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Attention shoppers: we have a creeper on aisle 6

There are some fears and worries we parents just HAVE from birth on. My strong belief is that they come as part of the whole ‘baby’ package. Things that EVERY parent worries about to some degree; absolutely no one is exempt. Some we prepared ourselves for before the explosion of baby into our worlds, like will they be healthy, happy, can I give them the love and attention they deserve? Will they love me back? Can I do this? Am I doing it wrong?
And then things we may not have prepared ourselves for- and it’s not the worrying in general that catches us off guard, but the level of worry we experienced related to some seriously random shit.
I hope I cut up that banana small enough, the baby books say it’s a choking hazard! My kid sure does shit a lot, is that normal? Why are there SEEDS? That can’t be healthy! I hope the bath water isn’t too hot… or too cold. For the love of GOD which bottles are going to be the best… and with which nipples? And which sippy cup? I really really hope I don’t have an ugly baby (seriously, don’t you fucking lie- you worried about that and you know it).

I think the most common outside of health concerns has to do with taking your kid out into public.
I REALLY HOPE I DON’T LOSE THEM.

Seriously, y’all- tell me you haven’t at least a dozen times worried about taking your kid to the store, or shopping with you and been concerned that suddenly they’d make a mad dash in the opposite direction, and you- who got caught up in different flavors of stovetop or trying to find a cute shirt in your size (which for some reason they never have) wouldn’t notice until they were out of eyesight. Everyone on the planet loves to harp on the fact that it ONLY takes a second… and while I find harping really fucking annoying, I can’t say that I disagree.

It only took one time of my normally well-behaved “i’ll never leave your side” child disappearing in the grocery store while I was tending to his infant brother, and finding him seconds later but not before I had a full dozen heart attacks and a panic attack that I swore never to look away from him again. That’s right, I became the mom who puts her gigantic kid in the back of the cart even though the “rules” say not to. Fuck off- i’m not losing my kid! Even if the chances are slim of him ever doing it again- there’s still a SLIM chance- and even if no weirdo snatches him, i’m not sure my heart can take it.

Yes, as you can tell by the above paragraph, I don’t just have a fear of losing my kids in a store- I have a fear of losing them and some nutbar freakazoid snatching them. It’s not TOTALLY insane. It has happened, and thanks to growing up watching (and being horrified by) America’s Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries- I figure it’s better safe than sorry. It’s also why I no longer snort-laugh at the parents who put their kids on leashes. I gets it, really I do.

If at all possible (aka, if the kids aren’t being total asshats) I always try to get them both to sit in the cart. One in the front, one in the back- whatever. Doesn’t matter. As long as they are both attached somehow to my cart or to myself or in a stroller contraption of some kind- I am completely comfortable. If one is loose? I always worry.

screw you, demonic cart-car!

Thanks to those demonic shopping carts with the cars on them- you know the ones- giant obnoxious cars attached to the front of a tiny little cart that are impossible to navigate but the kids insist on sitting in? Or the newer ones where instead of out in front of the cart, the baby seat has been turned into a car like thing with steering wheels- so now when your kids want to sit in it and scream things like BEEP BEEP or MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, or the age-old LOOK OUT, LADY! I’M GONNA MAKE YOUR PURSE OUT OF COLESLAW (what? just mine??)– it can all be done directly into your face. But at least it’s easier to turn! YAY!

That was the story for me during the weekly stock up trip grocery shopping extravaganza on Sunday. Both kids, in the front, screaming in my face. It was fantastic- BUT- at least I didn’t have that creeping paranoid fear that one of them would run off… because they couldn’t. Not only were they in the cart, but both turds decided they absolutely HAD to be buckled in.
Safety first, I s’pose.

Thanks to this whole new-fangled car-cart and the buckling of children who can’t ever seem to UNbuckle themselves, clearly I was a hell of a lot more comfortable not paying close attention to what they were doing. This came in handy when I went searching for makeup removing towelettes (because GENIUS husband left them at his aunt’s house while packing up the bathroom during the weekend trip from hell) and couldn’t find my regular brand and was pissing vinegar about having to switch.
I don’t want to be rubbing ANYTHING on my face that I don’t trust (and yes, I realize how dirty that sounds ya perv).
Paying attention to the kids during this time? No I was not. The cart was parked right next to me, what could go wrong?
Holden began to repeat some nonsensical sentence, which really isn’t abnormal, so I didn’t bother trying to understand him until the third or fourth repetition, and that’s when I perked up.
You know when you THINK you hear something, but you’re not sure if you heard it correctly because it’s so fucking weird that you’re POSITIVE you didn’t- so you ask for it to be said again to confirm if you are in fact insane or not?
If you’re familiar with that, you also know about the moments where you have what you THOUGHT you heard that was totally insane confirmed, and you’re either still just as confused or feel even more insane.
This was one of those moments.

