Thursday, June 30, 2011

Apple Core...Baltimore...Whose Your Friend...?

Last night, I went to Wal Mart to pick up a few things and after I wandered around the store picking up this item and that do dad, I decided that I had what I needed and then headed for the checkout. But before I got to the checkout, I thought, “Oh, my family needs some apples,” and so I went to inspect the produce section. Now I don’t know about your Wal Mart, but our Wal Mart’s produce leaves a bit to be desired. It usually looks like that really gaudy, flower-print shirt that’s always on the clearance rack, and has been sitting there so long that its all wrinkly, and a tad dirty from being dropped on the floor and stepped on so many times. Lord only knows how many people have handled it.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got to the apples and saw a bright, shiny display of Macintosh apples just waiting to be bagged up and taken home. Macintosh apples are the best. They’re super sweet with a nice crisp peel, and they are small which means that when Aaron wants to eat an apple, he will actually eat the whole thing. But small is important in this story for another reason. Let’s press on, shall we?

I believe that they were listed at $1.29 per pound. So I loaded up a bag and moved to the checkout. I did not count the apples as I placed them into the bag because apples are sold by the pound. This….is also important.

When I got to the register, let’s just say that I was unsure about the cashier’s checker-outer capabilities. But since it was a short line I decided, “Eh, how bad can it be,” and I unloaded my stuff onto the conveyer belt. He seemed to have a handle on things. He moved each item across the scanner thingy. He placed each item in the bag. All is well, but then he got to the apples…..

Doofy Cashier: Uh, how many apples do you have?
Me: I really don’t know, but apples are sold by the pound so…”
Doofy Cashier: Yeah, but how many do you have?
Me: I really don’t know, but…”

So he rips open my bag of apples and starts taking each one out of the bag and placing it on the conveyer belt. “What in the hell is this guy doing,” I thought as I exchanged glances with the lady behind me. Then he stops taking them out and seems to be completely confused and is just standing there with his filthy hands all over my beautiful apples. My mouth was hanging open and I wanted to scream, “STOP TOUCHING MY APPLES,” but I was mesmerized by the train wreck in front of me and couldn’t say anything.

Finally, he loads the apples back into the bag and presses a few buttons and up pops the price on the screen...twenty-three dollars and some odd cents.

Me: Is that $23 for that bag of apples.
Doofy Cashier: Uh, yeah.
Me: Well what is that seventeen there on the screen? There isn’t seventeen pounds of apples there?
Doofy Cashier: Oh, well that’s just something that we type in.
Me: ?????.........I blankly looked over at the lady behind me…
Lady Behind Me: That would mean that each apple weighed over a pound.
Me: I don’t what them then. Not for twenty-three dollars.

And so he put my beautiful apples under his register and finished ringing up my stuff. I paid and left with no apples. After I got into the car I started second guessing myself and wondered if maybe I was the idiot, but after a bit of Googling, I found that an average supermarket apple weighs 3.5 ounces. There are 16 ounces in a pound. If I had 17 apples that weighed 3.5 ounces each, I would have had 59.5 ounces of apples or 3.7 pounds. 3.7 pounds at $1.29 a pound, would be $4.77, NOT $23.

Now I have no apples and my head hurts from all of the math. Stupid Wal Mart!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Cootie Coated Labyrinth of Doom AKA: McDonalds Play Place

So, like I mentioned the other day, Wednesday was Elyse’s third birthday. In the morning, we went to their friend Casey’s house where the kids had a blast jumping in Casey’s little pool, playing in the sandbox, and hurling water balloons at each other. After a few hours it was time to leave and on the way home we decided to stop at Mc Donald’s for lunch. Well, I wanted to stop at the grocery store first to pick up Elyse’s birthday cupcakes and then run through the drive thru, but Aaron and his expert negotiating skills convinced me that we should go into Mc Donald’s to eat, “cause you know Mom, it IS Elyse’s birthday and all.” Thanks for the guilt trip Aaron : )

Anyway, I reluctantly pulled into a parking spot and went over the usual rules and regulations of eating in a public place with Mommy who is currently without backup and emotionally fragile. They both agreed that they would listen and behave, and so with a deep breath, we clasped hands and headed for Mickie D’s.

Now, Aaron has been asking to eat in the Playplace for quite some time. In his whole entire six and a half years of life I have let him eat in there once. I know, I know, Mommy’s a big ole bitch, but the thoughts of what could be lurking in those brightly colored, plastic tubes is the stuff that nightmares are made of. I once read an article about how filthy it is in those things and that besides a host of other germs, they have even found poo in some of them. POO!!!! Human feces!!!! Holy crap… literally.

