with the “they’re dry and scratchy in my neck” crackers. The second I inserted the straw she promptly squeezed the box, dousing me with sticky apple juice. I reprimanded her sharply and then looked up to see a woman, giving me a disapproving stare. I considered ramming her in the shins with my cart.

Scanning the aisles for the packet of Ranch Dip I needed for a recipe. I looked in the salad dressing aisle. No powdered ranch mix. The sleepy kid was two sips away from an empty juice box so to speed things up, I asked a clerk in a blue smock for help. “Ranch dip? Nope. I have no idea where that is. I’m from bakery.”

Thanks lady. So very helpful.

As we 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 twenty years ago. On any other day, I would’ve gone up to her and asked what she had been up to?

Any other day, but, today.

Because of my pancake hair, the scary shadows under my eyes, the sticky juice pants and an 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.

Does she live near here? Where does she work. Does she have other kids? And of course, I’m still thinking about that poor sad man. 

I lined up at the cashier, bypassing the self-checkout. We always choose the self-check. My daughter is all about the scanner and naming the various things we’re buying. It just wasn’t in me today though. When she thought I was looking she added a pack of gum, a box of razors, and a BBQ lighter to the cart.

Wise to her tricks, I 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. Need any cough drops? 

As I bagged the groceries, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on the very angry man behind me complaining to the Customer Service Manager about some mouldy food item he was trying to return. He was in quite a state. The kiddo even stopped pilfering the chocolate bars, hair elastics and batteries to listen in.

Before I could stop her, she reached over, dug her tiny hand into the man’s back pocket and gently pulled out the silky lining. Then she gave his right bum cheek a little pat, pat, pat. He spun around and looked at her and then at me.

“Uh, that wasn’t me!! It was her!” And then in a more hushed tone, “She’s a pick-pocket.” I told him straight faced and shrugged my shoulders while I kept bagging my groceries.

He burst out laughing and so did the somewhat shaken store manager.

And suddenly, my bad day wasn’t quite so bad anymore. 


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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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