Slim and Franke

Slim and Franke
Happy New Year

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


The children always went to the grocery store with me. Given a choice, I would have left them at home, but single parents do not have that luxury.

Actually this first event occurred while I was married to the children's father but he traveled a lot so I might as well have been a single parent even then. My son and daughter were 15 months apart. Tandy, my son, was about two and and Chelle, nine months old, when we strolled through the store doing about a month's worth of shopping. The baby rode in the basket while I pushed the basket with one hand and held onto my son with the other. Suddenly Tandy wanted in the overfilled basket and when I explained there was no room, he sat down in the aisle and began to kick and scream. That was it. He refused to budge or be quiet. What's a mother to do? I took his arm and drug him screaming down every aisle of the store. We got our shopping done and he dusted the store floors with his butt. Today someone would have turned me in for child abuse.

The next aisle story was a quickie. Chelle was about three when she heard me say pickles were on the list. I turned in time to see her lifting one of those jumbo jars of whole pickles. The jar was almost as big as Chelle. It slipped through her tiny little hands and pickle brine and huge, fat Vlasic's went tumbling all over the aisle.

Then they day came that Chelle has always describes as the most embarrassing moment of her life. She had to be about five and her brother six. Tandy had violent allergies to a certain red food dye and I had to watch his diet very carefully. That day at school he had managed to eat a cupcake at a friend's birthday party that was filled with the dreaded dye. It hit him in the grocery store and without warning, he began to spew in the grocery store aisle. I had to rush him outside and left little Chelle to -- you guessed it -- guard the vomit. When I returned to the store to take care of the mess, there stood my humiliated little girl waving people around the puddle and politely telling them "Be careful. My brother puked." "Watch your step. My brother puked."

The store manager assured us they would take care of the mess and we could just leave. We hear the booming announcement as we walked out, "CLEAN UP ON AISLE FIVE!"


  1. argh!!!! grocery store tantrums were the worst!!!! i well remember my days as a young mom, with my two year old son in the seat, and my seven year old pushing my baby in the umbrella stroller behind me...

  2. Grocery store tantrums and mistakes like the pickle jar are so embarrassing for the poor Moms ! I would have had to rely on the managers knowing it can - and does - happy to everyone with a toddler !

  3. Great stories....They brought back so many memories for me.

    Why was it that my perfect little angels only became devilish when in the grocery store?


  4. I think these public humiliations were compounded by the fact that we were so young and shy and insecure....
    Once, when I was distracted by my baby in the cart, my older two slipped off to tear open and sample three different large bags of candy.
    I had to buy the lot although I couldn't really afford them..

  5. I think we've all been through something similar. My husband traveled a lot too, but I managed to wait until he got home to go to the store. Trying to herd 3 of them through the store was too much for me!

  6. Thank the good Lord my children were ten years apart because if I had had two to watch I probably would have killed them. My daughter was the worst and would run from me up and down the aisles with me in hot pursuit.
    Then she would find a counter to hide behind and giggle.

    I got my revenge though; she had a daughter who did the same things to her.

  7. I remember the days of shopping with my two little ones in tow. I did not have to deal with a vomit episode, so I feel lucky. I DID have to deal with what all moms deal with.... "I want one of those!" "I'm hungry!" "I'm thirsty!" "I need to go potty!"
    You know... the usual.
    I miss those days and years. I would shrink my babies back and do it all over again in a heartbeat.

    One time while we were in a mall, three year old Taylor went over to an escalator and held on the moving hand rail on the OUTSIDE of the escalator. It began carrying him up while he was hanging, dangling on the outside of the escalator. I ran over and barely caught him by his feet and pulled him down and caught him. He could have ridden it all the way up, fallen and easily been hurt or killed. I still shutter when I think about that one.
    We recently were at that same mall in CA, and I showed him where it happened. NOW, they have these plastic things that block a kid from being able to grab on.
    LONG comment.

  8. How much do I love these stories? Let me count the ways: Tandy being pulled around the store was enough to make me almost pee my pants laughing, Little Chelle dropping pickles made me think of her independent nature, If the visual of Tandy sweeping the floor with his butt didn't do it then Chelle directing people around puke did. Gotta go to the bathroom now!

  9. Once, my 2 year old grandson, Andrew, was "Allowed" to go with the bigger boys to the video aisle of the supermarket.

    Well, poor Andrew got caught short and "POOPED" all over the floor.
    My other Grandson, Francis,ran for help and the manager sent two goofy teenage boys to clean it up.

    Those two boys got in a fistfight over who would clean it up and they were both fired. That left only Francis and other cousin, Ian , to take care of Andrew, who was walking all over the video department leaving a trail of poop wherever he went.

    Finally, the manager came and found me and asked me to tell the boys that the next time one of them had to poop they should STAND STILL.

    Andrew told the story himself for several years. Not because he was proud of doing his 'Business" in the supermarket but because he was so proud he was with the bigger boys and was allowed in the video aisle.

  10. All pretty embarrassing but not as bad as I thought at first when you mentioned the quickie in the grocery store. Yeah, I know how my mind works, my wife says the same thing you just said. But it's not true, I'm dirty but I'm NOT old.

  11. Annie,

    Just one more comment on disasters in the supermarket.

    Just before Easter this year, our local store had a display of boxes and boxes of fresh eggs all stacked up and ready to buy for coloring. The display was at least 5' tall and many dozens of eggs.

    Some little kid came down the aisle and crashed his Mom's cart right into the display and hundreds of eggs lay broken all over the floor.

    "Clean up on Aisle 6" was called and the kid who responded took one look at the wreckage, ran to the next aisle and shouted to the other stock boy." Yo,Eddie, your breakfast is ready."

    That kid took a look at the eggs,then at the other stock boy, and together they took off their aprons and left the store.....probably forever.

  12. Thanks for the laughs. I guess we all went thru stuff like that.

  13. Nancy is always good for a story or two. She has the best memory!!

  14. Thank you for literally making me laugh out loud! I can't stop laughing now and Mr Riot Kitty is wondering what's up!

    It reminds me of a time when I was little - I was probably 5 and my brother was 2. We walked into a huge toy store and as soon as we did, he threw up. Pink. Everywhere.

    And the first thing out of my mouth was, "Did he have Strawberry Quik?"

  15. Oh, the memories.... but I won't embarrass my kids by telling on them.

    This story, however, still make me giggle. There was the time I was at the store with my dad, who was wearing a large, tan trench coat, and he walked away for a moment. I was probably 3 at the time. I found him again by looking for the coat, took his hand and waited as he looked at razors. It was probably 5 minutes before I looked up to see a totally befuddled teenage boy looking down at me. I think he was about to turn me in to the manager. I sobbed all the way to my daddy, who couldn't stop laughing.

  16. my daughter would call every man with a beard daddy. My son said in a loud voice Jabba the Hut, Jabba The Hut near a guy that looked like Jabba, I was worried.

  17. Poor Chelle...and Tandy.

    When was in the grocery store a few years ago I rounded the corner of the cereal aisle to find a little boy standing in front of the sugary stuff moaning "what about ME!" while poking his little four year-old index finger on his forehead with a big tear running down his cheek. His mother stood at the end of the aisle looking unimpressed.

    Every time I feel sorry about myself for something ridiculous, poke at my forehead, moan "what about me," and giggle.