But again, Aaron and his expertly honed negotiating skills pulled the birthday card one more time and got me to take them to the Playplace to eat. It is worth mentioning here that Elyse had never been in there. So we get inside and get situated to start eating and I have to admit that I was amazed at the restraint that they were able to muster while sitting there eating their nuggets. Their eyes were all sparkly and glazed over. Their minds were swirling with excitement while they took in every inch of the plastic monstrosity that sat before them, but somehow they held it together and ate their lunch first. I was incredibly proud of them for that and praised them for it repeatedly.

Once they had eaten their lunch, they asked me if they could go play. I pushed down the urge to suit them up in full on HAZMAT gear and told them to go have fun. In a flash they were gone; Aaron running ahead and Elyse following closely behind him. I checked my phone to see where we stood on time and to start counting down the hour that I was going to allow for the total and complete contamination. Maybe I should call the pediatrician for a round of antibiotics right now.

Less than five minutes in I heard Elyse screaming. I ran over to the Playplace just in time to see her crawling out of the opening, tears pouring down her cheeks. Aaron was close behind and he informed me that “some kid” hit Elyse. Now I’m not sure how true this is, but Elyse was so hysterical that I couldn’t get anything out of her, so I just took Aaron’s word for it and went to sit down with Elyse to plot revenge console my child.

I could tell that it was killing her to not be inside with her brother, and so after a few minutes I asked her if she wanted to go back inside. She shook her head yes and started for the tunnel. She set one foot inside and started sobbing again. Back to the table we went. By this time, Aaron came back out to check on his baby sister which she completely ate up because in her eyes he is all that and then some. He hugged her and then ran back inside. Aaron’s disappearance sparked another round of tears. It seemed like in her three year old head, once Aaron was inside, he was transported to another dimension and would never be heard from again. At least that’s what the look of total terror plastered all over her face suggested.

She got it together and once again made her way to the tunnel to find her brother. This time she made it through a few obstacles before she started to melt down. This went on for a long, long time. She would go in, sob, and come out. Aaron would wave to her from a tower high up in the top of the maze to prove that he still existed and when he went out of site, she would sob.

Finally, I decided that we had had more than enough and set about to start the process of leaving. Aaron was fantastic and came right out when I asked him too. I bet that total compliance is a side effect from whatever he contracted while inside those tunnels.

We said so long to the Playplace and went to get the cupcakes.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Dance

There are moments in life that you know you will remember forever. There are the obvious ones like the day that you get married or the birth of your children, but then there are the others. The ones that you had no idea were about to happen, but when they do, time seems different somehow. The rest of the picture gets fuzzy while you focus on that moment. Almost like your brain knows that this is special and is something that you are going to want to look back on someday.

Last night was one of those moments.

Everyone had gone home after celebrating Elyse’s third birthday. Elyse was fresh out of the tub and was sporting one of her brand new nightgowns from Aunt G and Uncle D. Her hair was still damp, and she was playing with the Disney Princess cd player that Aaron had gotten for her. As she listened to the music and bopped around to “Be Our Guest” and other Princess favorites, she asked her daddy to dance with her.

I stopped cleaning up the party mess and just watched the two of them bouncing back and forth. Mike spun her around and she twirled like a little ballerina. What caught me the most, more than anything else was the way that she looked at him; those sweet, sparkly blue eyes, her round little baby cheeks, and her hair still wet from the bath. He is her hero; it was written all over her smile.

I grabbed the video camera and caught some of it on tape. While I stood there watching them I was overwhelmed with emotion and I started welling up with tears. It was impossible not to imagine a day, many years from now when the two of them will dance together, but instead of her little Hello Kitty nightgown, she will be wearing a wedding gown. She won’t have just come from her bath, but will have spent hours preparing for the most important day of her life. Many things will have changed by then, but the one constant will be the way that she will look at him because even though daddy’s little girl eventually grows up, he never stops being her hero.

I could have watched them forever, but I stopped taping and went on to finish cleaning up. Without a doubt, that was one of those moments. I will remember the two of them dancing in our living room for the rest of my life, and when the day comes that she asks her daddy to dance with her at her wedding, it will be hard to watch them and not see the little girl in the Hello Kitty nightgown dancing with her daddy on her third birthday.