Friday, November 19, 2004

Mission Impossible

My mission on Sunday was simple: laundry, shopping, and of course play with my darling children. Because of reasons pertaining to national security I can only now finally disclose the events of Sunday November 14, 2004.

Stage 1
RE: Chipping away at the Mt. Everest of a laundry pile.
Status: Mission aborted.

On my third and final attempt to physically leave the childproofed family room that contained my children I managed to make it all the way to the laundry area. As I commenced the folding of the clothing ritual I heard a series of blood-curdling shrieks that actually shook the house and caused the dogs ears to bleed.

Naturally, I hurdled the three baby gates that separated me from the family room at an Olympic pace. My two-year old son Matthew was holding the torso of my daughter's favorite Mermaid Barbie doll in his right hand and the tail fin along with a bit of pink Mermaid Barbie doll hair in his left. As he showed me the carnage he stated "Oh-oh, bwoken." My daughter had sunk to her knees on the carpet and had begun flailing her arms dramatically over her head. "Why Mommy? Waahaahyy?!"

Obviously doing the laundry was proving to be to damn risky. I made the quick call to switch over to the main event of the day, the grocery shopping. It is amazing how a pot and a half of coffee mixed in with a little cabin fever will make you feel idiotically brave.

Stage 2
RE: Endure public humiliation while gathering foodstuff for my family.

I piled the kids into the car - the overall mood was eerily calm. We reached the Extra Foods supermarket incident free and all in high spirits. It wasn't until we were inside the store and had begun to proceed leisurely towards the produce aisle when things started to go horribly, horribly wrong.

Out of his peripheral vision, Matthew had spotted the cookie aisle. My futile efforts to distract him with my keys, cell phone, and every other item in my purse had been easily thwarted. Matthew's little body contorted and he began to bounce spastically and point his chubby arms in the cookie aisle direction. He soon realized that mom was still proceeding in the wrong direction away from the cookies. Matthew then upped the ante by trying to launch himself out of the little seat at the front of the shopping cart. During the struggle that ensued between us, his boots dropped to the floor with an ominous thud, thud. Because I was apparently not going to release him from the confines of his shopping car seat prison, the little devil spawn then decided to summon the dark side.

That is when the screaming began.

I was awed by the both the quality of pitch and timber of the sound that erupted like lava from out of the little mouth of my son. "WAAAANNNAAA COOOOKIE!"
I soon succumbed to the sheer loudness of the deafening noise and had to resort to desperate measures. Admitting defeat to the entire store, I opened a box of unpaid for cookies in front of the horrified group of onlookers who had gathered. I heard a few audible Tsks but the pregnant lady and her spouse who were picking out cake mix just stared at me, mouth agape. Welcome to your future people. That's right, take a good, long, hard look.

Immediately peace was restored.

I managed to actually pick out a few more items before I noticed the utter filth that was my post-cookie son. I am thoroughly amazed how one two year old, plus one Oreo cookie, plus the elapsed time of one minute, equals Armageddon. It seriously looked like he had been dunked in chocolate syrup and then gingerly rolled in coffee grounds. I am not sure how pieces of Oreo ended up in my hair, the little bugger must have flung cookie bits while I was reading the nutritional contents label on the pasta sauce. I retrieved my emergency stash of baby wipes from my purse and managed to swipe away most of the horror and pick the worst of the cookie globs out of my hair.

Shopping tentatively resumed.

The world came to an abrupt halt five minutes later when Emma shrieked a squeaky shriek that, once again, caused every other shopper in the vicinity to turn and gawk in our direction. Of course, they also kindly bestowed upon me a further assortment of disapproving glares. Reason for shriek: Emma had spotted the toy aisle. Immediately, Emma was as my side looking at me with those big, big, BIG eyes. I could deduce from that knowing look the she was sizing me up. As if on queue, with the skill and charisma of that guy who sells the spray-on-hair in a can on the shopping channel, Emma hit me with the dreaded sales pitch. "Mommmyyy? LOOK AT THIS!" The packaged doll she was holding up had a grotesquely sized head and appeared to be dressed up as a prostitute. I cringed. "MOM! These are AWESOME! Can I have this one little thing? PLEASE? Rebecca has one!" The fate of her childhood obviously depended entirely on this purchase. I would undoubtedly scar her for life if I were to deny her. She then closed her routine with a good rendition of the "All of my friends have them"number. I half expected the other shoppers to call out for an encore - her performance was that good. So basically, our entire mother daughter relationship was teetering on this life altering decision. Oddly enough, the decision was made quickly as I noticed that the price tag on the misshapen hooker displayed the outrageous price of $49.99.
Upon hearing the verdict, Emma stood there with a look of pure disbelief on her face. "You are SO mean and I wish you were not my mom!" She bellowed. The ladies standing by the fabric softener gasped. Emma was fast reaching my breaking point and I had had enough. I growled from between clenched teeth "Listen little girl, you had better go put back that doll pronto, MOMMY is at her wits end with you both right now. You had better..."

That is when the bomb dropped.

Emma, being at shopping cart height smelled it first. Then, the stench that oozed from out of my son (who had been unusually quite) wafted up and slapped me hard in the face. I felt my sinuses shrivel up inside my face and my eyes burned. I knew in my heart that Matthew had just delivered the mother of all poops. Indeed, the little guy looked quite pleased with himself and started acting downright giddy. The putrid aroma was, if anything, impressive. I would liken this nasal experience, that had rolled in like thick fog, to a slew of bloated skunk corpses piled high atop a mountain of garbage that had of course been festering in 90-degree heat for at least three weeks. I gagged. I dry heaved a few times and out of desperation tried to envision Joe Rogan from Fear Factor screaming that I could handle it and not to puke! Somehow I managed to regain my composure. It was then that Emma announced to the store in a voice loud enough that someone could have done a price check on it, "UGH! MOM! Matthew really stinks! P.U.!!"

Panicked, I began to aimlessly pull random items off the shelves and put them in my cart - as long as it met the criteria of edible I no longer cared. At one point I nearly passed out, but my instincts were telling me to keep moving, just keep moving. The group of people ahead of us began to anxiously sniff the air with disgusted and pinchy looking expressions on their faces. I overheard one elderly woman's plea of "Doris do you smell that? Dear LORD! That has to be worse than that time my Jimmy ate that jar of spoiled sauerkraut!" Unfortunately, I could not do anything to save the poor people who were caught in our wake. Caught unawares, they did not even have a fighting chance. When our tailwind blind sided them, they dropped like flies.

Finally, through the hazy stench, I glimpsed the checkout counter through squinty watery eyes. It was almost over. Thank God.

Let me just say that I have never in my life had a cashier at a grocery store be faster and more efficient then Extra Foods cashier Darla was when we oozed into her checkout lane. She sped through my produce punching in a flurry of item codes without hesitation, like it was her shot at the gold. I noticed during her rapid-fire grab and scan movements that she was leaning back in an attempt to conserve precious oxygen. Like the seasoned veteran she was, Darla risked only one quick breath per every five items bleeped across the scanner.

I was not overly surprised when neither Darla the cashier, nor the James the bag boy extended to me a token Have a nice day or offer me a hand out with my groceries. The bastards.

Status: Mission completed - casualties unknown.


Blogger The Malcontent said...

Hilarious! If you don't read Heather Armstrong's blog,, you might want to start. I think you are kindred spirits.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Lexagirl said...

Aw thank you & yes, I read dooce - my lord, the whole internet is in love with that woman! Her daily photos are a lot of fun. (They also remind me how much my camera sucks EACH and EVERY time she posts another one - but whatever...)

9:07 PM  

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