Scenes from a Memorial Day Weekend

by Jen on May 26, 2009

in Lowering the bar for mothers everywhere

Saturday morning I found myself at the grocery store with both kids in tow. We had already made a stop at Target, since I had errands that could not be put off any further. I was not looking forward to even the small amount of grocery shopping I needed to do, but we were going to a picnic later that day and I had to pick up the ingredients for the dishes I was taking. The picnic had kind of snuck up on me, because we’ve only been going to the same picnic on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend for the last five years. So, you know, it was kind of a surprise. You can totally see how I was unprepared, right?

Apparently my local grocery store thought, hey, it’s the Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend… nobody is going to be grocery shopping, because they had about two registers open. While I waited in line for what seemed like the amount of time it would take me to gestate and birth a third child, I juggled my increasingly unhappy 11¾ month old (hey… it’s not his birthday yet), trying to keep him from yelling his displeasure at not being allowed to demonstrate his new, and as yet unsteady, walking skills. I was please that Monk continued to remain cooperative. He’d been a peach at Target and just as helpful at the grocery store, so I had allowed him to pick out a treat. He chose a cookie. The last cookie with sprinkles that the bakery had left. I bet some of you can sense the foreshadowing here, no?

After checking out, safely shepherding a cart and two small children through the busy parking lot, wrestling the kids and the groceries into the hot car, I rifled through the bags looking for the cookie. No cookie. I checked all four bags again. Nope. A desperate, praying, third time still yielded no cookie.

Fuuuuuuck. Meeeeeeeee.

There was no way I could get out of going back into the store. From the moment we’d reached the car, Monk had been asking for his cookie. To try to convince him to pass on it would only convince him that I was seriously full of shit when it came to the promises I made.

Back at the register, I asked the cashier and bagger for the cookie which had apparently not made it into my bags. (Since I’d purchase about twenty items that had been placed in four bags, I can totally see how it got lost.) They both swore that they had bagged it, even after my reassurances that I had checked the bags three times. I’m sure my sweaty, harried demeanor and two whining children convinced them I was reliable. (The entire time, Monk kept asking, “Where’s my cookie with sprinkles please?” It was both as comical and as poignant as to seem staged.)

“I checked the bags three times already, but I will go out and check again just to satisfy you. But to let you know, when there’s no cookie there, which I’m sure there’s not, I’ll be back. Because I promised him that cookie.”

Back at the car, again, I went through every bag. No. Fucking. Cookie. Sweatier and angrier than before, I emptied the four bags and carried them back into the store. The cashier and bagger at the aisle where I’d checked out had cowardly abandoned their post!

At the customer service desk, I apologized in advance to the manager for what I expected would be my attitude, then relayed the story and, one at a time, laid my empty bags on the counter. “No cookie.” I smiled, a false and angry smile.

Then I said, “I’m going to go back to the bakery and have them give him another cookie. Not one with sprinkles, because it was the last one. Then I’m going to leave. Thank you.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Later that day as the whole family drive to the picnic, I started to tell the Hub about a separate issue at the register. I’d already told him about the cookie incident.

“So the cashier, the same one that fucked us on the c-o-o-k-i-e?” I began.

“I like how you said ‘fuck’ but spelled ‘cookie’ in that sentence,” he said.

“Hey, which word would you expect the 3-year-old in the backseat to notice? I think I know pretty well which words are apt to cause a mom the most grief!”

* * * * * * * * * *

On the drive home from the picnic, Monk began to tell us a story about playing with the other kids that day.

“Hey, Mommy, you know those fucking kids at the party?”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenni May 26, 2009 at 2:54 pm

You are like a hero for getting two errands done w/the kids. And I be those fuckers ate Monk’s cookie. And using the F word in context at three? Impressive.

2 ragtopday May 26, 2009 at 6:11 pm

OMG – I am laughing with you, and crying with you. You are a MUCH better mother than me though, because I would have given up on the cookie after the first pass through the bags, and promised him M&M's or ice cream or anything else I knew I could provide on short notice.

Also, love your husband's spelling observation, since that was my question as I was reading it (though your explanation makes perfect sense, even though I probably would have spelled both words). Until we get to Monk's story – rich!

Soooo, what food did you take to the party?

3 jen @ negative lane May 29, 2009 at 8:20 am

I couldn’t give up on the cookie because we had nothing of equal value to substitute at home. I <>really<> needed to go grocery shopping.

As for what I took to the picnic, nothing exciting. I made brownies (easy, but always a hit!) and a cheese/pepperoni/cracker tray.

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