I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
February 15, 2010
>”I wanna walk,” Bruiser announced as we entered Kroger. I sighed. We had just thirty minutes to get all the items on my grocery list before picking up Punky from school.
“Are you sure you don’t want to ride in my cart?” I asked enticingly. “Or in the really cool race car cart?”
Bruiser’s face crumpled. “I wanna walk!” he shouted. Once again, he’d skipped naptime. And it showed.
“Okay, okay,” I said. If there was one thing I wasn’t up for, it was another supermarket tantrum. “But promise me you’ll keep up.”
“I will, Mommy,” he said, trotting along beside me. And we were off.
“Mommy! Look!” Bruiser announced twenty feet into the grocery. “Blanas!”
“Okay,” I smiled. “Let’s get some.”
“Mommy look!” he shouted, moments later. “A orange!”
“We don’t need an orange,” I said. We continued on, past three produce men chatting beside the salad greens.
“Hello!” I said, smiling. Two of them smiled back and returned my greeting. The third one wouldn’t meet my gaze. Instead, he shot a pitying look at my son. “Dead to me,” I murmured at him without moving my lips.
“What?” one of the men asked.
“Celery!” I said. “I need some celery!”
We continued on our way.
“Mommy, look!” Bruiser stopped short. “Cuppy capes!”
“Yes, I see the cupcakes, Bruiser,” I said. “Come on.” He ran a few steps on his chubby legs. Then he stopped. “Mommy! Look!” he said, gazing round-eyed at a colorful display of boxes. “Look, Mommy!”
“Jell-O!” I said. “But we don’t need Jell-O! Come on.” He took a few more steps.
“Mommy! Look!” He stopped at a row of Spaghetti-Os. I gritted my teeth. At this rate, I’d never get everything on my list, and I had already narrowed it down to only include must-have items.
“Come on, Bruiser!” I shouted back to him. As I began to round the corner at the end of the aisle, I could hear him running behind me.
The only way this was going to work, I realized, was for me to move as fast as I could. Only then would Bruiser even attempt to keep up, because he certainly didn’t want to be left behind completely. And so, for the next thirty minutes I practically ran down the aisles, tossing items into my cart as I went. Bruiser continued to stop, pointing at Hallmark cards and coloring books and Pepsi cans and Scooby Doo fruit snacks, but if I got too far away, he’d drop what he was doing and chase after me.
I was getting my groceries, all right, but I didn’t exactly look like Mother of the Year. I realized this only after noticing an older man staring disapprovingly at us as I raced by.
“Mommy!” Bruiser was shouting from the other end of the aisle. “Wait for me, Mommy!” The man raised his eyebrows. Of course, he hadn’t seen Bruiser stubbornly lollygagging at the liquid soaps 30 seconds earlier and smiling wickedly as I repeatedly called his name. He saw only a frantic toddler stumbling after his mother, who appeared to be… running away from her son!!! As fast as she possibly could!
But I had only ten minutes left and so instead of putting on some sort of explanatory show for the man, I kept running. And Bruiser kept running after me.
A few minutes later, though, my son was sidetracked yet again, this time by a row of Pull-ups featuring enticing pictures of little boys that looked like potential new friends. “Mommy, look!” I heard from behind me as I stocked up on toddler wipes. “Look, Mommy! Look! Look! Look, Mommy!”
“I know!” I said brightly. “Pull-Ups! But now it’s time to get eggs, Bruiser! Come on!”
“Look!” he said, not moving. “Look!”
Mommy taking off in 3….
I headed down the empty aisle at breakneck speed and rounded the corner, out of Bruiser’s sight line. He was getting used to my strategy and I had to step up my game. What I hadn’t counted on was that Concerned Citizen would be waiting for me. As I breathlessly came to a stop, the man looked at me from where he stood among the yogurts and did an exaggerated double take.
“MOMMY!” I heard a wail from the aisle behind me.
Concerned Citizen glared. A moment later, Bruiser was at my side and the man frowned with deep disapproval. For a moment, I stared back at him, feeling his judgment sear into my soul. And then…
“Mommy! Look!” Bruiser had discovered the Bunny Bread. “Look! Mommy! Look! Look! Mommy! Look!”
I did look– down at my watch. In five minutes, I needed to be out in the parking lot. I looked back at the man, still staring at us and held my head high. Then I tightened my grip on the cart… and I took off, my son hot on my trail.
I’m expecting that visit from Children’s Services any day now.
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