Monday, May 3, 2010

grocery shopping

Julia and I were at the grocery store, and there was a big photo of Jamie Lee Curtis beside some book she wrote.

Julia noticed it, "Oh Mom, look! It's that girl who stars in Activia."

I said, "Yeah, she's a great girl."

Jamie, Jamie, Jamie, all the things you're famous for, and my child thinks you star in Activia.

In the last couple years it's become easy to grocery shop. The kids have gotten civilized. There was a time that seemed only a distant dream, but time has prevailed.

two people who were not fun to shop with

A few years ago when I was in line with the three little ones, Julia in the seat and Tim and Kari strapped to the other two children's chairs, the cashier commented how good they were. I said, "They're tied up."

But I didn't tell her Julia had thrown the bread out and the cheese out the entire time, even after she knew I was getting mad. Or how Tim had kicked the bottle of liquid detergent until he spun the cap loose and blue soap ran all over the floor.

Yeah, fun times.

Then there was the horrible day I LOST Kari. In 2003, she was three years old, tiny and blonde, a chirpy, friendly little elf.

We were bagging groceries near the door, and all at once--no Kari. We looked all around. She wasn't there. I ran to the door and looked up and down the sidewalk, scanned the parking lot, nothing.

I grabbed the manager and told him. He just looked kind of blank, like what was he supposed to do?

That's when I went to the phone by the door and called 911. The operator said the store was to lock the doors. People could come in. Nobody could leave. I told the manager, and he did it.

James was sobbing, breaking my heart. I told him I could see he was upset, but I couldn't help him right now. He said, "No, no, find Kari."

The other kids and I looked in the bank, in the bathrooms. I felt like I couldn't breathe. Store staff searched, and shortly the manager came walking, big smile on his face, holding her by the hand. She had on a navy blue coat with a velvet collar, fuchsia pants and flowered tennis shoes.

I asked her where she'd been? She waved her little arms, "I looked at the Barbies...and the WHOLE noodle collection."

The whole noodle collection? Oh good LOR-ED.

I thanked the manager and had to get out of there. Must. Leave. Now.

When we got home, we carried in the groceries, and the last thing we needed was Tim, who had fallen asleep on the ride home. He was a big, giant one year old baby. As I dragged his limp body from his car seat, my feet shot out on the ice and I fell on my back with him in my arms.

Sure. Why not? What a great day we were having.

I had to crawl around and get my shoe from under the car and get back on my feet, still holding him. Tim slept through all this, but as soon as he felt his body slipping from my arms onto the couch, he woke up (of course) screaming, demanding to nurse. He was huge and demanding all the time. Cute, but difficult.

I took him to the bed and lay there thinking, "And I am having another one. I have to be out of my living mind." It was Julia--little and cheerful. In the end, not a big deal, but it felt completely un-do-able that day.

So yeah, grocery shopping now? Any day I don't lose a child at the store? Or call 911? A GREAT DAY. A breeze, I tell you, easier than easy. love Val

Here are a couple sweet pictures of Kari and James from the fall of 2003, at John and Dannell's wedding. The first picture is before the wedding. The second is after.


  1. Oh my goodness, I had no idea that Gus is Tim's total doppleganger. Like, if I didn't know any better, I would swear that is a picture of my son. Consider my mind blown. ;) He was such a gorgeous baby. (Tim)

    Also, I've heard both of those stories, about losing Kari in the grocery store, and Tim sleeping right through you tanking on the ice in the driveway, only to wake up the second you set him down when you got inside. I had no idea those stories were from the same day. Wow. That was quite a day, huh?! (Understatement of the year.)

  2. That was truly legendary horrible day. It was also the week of a very high-profile kidnapping, so the idea that someone may have taken my baby by the hand and walked out the door with her completely undid me. I know that's why I called 911.

    Also, I never imagined she'd go BACK inside the store. I was so focused on her heading in the other direction...

    You're right too about the resemblance. I didn't realize until I took a good look at the photo. Tim was all pale fuzziness too with the broad shoulders fat cheeks. love you, V