I wake up each morning expecting a normal day. I’m an average person, living an average life, so my days should unfold routinely, largely because I make them so. I am a creature of habit but every now and then destiny messes with my head.

On one such morning I awoke totally unaware of what my day held in store for me, but clearly my guardian angels, God, destiny, somebody/anybody decided to wreak havoc with my life.

After getting my two eldest children off to school, I pack up my youngest, an adorable 18 month old boy, (my darling angel baby whom I love, even though he was a horrendous barfer) and head off to the grocery store. I get a prime parking spot and the place is empty, perfect! This day is starting off well.

Plop my #1 son into the seat of the cart and off I go. As I scan the racks of fresh loaves of bread, I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn to see an elderly Asian woman, who says, “scuse me lady, that your baby eating those donuts?”  I turn to find my darling has done a face plant in a display of chocolate donuts  (who makes these displays accessible from a grocery cart?) Mortified I peel the 6 pack of donuts off his face noting he’s already ingested half the pack, including plastic wrap (that’ll be pretty next diaper change) and sadly I see he’s ‘man-handled’ another 2 packages. Great, guess we’re buying those. I fumble in my purse for tissue to clean the chocolate off his face. A kind faced young man, obviously an employee, hands me a paper towel, which I gratefully accept. It’s dry and does little, but beggars can’t be choosers, and the kid was trying to be nice. That stuff is sticky and it’s there to stay until bath time. Ok, movin’ on.

Regaining my composure I head to produce. (after tightly strapping the seatbelt in the grocery cart to my kid, and wedging my purse in beside to minimize mobility)

I look over the veggies, grope a few (not sure why, but I’ve seen it on tv) and finally reach in for my selection, a nice robust bunch of carrots,,,, just as the sprinklers come on. (That’s ok, my face needed a good cleansing) Stepping back to wipe off my face I hear several ‘thuds’ close by. It appears my ‘little darling’ managed to reach a display of cantaloupes and sent several tumbling across the aisle. Some cracked, making a lovely mess. A couple just rolled across the floor so I quickly kicked them under the booth to avoid notice. Woulda worked too, if I hadn’t glanced up and seen the produce guy standing there watching me…… hold on,,,,, it’s same kid who helped me in the bakery. (looking not so kind this time) Rats, ok, mildly embarrassed. Movin’ on.

Strapping my ‘little brat’ tighter into the cart, I mosey on to institutional products, laundry soap, softener, etc.  Surely to God, I’m safe here. I glance around and am relieved to see I am alone in the aisle and my child is engrossed in the workings of his zipper. (should I be worried?)  I scan the options for laundry soap – why is there such a variance in price? While I read the labels to see what they do and don’t do for my clothes (I’m nothing if not diligent) I hear yet another ‘thud’ and my heart sinks. You got it. My ‘little burden’ managed to reach a bottle of softener, and how he pulled it off the shelf is still a mystery. Nevertheless, it hit the floor, splattering softener everywhere.  (Ok, is it not the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure the lid is tightly closed?) I look up to see the same kid (looking totally annoyed now) heading toward me, mop and bucket in tow, and I could swear I heard him muttering something. I utter my apologies, shrug helplessly, and rush out of the aisle cursing my husband (because, oh no, two isn’t enough, had to go for the boy)

Believe it or not, I actually managed to get through the balance of my shop without incident and rolled up to the cashier, finally relaxing. We load everything onto the gurney, she bags, chats about how cute my baby is, blah, blah, blah, and she gives me my total. I reach for my purse only to find it’s empty. When I used it to wedge my  little hellian into the cart seat, I never imagined he’d open it. (I was just happy he was quiet)

Worried that my wallet is somewhere out there, and hugely embarrassed that I can’t pay, now (until I find  my wallet) I rush to explain what happened and as I do, I note that her ‘bagging boy’ is the same employee who’d witnessed each of my episodes. (what is this kid, spiderman? Could he be stalking me? Or maybe the grocery police searching for wayward toddlers? Ok,  I have to admit, at this point I would’ve gratefully turned mine in) Thankfully enough, the two see my anguish, and to avoid a scene (which I was prepared to provide) they get on their internal intercom to get help finding the contents of my purse.

Mercifully someone found my wallet in produce (amidst the cantaloupes) and turned it in. Relieved that my wallet was in tact (but lamenting the loss of my favourite # 285 “Pinkelicious” lipstick which remains at large) I pay my bill and hastily exit the store (much to the relief of the staff)

I make it to the car uneventfully, hastily load my groceries into the trunk, return the cart, and heave a final sigh of relief that I managed to get through the ordeal of the morning without further incident.  I take a few deep breaths to calm my rattled nerves and turn on the radio. Humming along with Anne Murray I roll into my turn exiting the parking lot and there out of the corner of my eye I see a toddler sobbing in the seat of a grocery cart in the cart corral.  Rats!

Some days just aren’t worth navigating!

baby in grocery cart

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