“There’s a guy with shiny eyes staring at me!”
By the THIRD time I asked “what in the hell did you just say?” and got that answer, I was legitimately freaking out.
A rigid little finger pointed toward the end of the aisle “He won’t stop peeking out!”

I mean seriously y’all.. at this point wouldn’t you be like “what the flying `fuck?”
Thomas and I halted everything we were doing (yeah that’s right, my dude grocery shops!) and stared toward the end of the aisle.
One guy walked by a few seconds later. I had sort of figured that was who they were talking about, but he didn’t even stop and look, so i’m wondering at this point- CREEPER? Weirdo? Stalker?
It’s not that my kids don’t ever make shit up, but never do both of them insist on the same thing. They enjoy tattling on each other FAR too much to work together to drive me insane.

Just as i’m about to give up and look away (not that i’d been looking long, but long enough damnit) and accept the fact that my kids were lying a-holey a-holes just trying to drive their mother to an early grave, I saw it.

don’t DO this shizz!

A face. A FUCKING FACE peeked out from behind the end of the isle to our right.  Just the top of the head and the eyes, but it was definitely looking right at the kids. If ever there were a moment where you pee your pants- this is IT y’all. I physically jumped backward and was just about to shriek STRANGER DANGER!!!! (only with far more expletives) when the person behind the forehead jumps out laughing.

It’s my mother-badword brother. STUPID BROTHER!! I CURSE YOU AND OUR SHARED GENETICS!!

Apparently while searching for the fucking Fruit Roll-Ups, he thought it a wise idea to scare 10 years off of the end of my life. Oh and the “shiny eyes” bit? Sunglasses. That’ll teach me not to listen to my own creations.

And he wonders why I like to tell people he’s the ‘runt of the litter’?

I still always feel like it’s better safe than sorry, whether that means sticking your kids in a car-cart, or one in the back of the basket even when the employees whine, leashing those suckers up or tethering them to your belt with a frickin’ bungee-cord to keep them safe from the weirdos of the universe… but especially from asshole siblings who still after all these years like to torment you.

Posted on July 23, 2012 by Holdin' Holden 11 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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11 Comments

  • HAHAHAHA. At least it wasn’t a legit creeper. That is funny!

  • I woulda punched him for scaring the crap out of me!

  • I almost pissed myself laughing at this.. my boyfriend just stopped and looked at me like I’m nuts- but I can totally see my cousin doing something like this

  • THat is such a great story!!! I was laughing so hard 🙂

  • Alright, I have had the WORST day at work today, I love coming home & reading your blog, it kills me everytime, where can I get your book? you kill me Lady! <3

  • This has always been one thing that completely terrifies me! I was one of those mom’s that had a baby leash for super crowded places. I put my now 7 year old in the basket and give no fucks what anyone has to say about it! I even have reoccurring nightmares about it! That said, I would have punched your brother in the nose as hard as I could haha

    Also the captcha on here is the devil.

  • I would have called security on my brother, just for grins. I also insist on my kids being in the cart or attached to me at all times. We lost Snark Girl in Walmart when she was not quite three. Longest 10 minutes of my life, I don’t think my heart was even beating. Those Walmart people have their shit together though, total store lockdown, all employees not cashiering stop what they are doing and look for your kid until they are found.

  • UGH I hate the car carts. I’m constantly apologizing as we shop. Also, I am totally thinking of getting kid leashes, or like one leash that splits off into two. (I used to have one of those for the dogs.) I get MEGA panic if there is a split-second disappearance.

  • Do you know how much I just adore you?? Your ‘voice’, your words. Holy crap, it’s just hilarious to read!! You pull me in all the flippin’ time!!! That is all, carry on.

  • I’m now a grandmother… a young one but still, what chronological age I don’t have, I do have the experience. I was the kid on the leash. I had no memory of this until one day, I was around 7, I found it and remembered! I was pissed and held a grudge oh yes. Then I had my son, a runner. Travel through time to the present and the light of my life, my crazy little 3 yr old grandson. No one believes he and his little sister are my grands, I enjoy watching my daughter raise them… great entertainment!! I watch them while she and daddy work so I am very hands on. I have recently found your blog and love love love it. My son is expecting his first and I am so looking forward to the back and forth shenanigans to come!!! You remind me of me… wishing you the greatest of everything to come!!!