Our grocery store hates parents

Our local grocery store gives cookies and balloons to kids.

Why?
Because they hate parents.
There’s really no other explanation.
For those who don’t have kids, let me tell you that they have a built-in GPS that’s better than your smartphone, they set off more local alerts than foursquare and they talk more than your Garmin on your dashboard. All of which means that whenever we’re within 1/2 a mile of this store, the begging begins.
I have been coming home from a trip to the grocery store down the street–a trip that was moaned about and generally unpopular in the ages 5 and under demographic in our household–and been begged to go to this grocery store.
“But we just went to the grocery store. We got everything we needed.”
“But I want a cookie,” says 3B.
“And I want a balloon,” adds Jewel.
And what do I have to compete with that…a bag of brown rice in the trunk? So the begging goes on…at least until we pass the library, when the object of their fickle attention changes.
But sometimes we do go to our local, smaller, closer and more expensive store, as Mama did yesterday with Jewel. Once when they went, Jewel got, of course, a balloon, but wouldn’t let Mama tie it to anything. Mama cautioned Jewel that it could fly away, so she would have to hold on tight to it.
Of course, the balloon ended up in the rafters, and Jewel ended up in tears.
She talked about it for weeks afterward, which, for a two-year old, is like talking about it for months afterward. Even now, when she sees a balloon, it will trigger the memory, and she’ll tell the sad story. “One time, when I had a pink balloon, it went up, up, up, into the ceiling.”
So, of course, yesterday, Mama tied the balloon–blue this time–to Jewel’s coat. What could possibly go wrong?
According to Mama, Jewel white-knuckled this balloon all through the store, determined not to let it get away. Jewel also believed that there was a picture of Toodee on it, and so talked to it the whole time. There was no such picture, but who cares, right?
They got through shopping, through checkout, to the car, get the groceries loaded into the car, Mama gets Jewel into her seat and is buckling her in when–blam!–the balloon explodes right in Jewel’s face.
At this point, Jewel is late for her nap, Mama has a trunk full of food that’s getting warm, and Mama has to get some work done for her new job. So, there’s no way she’s decamping from the car, walking back into the store, getting another balloon and possibly having it explode in the car as well.
So Jewel ends up sobbing and sad about it for the entire ride home. Thankfully that’s only five minutes, but still, that store hates parents.
There’s really no other explanation.


Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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