Apparently I have been starving my poor son of the privilege of visiting craft stores for nearly three years. The other day, I took him to JoAnn Fabric to pick up some supplies because he wanted to paint. He was overtly impressed with each passing aisle. I’m lucky we got out of there spending less than $50, because he thought we probably needed everything, including several jars of buttons, which he tried to stuff in his pockets. I have no idea what his intentions were with the big round plastic buttons, but he was adamant that he needed them. I was able to distract him with a chalkboard and we proceeded to the checkout without much incident.
Well, don’t get me wrong, I’m no marketing specialist. But I’ve noticed in several stores lately that there is an exorbitant amount of CRAP in the checkout aisles. And naturally, they are not the short little stands like in the grocery stores. No, you have to go through a freaking labyrinth to get to the cash register. Surrounding you through the maze are coloring books, lip glosses, lotions, and, of course, candy. Lots of candy.
I noticed Harrison was lagging behind a bit as I made my way to the sales associate, however, I was just simply not paying attention to what caught his eye. “Mama, I want this.” Yes. Of course you do. I turned to see what his latest desire was, and he had in his hand a package of orange and yellow gummy rings, covered with sugar. Now, I am no saint when it comes to my kids’ diets, but I can promise you that these treats have never been in the mouths of my babes. Even for me, they were simply too much.
Harrison is used to me telling him that we cannot buy his heart’s desire, so he threw no fuss when I said, “No baby, go put that back.” But the cashier started giggling, and I looked at her, perplexed. I thought, ‘Do you not have children? Do you not know my suffering?!’ I was briefly annoyed at her snicker, because I thought we should be a united front. I thought she should say, “Your mom said no, buddy. You gotta put ‘em back!” I immediately took her laughing defensively, and my thoughts must have shown through my facial expression (and, if you know me, my ‘mean teacher glare’ probably was playing a small part). She said, “Your son is licking that package, ma’am.”
Sure enough, Harrison was holding the bag of gummies that were full of grossness, and LICKING it. WTF?! Just holding the closed package, as though he knew I was going to say no, and licking the outside of it, hoping for some residual sweetness to filter on through the plastic. Who is this child??? Who taught him this?? I do not go around the grocery store licking wine bottles!!
My mortification was so deep that I did not even offer to buy the snack my son slobbered on, yet I simply let another sales associate take them and put them BACK ON THE SHELF. Some poor soul is going to buy that package that my child licked. Someone is going to open that snack and eat it, and they’re going to hold that package that my son had in his mouth, and they will be none the wiser. Good God. I don’t know if I can live with myself.