The Good, The Bad & The Boozy

I possess the ability to cry on demand. Don’t judge me, this is a skill that comes in very handy when you’re three weeks shy of the first day of school.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it really isn’t at all difficult to summon tears after you have spent precisely 54 days in the presence of your children. Sadly, the 54th day was rainy, damp and dreary – moist (I despise that word). It sure is easy to burst into tears when you’ve forgotten to give your oldest kid his ADHD medication. That was my first mistake. My second idiotic move was taking two loud little girls and one hyperactive freak show to the grocery store.

In the produce section he bench pressed a massive watermelon. Then he fondled the kiwi fruit while hollering for Gwen to come feel how “squishy and prickly” they were.

In the bakery, he poked holes in a whoopie pie wrapper. By the time I discovered his crime, he was already bent down and sticking his tongue through the holes, stealing tiny licks of the creamy filling. Besides being mortified, I was livid. I wanted to pick that whoopie pie up and chuck it at his little head, but in his state of unmedicated madness, he would have loved that. In fact, he would have hurled one back in that spastic I-have-no-athletic-ability-whatsoever way of his. Then his maniacal cackle would have echoed throughout the store. I’m fairly sure that the manager would have quietly escorted us from the premises.

In the pasta aisle which, for some odd reason, shares space with the booze, he hoisted up a bottle of coffee-flavored brandy and loudly declared, “Hey Mom! This is coffee-flavored liquor! I’ll bet you’d like it since you like coffee…and liquor!”

He struggled to walk toward me, embracing a gallon-sized jug of coffee-flavored booze and smiling helpfully. The other mother in the aisle, the one who had clearly showered and who was wearing a cute little hat, gave us a wide berth and hefty dose of side-eye mixed with a sneer. Of course, I immediately thought, Suck it, Honey…you have one kid who doesn’t even talk yet. And then I thought, Game on, bitch!

“Thank you, Joe! I do love coffee and booze, but not necessarily in that order.” Then I flashed Ms. I Wear Wool Hats in August a toothy grin as we passed. She wasn’t amused but I was.


In the meat department, Joe poked Gwen in the arm with a wooden skewer and pulled her onto the floor. Seconds after I broke that tussle up, he began repeatedly spanking a large pork roast. An old lady stopped her cart to blatantly stare at my children and then began to chuckle. I noticed her noticing us and my first inner-conversation went like this…Yeah, it’s a fucking hoot, huh lady? Then, I realized that it actually was pretty funny. Despite the humor, I truly hate grocery stores and taking three little kids to the grocery store is not conducive to a quick shop. So, to make a long story slightly less long… I didn’t really want to cry, but I played that card anyway. “Seriously guys…I’m going to cry.”

They stopped slapping the pork and stared at me. Our eyes met and the music to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly began playing in the background… okay, not really. I made that last bit up…  Silence fell upon us as we stared one another down. I summoned enough tears to make my eyes watery. Their silence lasted approximately 5.2 seconds.

By the time we hit the snack aisle,  I worried that real tears were imminent. Wisely, instead of stifling the urge to cry, I used those tears. That’s right. I filled each eye with tiny pools of sorrow then turned to face my children, “Seriously?”

“Wanna a watte, Mama?” Kate asked. Her big blue eyes were full of sympathy but, her hopeful suggestion that maybe a latte would make me feel better kind of came out of left field. It also made no sense. I’ll be honest, I was thankful that she didn’t loudly suggest drowning my sorrows in liquor. Mostly because Joe likes to be the one who doles out that kind of advice.

On our way to the cash registers, we took a spin back through the booze aisle so I could return the coffee-flavored brandy to its shelf and grab a bottle of Skinnygirl margaritas instead. Because I like coffee. And wine. And margaritas. Olé!
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  1. Oooohhhhh nobody makes me laugh like you do. I laugh not AT you, and not even near you…but I really can sympathize! My two boys are catastrophic sometimes, although I don’t let them walk freely (so no slapping the pork unless they can reach the chiller). At this point, they just shove each other, drop iced cookie and then eat it, anyway, and grab shit off the shelves that has to be cleaned up by a guy with a mop. Seriously, though, I almost cry sometimes. It’s getting worse and worse! I raise a glass to you (really – right now- first of the evening after a VERY VERY long day that involved poop, more poop, raspberries on off-white curtains, a flooded backyard, and a severely abused game of Candyland.) Ole, indeed!

  2. Well…I’m really laughing, because the way you told the story was hilarious! And I can see it all going down in the grocery store…WITH MY OWN KIDS!! And that lady with “only one kid who isn’t even talking yet”…yeah, she’ll get hers 😉
    But seriously…if we didn’t laugh at days like these, we would cry, because I have.

  3. That. Was. Funny.

  4. I hate the girls who wear hats in August. What are you, some kind of meth head? Can’t control your own dang body temperature?

  5. Isn’t shopping with kids a HOOT?
    I have a section in a cabinet with random shizz my kids have dumped onto the conveyer belt without my seeing it til w’e got home and they lost my reciept. Yay! Wasted money!!
    School is farkimg awesome. So is camp. And Peapod grocery delivery. Otherwise, we would not eat, because I’m not taking my animals to the grocery store.

  6. I really should not have been drinking my nice, hot coffee when I came to “repeatedly spanking a large pork roast”. You’ll be hearing from DELL tech support and customer service about my spattered keyboard any day now.

    Was totally able to imagine all the little piping voices of your saintly progeny as you wrestled dolefully with a spastic wheeled shopping cart.

  7. I was going to say . . . you’re going to need more than watte after all of that!

  8. I love that I’m not the only one not afraid to use terms like “hyperactive freak show” in reference to my children.

  9. And this is where I apologize to my own mom for opening a new bottle of condiments and spraying down my sister while she chased after me with a pizza cutter.

    Sorry, Mom! I really, REALLY hope I don’t get this back three times as bad…

  10. I’ve got to say he’s pretty smart for poking the holes in the plastic to get a taste of the whoopie pie. Impractical, maybe, but very very smart. 🙂 I can’t believe he had to go there with the coffee-flavored brandy…of all places he could go, he just had to go there, didn’t he? And in front of one of THOSE moms, too. They must just sense what they can do to ruin your day the fastest. Kids seem to be gifted that way.

    By the way, out of context this line is hilarious:

    “They stopped slapping the pork and stared at me.”

    Then again I have a dirty mind. 🙂

    Oh, and I mentioned you in my latest post. Was feeling sentimental and sensitive, but I did want you to know how much your pep talks help me.

  11. I read thing like this and laugh. I also let out a rare sigh of relief that I don’t have kids to torture me in this way. *lol*

  12. I have two boys. Grocery shopping has never been fun or easy with them along. I also used to be one of those women who judged others by their inability to control their children. I was paid back by karma…I ended up with two kids who had no desire to prove they are well behaved when they were with me in public (and one also has ADHD) so I FEEL YOU SISTER! Don’t give those self-righteous bitches another thought, just pour your booze in your coffee and laugh when what they’re doing is funny…it’s the only way to maintain your sanity!

  13. I am sitting at my kitchen table reading this…I feel your pain but think of the fond memories this will be to share later on in life=)


  14. Oh GIrl!!! I hate going to the grocery store…and it’s self-induced torture when my minion escort me. You shouldn’t get crazy-lady looks…you should be handed a gold star, glass of wine, and spa gift certificate every time you leave a store with all children still alive!! That’s how I feel anyway!! I love ya girl…and have SO missed you. I’ve been regrouping all summer…getting my “game face” on for the next 9 months sans hubby! Hopefully , I will once again be one of your groupies!!

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