Oh the good old days of strolling through the grocery store, carefully choosing the groceries and shopping from a list. Or the days when I could shop at the mall without the echoing screams of the Doodle. When shopping with Dominic, I am in bionic mode, wheeling the cart through the store as if I am late for a train; only selecting the items I absolutely need and cautiously limiting them to 10 items or less so that I can zip through the express checkout line with my cash at the ready, exact change in hand.
Feeling especially brave I ventured to Target tonight to buy the little maniac a new helmet and of course he had to go so I could try it on him. His little bike helmet he’s been wearing to protect him from himself has been hit so many times by his falls that all of the plastic has cracked off of it and has been reduced to a sad little white dented up piece of Styrofoam. Besides that, he cracked it again today pretty good and it was completely falling apart. My uncle Jimmy gave us a fantastic padded martial arts helmet that is soft and protective for sparring—but Dom will not let me get it near him. Here’s a plug though for his Martial Arts Studio in Santa Rosa called Fitness Fanatics…the best Tang So Do studio ever.
So, here’s how it goes when shopping with Dom. I know one of two things is guaranteed to happen: One, he will poop his pants or Two, he will have a tantrum and throw things and make me regret leaving the house. Sometimes it’s both.
At first he’s fine, even a little bit excited to get his piggies into the pretty red grocery cart. I push him anxiously through the automatic doors and that’s when things go south. Maybe it’s the bright lights or the surge of happy shopping people but he gets over-stimulated and begins to scream and cry and want down. Naturally I start handing him things I have no intention of buying just to keep him busy. That works for about 2 minutes and then he begins throwing things. First he throws the things I hand him, and then he just starts pulling things out of the cart. As I pick up one of the things he’s thrown, he’s trying his hardest to throw something else. When he runs out of things to throw from the cart, he takes his shoes off and throws them. Now he is screaming and throwing and the people around me are shaking their heads in pure disbelief. I can read the expressions on their faces: WHAT A BRAT!
I notice a Target employee is now tailing us incognito and is doing his best to pick up after us as Dominic single-handedly destroys the store.
I’m quick to get the rest of the items I specifically came in for, being careful to keep the cart moving and positioned in the very middle of the aisle so that the Doodle cannot reach anything on the shelves which will soon get thrown onto the floor. God forbid I stop at the scrapbooking section or look at new towels.
By now I’m pushing the cart at a slow run pace, never stopping to lolly gag with anyone I might run into and making my way to the checkout line, pronto. I take a mental inventory and start counting the items in my cart to ensure that I qualify for express checkout. Now I start throwing things out of the cart, non-essentials that might push me over the limit. I think to myself, I can always use the dish soap at home to wash my hair, and then the shampoo gets put on a shelf with the impulse item DVD’s.
We make it out of there alive, with no poopy pants and a smidgen of my dignity intact. Mission somewhat accomplished.