A Classic Tale

::flasback segment::

Layla Grace-6 monthish
Isabelle-4 ish
Me-the day I turned grey

It’s a day like any other. We have errands to run. One including the grocery store.

We stroll into Albertson’s, oh so unsuspecting. I have Eli and Layla squeeezed into the front seat normally meant for one. They are rigged, two legs in one hole and a baby blanket wedged to one side. Isabelle is walking.
I have my calculator, my list, and we are all set with goodies from the cold drink aisle. I do the usual patrolling.
“Don’t take that off the shelf.”
“Don’t lick the cart.”
Stuff like that.
About an hour or more into it we are in the home stretch with only about three aisles to go. I am at the butcher counter getting steaks for dinner. (ah the good wife) ::pat pat pat::

Suddenly, out of my apron wearing day dream, I notice a cold something or other ::drip drip drop::

What is that? ::drip::

I bend to see milk splattering under my cart.::drop::

Quite a bit of it.

“what? how did that happen?” ::drip drop::

“Elijah, what did you do?” And this is where, if he could speak, he would tell me he ate through the milk carton. Right through the plastic.
Good grief, what a mess.

I wiggle closer to the lobster tank where they provide you with free paper towels–for the dive I suppose. As it turns out they are equally handy for almost-two-year-olds.

So I get my steaks and turn around just in time to notice Layla has gnawed herself a little snack. This one is made of a different variety- same animal. Her preference is raw hamburger.

Through my disgust and her wailings of injustice, I manage to dig as much as possible out of her mouth, left wondering how much she actually ate. ew.

I notice a convenient trash receptacle nearby and deposit the remnants of her snack into the can. Just as I do my hand gets snagged on the lid. It is one of those big metal cans with the teeter tottery lids.

Life is now in slow motion. teeter, totter, teeeeetter, toooooottterrr.

The kids are crying, the butcher woman is agasp, chest heaving, and my eyes are wide as the trash can lid flies up, up, up into the air.

And me? I am spider man as I look around me, taking it all in.
Only then does the display catch my eye.

“Hello. I hadn’t noticed you before.”

I make a mental registry of everything as it all comes crashing to the ground. No, not paper towels, that would be too easy. I see can openers, corkscrews, wire baskets, salt and pepper shakers, thermomoters, anything metal a grocery store would carry.

Yes, it is all on this very special, metal itself, display. And it too is on the floor. All it’s guts splayed for passersby.

(You know what always amazes me? how everything gets so quiet when a terrible loud noise happens.)

It feels like hours pass. Days maybe.

Isabelle is the first to speak– and I quote “NO WAY THAT JUST HAPPENED!”
I am still too shocked to say anything. Silence.

The butcher lady comes close, places her hands on my shoulders, and says, “Just go, honey. I will take care of everything.”
So I do.
I unload my children and we leave the grocery store. Grocery cart full and dripping. The Good Wife steaks warming. My reputation circling the drain.

And in my best Alex Trebek voice:
“Why dont the Brewer kids go to the grocery store?”

#advicefromthemotheroffive Save yourselves