Lately it seems as if I cannot keep the kitchen stocked, either the bread is moldy after 2 days, the tomatoes are rancid because I’ve forgotten I bought them, or we’re out of milk because my ability to consume liquids is matched only by giraffes and their 10 gallon a day chugability. After a not incredibly relaxing or pampered Mother’s Day* we stopped at the grocery store. Briar was asleep and Sean was only too happy to stay in the car, thereby avoiding what is my preternatural ability to attract the slow-moving aisle blockers, coupon clipping, price debaters and startlingly chatty checkers. I unbuckled Avery and plunked her on my hip as Sean leaned back for what looked like it would be a nice Sunday afternoon nap in the sun.

We headed toward the store, Avery squinting here eyes to the point of closing them as the sun shone down. Each time I tried to guide her face from the sun she would do a reverse jack knife and thrust her upper body backward, away from me and into the sun. Ok, then, blind yourself contentedly in my arms strong one. Done. I chuckled as I watched her adjust to the light in the store, no longer squinting, but happily craning her neck, the better to hone in on the flirtworthy. We quickly made our way through the produce section filling the cart with wholesome, brightly colored fruits and vegetables. All the while I thought that for each bag I filled with more precious than diamonds priced organic produce, another would go bad and make for a stinky $7 weight in next week’s garbage. Damnit, but a girl’s gotta try.

Pushing the cart I tried to remember what I came in for:
Got the fruit and the vegetables. Now get the Coffee Mate and milk. Beer, Corona Light. Ok, ooh, yes, I need mustard. The Coffee Mate, don’t forget the Coffee Mate. And balsamic vinegar. Here are the bars. Great. Ok, Coffee Mate. Oh, wait, jam. I’ll go get the jam. Ummm, ok, I think I need taco mix so let’s go down here. Shoot, going to need lime for the beer, let’s go back. What was the other thing?

If viewed from overhead I am pretty sure I’d look like I was having some sort of fit. 15 deliberate steps forward, 5 steps back, pivot to the right, stutter step left, then back and then move to head forward again only to dramatically swing the cart around and reverse direction. Again. And of course talking to myself.

Remembering to get the Coffee Mate by the skin of my teeth I steered us to the check out desperately hoping to quell the ineffective compulsion to attempt to inventory the kitchen from 5 miles away, a feat I cannot master when standing smack in the middle of the kitchen armed with pen, paper and a digital camera. Sigh.

Avery was babbling away as the woman in front of me predictably contested the price her meat rang up for, the price that was, by the way, plainly printed in bold black letters on the label. The checker was prattling on about how she doesn’t understand why anyone would bother buying all the non-fat, low sugar stuff since something like a globalistic terrorism occurrence was likely to do us all in before fatness or diabolics ever could. The bagger went about her job, placing one item after another in the bags, at times looking at the three bags she had going while holding one item in the air, a look of confusion on her face as to where she ought to put the next item. Luckily, her gum chewing seemed to jump start the synapses in her 16 year old brain every so often, ending the confusion. And then finally it was my turn.

I made the gleeful two steps up to the place of glory at the card swipe machine. Avery was tapping on buttons as the checker started her rant anew at the sight of my unlikely to be eaten before it began to rot organic produce. I smiled that smile you do when you realize you are completely at the mercy of the famously fickle supermarket gods. Then I smelled it. Poop. I looked at Avery smiling ang kicking and grimaced at the thought of getting to the car and finding an annoyed Sean tired of sitting in the car and an antsy Briar doing an Irish step dance on hi slast nerve.

“Hey guys, it’ll be just a sec, I have to change Avery.”

“Mommy I want out. I want OUT. Eeeeh, uhhhh, AAAAA. Briar wants out now!”

“Did’ja get bread?”




“Mommy I want out. I want bread! I NEED BREAD!”

And then the pathetic wimper of a not really a baby anymore sitting in her own poop. No, I just couldn’t handle that.

I leaned forward and peeked down the back of Avery’s pants. No poop. I did a surreptitious front of the pants peek for a sneaky, can’t see me from the back poop. Nothing. I leaned forward and sniffed, gas? No. Ok, someone else’s baby. I craned my neck. There were no babies for as far as my eye could see. I checked my shoes. Nothin’. Ok, maybe I imagined it I thought, but then it came again. It was most definitely poop and the facts I had were that it wasn’t me, it wasn’t my baby and everyone else around us looked like they had no business doing that kind of business. I swiped my card and made my way back to the car, grateful to be away from the smell, grateful to be able to unload and go.

*The Mother’s Day bit was punishment of my own choosing. Can someone explain the syndrome of decrying a big to-do and then, upon waking to no to-do having a big old pity party? I loathed every moment of my disappointment. Sean, being the amazing husband that he is, has not only forgiven me my insane self-contradictory ways, he has valiantly proposed a rain check celebration Friday.