Pushing the cart through the busy store, one is hanging on
the opposite end, trying to do a backbend to see upside down. One is leaping under my arms, through my legs
and around the corner, the third is talking a mile a minute crowding my mind
while another part of my mind is hanging on to “the list”: All they know is
they really don’t want to be shopping today. I only brought three children. I have a list, all of five things. Count them
1-2-3-4 and 5; Toilet paper, hair conditioner, sleepy time tea, milk, and deodorant
for two stinking teenage boys. They are always leaving their deodorant at
school where it is lifted.
Quickly now, oh no, someone said hello to Benjamin. He is painfully shy. He tries to look away,
they pursue, I do a little sideways thing to pull him behind me. Then his voice
erupts in a guttural,” Get to your mom.” The person look startled, I sigh and
explain his shyness: One item, the conditioner. Luckily, the deodorant is the
next isle over. But now Ben’s eyes are shifting from side to side suspiciously
viewing the crowd. In short order the deodorant joins the hair conditioner.
But wait, we are in Walmart and the toilet paper is the
whole way in the back of the store beside the fish tanks. Why that is a good
place for paper goods I have no idea, but off we go. As we pass the toys, Faith
begins her incessant chatter about what she is going to buy with the dollar she
forgot at home, garnered by collecting all the coins she could find on the
floor of the car, in the couch and anywhere else. Oh no, another person we kind
of know but not really, Ben is now in full scale alert mode. And here it is: “HI,
little guy.” It’s over. He is now screaming, I am holding him over my shoulder
as we bolt to the toilet paper. The largest size is 24 rolls, in it goes.
Someone in the house is currently thinking the standard dose of toilet paper is
a quarter roll a flush. I haven’t found the culprit yet, but until then, 24
rolls should last, maybe two weeks.
Ok two more. I put Ben in the cart since now he is
completely retreated into his shell. Milk is easy but then the tea. Faith wants
different tea than the sleepy time chamomile/mint tea. But we need that tea, so
I let her pick something else too. Now checkout.
We are in the row, Faith wants to buy something, “no hon,
you can’t you don’t have any money.” She always “forgets” it then I buy
something for her and the next time we go to the store she has the same elusive
dollar. “I am only buying things on my list,” I explain.
She says, “What about MY list.”
No answer is there…