ok, not a baby. a toddler. almost just as bad, right? or worse.
greg and i decided to stop on our way home from an afternoon romp at our local natural area at our local booze store to procure our holiday booze. i hopped out, and, upon seeing this, ruth started to protest. she’s little enough trouble putting into and getting out of her car seat these days that we will often just take her into a store if one of us is making a quick run while the other sits in the car with joel. but we’re not usually at a liquor store. i shrugged, sizing up the situation. what’s the harm? i wondered, and got her out.
i mean, i guess if someone happened to be out and about scouting for people to hand out parent-of-the-year awards to at that moment, they probably wouldn’t give me one.
i walked in and told ruth to stay close (i knew i wouldn’t have a hand free for her to hold because my arms would be full of booze) and made my way to the back of the store to the wall of beer. Guinness…and some sam adams….”i want a drink, too,” ruth said in that familiar toddler whine that might transform any minute to a scream of indignation. “ok…” i said distractedly, trying to avoid any kind of meltdown. i could already see the store clerk eying us warily, as though he was about ready to call social services himself if the kid so much as squawked. “no!” ruth said excitedly, “i want cereal!” then suddenly disappeared down as aisle. “ruth, i don’t think they have cereal at this store,” i said as i pulled a sixer out of the fridge.
i went to go and see where she had disappeared to and found her down an aisle clutching a box of frosted mini wheats to her chest. “i want cereal!” she said again as though i couldn’t tell that by the way she was bear-hugging the orange box. “ok,” i said, “cereal it is.” i plopped our purchases up onto the counter and the man looked at me like, “you sick bastard“. no, just kidding. he didn’t care.
when we got out to the car, greg eyed my bags. “ruth’s pick was breakfast cereal,” i said. we both had a laugh. “probably overpriced,” greg said. “you know it,” i replied, “and possibly expired.”