Saturday, May 15, 2010

Timing is Everything

As the moon waxes and wanes, so goes my impulse to write. I feel sudden urges, much like my toddler who is learning how it feels when he has to "go". And I do believe this is a learned behavior, a skill, he is developing.

Take yesterday. On a generous whim, I decided to let him make the decision whether he walked through the grocery store (as opposed to riding in the cart. A much safer enterprise. Less bolting. And broken ketchup bottles. Et cetera.) We piled up the stroller basket with items, my infant eagerly watching how this was to unfold. All was going great. We had probably, oh, 20 or 25 or 50 items in the basket including all the baby food jars.

Time to check out. I was nervous. With my attention focused on loading all the grocery items onto the little conveyor belt, my toddler could seize upon the opportunity to bolt back into the store ("I'M FREE!!! I'm FREEEEEEEEEE!")

But, I come from a strict "Don't Fire Until Fired Upon" Philosophy, so I held the whistle and waited patiently while the chatty, well-meaning grocery clerk checked out the person in front of me. Very. Very. Slowly.

The Chatty, Well-Meaning grocery clerk finally looked up and started checking me out.
Beep! Beep! She starts scanning the items, bagging them, chatting all the way. Beep! My toddler looks up at me, and starts crossing and criss-crossing his legs.

Uh oh.

"Mommy, does this store have a bathroom, do you think?"
Hoo-boy. "Yes, sweetheart, they definitely do. Do you need to... ?"
"Yes, I need to go potty." Legs criss-crossed again. I glance at the conveyor belt. Only 49 items to go.
He shifts his weight and looks up again. "Mommy, I need to make a 'whoa'." That is his word for #2.

We are trapped in the grocery store checkout line with 3 people behind us. And my toddler has to go make a whoa. Right then.

I rattle off the situation to the grocery clerk. With lightning fast reflexes, she speeds up to 100X her previous speed. I run my card through the thing, pick up my toddler, push my infant in the stroller to the back of the store; way, way back. Where he does go. And wow, did he have to go.

Then, (and I'm sweating now) I race back to the front of the store to find out what happened. Do other people do this? I wonder as I run past shelves of cereal boxes I forgot to buy. Am I the first? I think to myself, knowing I am not.

Finally, we make it. Back to the line. Back to back of the line. The Chatty, Well-meaning grocery clerk recognizes me and smiles.

"Did we make it?" She winks.

We made it.

2 comments:

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings May 16, 2010 at 6:30 PM  

This happened to me not long ago with my son...they have impecable timing no?

♥ Kathy May 21, 2010 at 8:29 AM  

did we make it? yep. :)

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