Shopping, Kids, Gravity & Superheroes, Part 2

Previously on my blog we laughed our way through the aisles of two stores while my two oldest girls, Lisa and Lindy, learned a little bit about Sir Isaac Newton’s Law of Gravity. This time we’ll find out how my two youngest kids tried their hand at science while I attempted to get some shopping done. And the results were equally conclusive: A BIG MESS!

In case you missed Part 1, click here.

So fast-forward nine years. My third daughter, Lori, made it all the way to the ripe old age of seven before she took her turn. And, bless her heart, I’m convinced that the offense was in no way premeditated. Because so many years had gone by, I’d long since let down my guard.

This was one of those short trips to the grocery store, so I didn’t even have a cart. We were moving along fairly quickly when, for some unknown reason, I turned down the wrong aisle. I’m sure it must have been fate. When I reached the other end, I turned around and noticed that Lori had stopped midway and seemed captivated by the see-through coffee bean dispensers.

“Lori!” I called.

No response. I walked back towards her. She glanced at me for a split second and returned to ogling the coffee beans.

“What are these?” The curious look in her eyes triggered a momentary flashback that I should have considered to be an omen.

“That’s coffee,” I answered, unaware of the item she really meant.

“Oh,” she replied. “Well, what does this thingy do?”

Bean-GirlQuicker than you can say “good to the last drop,” she pulled on the lever and well – you get the picture! Lori’s feet were suddenly hidden beneath a mound of coffee beans. A nearby shopper gasped. I think it might have been the same lady from years earlier in the produce department – she gave me that look.

Then along came the faithful superhero, this time wielding one of those wide brooms. Different fellow, I think, but kind, nonetheless. Nearly choking on my words, I offered to pay for the coffee.

“Nah! Don’t worry about it, ma’am.” I noticed that he didn’t say it happens all the time.

On the way home I kept thinking how fortunate I was that my toddler son Robbie hadn’t gone with us to witness his sister’s experiment. But silly me…

It’s in my kids’ DNA. Incredibly, Robbie pulled his stunt the same year as the coffee bean avalanche, except this time the lucky store was K-Mart. He was only twenty months old, and his reach was limited, but I checked at each stopping point to make sure the cart wasn’t too close to the shelves. Right! He was too smart for that.

Having placed a large package of diapers in the basket next to some other items, I moved on to aisle 10 located across from the linens. I couldn’t find the shampoo I wanted, so I kept my hand on the push bar of the cart and focused on the shampoos. I’d given my little darling a toy to play with, and I thought that’s what he was doing. Never mind that he couldn’t reach the shelf – that little stinker assumed that all the items I’d already put in our cart were fair game.

Bubble-BoyThat’s when I heard “drip, drip, drip…gush.” Gravity again! Startled, I looked to see Robbie holding a bottle of bubble bath up-side-down. The lid was on the floor along with over half of Mr. Bubbles. I quickly turned the bottle right-side-up while my son giggled and swatted at the bubbles floating past his nose.

A friendly shopper turned into the aisle and saw my predicament. She went to get some help. I stayed by the mess so no one would slip on it. A few moments later, a voice called out over the speaker, “Clean up in aisle 10!”

Whew! Help would arrive soon. Then just as I thought it was safe to relax, another voice came on the speaker: “Attention K-Mart shoppers! We have a Blue Light Special going on in the center aisle next to the linens.”

Next to the linens? No-o-o-o! Quickly, I peeked around the corner. As excited, squealing voices got closer and closer, the floor began to vibrate like earthquake tremors. Soon, dozens of frenzied bargain shoppers converged on the scene. To my horror, some of them started to take a short cut through aisle 10! I hastily turned the cart sideways and positioned it over the spilled mess, pointing to the puddle while Robbie swatted at the last few bubbles. The shoppers promptly did an about-face and cut through the next aisle.

“Where is that clean-up boy?” I mumbled as Robbie tried to reach for the bottle of bubble bath again.

Then suddenly he appeared – slower than a speeding shopping cart and barely able to leap sale tables in a single bound – the clean-up boy! My superhero with his trusty mop and pail. What would we do without these guys?

Many years later, something funny happened in the laboratory of life. During the process of raising her own curious crew, my first daughter Lisa (of watermelon fame) discovered that the “gene” had been passed along to her children. Oh, the stories she’s told. And, oh, how I’ve laughed! Being on the listening end of these tales of fascinating scientific experiments as opposed to being an eyewitness made laughing a whole lot easier. Thank goodness I never had to deal with a three-year-old’s decision to microwave the TV remote control for Thanksgiving dinner! I tried not to choke when I told Lisa that someday she’d look back on little Jason’s study in the law of thermodynamics and laugh.

Science aside, I’m happy to say I’m still laughing. Wait…isn’t laughter one of Newton’s other laws?

I’d love to hear about your most memorable shopping experiences with the kids. Leave a comment and share with us here. It’ll be fun and we can all laugh together!


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