The Family Shopping Trip

I woke up this morning feeling slightly less plagued by the raging viral plague of death than I have for the past few days, feeling so well in fact that I even showered, wore clothes (of a sort), went to the gym and did some grocery shopping. It was a glorious day to be half alive again.

There was only one problem with today. The sun was shining. That might sound like a good thing but not to a family of little vampires. My kids are so used to the cloudiness of the northwest that on bright days like today Magoo walks around with his eyes squidged shut and one hand out in front of him yelling at me, “The sun is ON! Turn it OFF! Turn it OFF!” His little pale face winces and he slams into things repeatedly because he refuses to open his eyes.

Today as we walked out of the gym, he clutched his beloved Dixie cup of goldfish, the kind of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers from Costco that they give out at the gym that taste so much better than the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers from Costco that I have at home. The sun was on and so was Magoo’s self-induced blindness. After a few steps he tripped over an air pocket or more likely a sunbeam and fell flat on his face where he lay immobile except for his pouring tears and quivering lip. I ran over.

Me: Are you okay, buddy? Where does it hurt?

Magoo: My… my… my… MY WISHIES!!!!!

Laylee: It’s too late buddy. They’re all covered in GERMS!

Me [picking the crackers up off the concrete and dusting them on my stretch pants]: Nope. I think we caught them just in time. Look. These wishies are perfect!

Magoo [pointing to the last goldfish, lying under a car tire]: But I want THAT ONE!!!!

Me [hesitating and looking at Laylee’s raised eyebrows]: Uhhh… I think that one’s all covered in germs.

He clutched my hand and his rescued wishies and hobbled to the car sniffling and catching his breath. Oh the HUMANITY.

Then this evening we headed out to the grocery store, Laylee dressed in a lovely sheer pink flowing dance skirt over stretch pants a different shade of pink and a floral shirt in yet another shade of the beloved color. She topped this ensemble off with a pink parka, pink light up shoes and she’s never looked lovelier.

As we were headed into the store, she tripped on her skirt in the center of the driving lane of the parking lot, went down on her knee and started wailing like a banshee who’s just banged her knee on the pavement and is now screaming about it while blowing an air horn. I tried to calm her but she would not be calmed. I tried to stand her up but her legs were like limp painfully-loud noodles. I tried to carry her but I was holding a purse and my cloth grocery bags (did I mention I’m helping Al Gore save the planet?) and Magoo’s hand and she’s too darn heavy. And the screaming. So I did the only thing I could think of, which was to attempt to frighten her.

“Laylee get up! We’re right in the middle of the road and some car’s gonna come along and smash us flat if we don’t move!”

At which point she made no reaction at all but Magoo, well Magoo crumpled into a heap on the ground, dropped his lower lip farther than it had any business being dropped and joined in bawling a minor third below Laylee’s remarkable bellow. Tears were streaming down his face as he choked out, “I NO WANNA GET SMOOSHED!” He would not budge.

So I tried to pick them both up, failed miserably and then did the only thing I could do, knelt down right there, dropped my purse, stroked their hair, looked for cars and laughed my guts out. Literally. I no longer have any guts.

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